Fountain pen

A fountain pen is a nib pen that, unlike its predecessor the dip pen, contains an internal reservoir of water-based liquid ink. From the reservoir, the ink is drawn through a feed to the nib and then to the paper via a combination of gravity and capillary action. As a result, the typical fountain pen requires little or no pressure to write.

Filling the reservoir with ink may be done manually (via the use of an eyedropper or syringe), or via an internal "filler" mechanism which creates suction to transfer ink directly through the nib into the reservoir. Some pens employ removable reservoirs, in the form of pre-filled ink cartridges.

These Parker Duofolds from the 1920s used the Lucky Curve feed system and self-filled using a "button filler". They were quite long; nearly 7 inches long when posted.

Contents

History

The earliest historical record of a reservoir pen dates to the 10th century. In 953, Ma'ād al-Mu'izz, the caliph of the Maghreb, demanded a pen that would not stain his hands or clothes, and was provided with a pen that held ink in a reservoir and delivered it to the nib, which could be held upside-down without leaking, as recorded in Kitab al-Majalis wa 'l-musayardt, by Qadi al-Nu'man al-Tamimi (d. 974).[1] No details of the construction or mechanism of operation of this pen are known, and no examples have survived.

M. Klein and Henry W. Wynne received US patent #68445 in 1867 for an ink chamber and delivery system in the handle of the fountain pen.

In Deliciae Physico-Mathematicae (a 1636 magazine), German inventor Daniel Schwenter described a pen made from two quills. One quill served as a reservoir for ink inside the other quill. The ink was sealed inside the quill with cork. Ink was squeezed through a small hole to the writing point. Noted Maryland historian Hester Dorsey Richardson (1862–1933) documented a reference to "three silver fountain pens, worth 15 shillings" in England during the reign of Charles II, ca. 1649-1685.[2] She also found a 1734 notation made by Robert Morris the elder in the ledger of the expenses of Robert Morris the younger, who was at the time in Philadelphia, for "one fountain pen".[2]

In 1828 Josiah Mason improved a cheap, efficient slip-in nib in Birmingham, England, which could be added to a fountain pen and in 1830, with the invention of a new machine, William Joseph Gillott, William Mitchell and James Stephen Perry devised a way to mass manufacture robust, cheap steel pen nibs. This boosted the Birmingham pen trade and by the 1850s, more than half the steel-nib pens manufactured in the world were made in Birmingham. Thousands of skilled craftsmen and -women were employed in the industry. Many new manufacturing techniques were perfected, enabling the city's factories to mass produce their pens cheaply and efficiently. These were sold worldwide to many who previously could not afford to write, thus encouraging the development of education and literacy.

Progress in developing a reliable pen was slow until the mid-19th century, because of an imperfect understanding of the role that air pressure plays in the operation of pens and because most inks were highly corrosive and full of sedimentary inclusions. The Romanian inventor Petrache Poenaru received a French patent for the invention of the first fountain pen with a replaceable ink cartridge on May 25, 1827.[3] Starting in the 1850s there was a steadily accelerating stream of fountain pen patents and pens in production. However, it was only after three key inventions were in place that the fountain pen became a widely popular writing instrument. Those were the iridium-tipped gold nib, hard rubber, and free-flowing ink.

Waterman 42 Safety Pen, with variation in materials (both red and black rubbers) and retracting nibs.

The first fountain pens making use of all these key ingredients appeared in the 1850s. In the 1870s Duncan MacKinnon, a Canadian living in New York City, and Alonzo T. Cross of Providence, Rhode Island, created stylographic pens with a hollow, tubular nib and a wire acting as a valve. Stylographic pens are now used mostly for drafting and technical drawing but were very popular in the decade beginning in 1875. In the 1880s the era of the mass-produced fountain pen finally began. The dominant American producers in this pioneer era were Waterman, of New York City, and Wirt, based in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Waterman soon outstripped Wirt, along with many companies that sprang up to fill the new and growing fountain pen market. Waterman remained the market leader until the early 1920s.

At this time fountain pens were almost all filled by unscrewing a portion of the hollow barrel or holder and inserting the ink by means of an eyedropper—a slow and messy procedure. Pens also tended to leak inside their caps and at the joint where the barrel opened for filling. Now that the materials' problems had been overcome and the flow of ink while writing had been regulated, the next problems to be solved were the creation of a simple, convenient self-filler and the problem of leakage. Self-fillers began to arrive around the turn of the century; the most successful of these was probably the Conklin crescent-filler, followed by A. A. Waterman's twist-filler. The tipping point, however, was the runaway success of Walter A. Sheaffer's lever-filler, introduced in 1912, paralleled by Parker's roughly contemporary button-filler.

Waterman pens, including fountain model, made for Air France's Concorde

Meanwhile many inventors turned their attention to the problem of leakage. Some of the earliest solutions to this problem came in the form of a "safety" pen with a retractable point that allowed the ink reservoir to be corked like a bottle. The most successful of these came from F.C. Brown of the Caw's Pen and Ink Co. and from Morris W. Moore of Boston. In 1907 Waterman began marketing a safety pen of its own that soon became the most widely distributed such pen. For pens with nonretractable nibs, the adoption of screw-on caps with inner caps that sealed around the nib by bearing against the front of the section effectively solved the leakage problem (such pens were also marketed as "safety pens", as with the Parker Jack Knife Safety and the Swan Safety Screw-Cap).

Parker Duofold, ca. 1924

In Europe, the German supplies company which came to be known as Pelikan and was started in 1838, first introduced their pen in 1929, based upon the acquisition of patents for solid-ink fountain pens from the factory of Slavoljub Penkala from Croatia (patented 1907, in mass production since 1911), and the patent of the Hungarian Theodor Kovacs for the modern piston filler by 1925.

The decades that followed saw many technological innovations in the manufacture of fountain pens. Celluloid gradually replaced hard rubber, which enabled production in a much wider range of colors and designs. At the same time, manufacturers experimented with new filling systems. The inter-war period saw the introduction of some of the most notable models, such as the Parker Duofold and Vacumatic, Sheaffer's Lifetime Balance series, and the Pelikan 100.

Parker Duofold, ca. 1928

During the 1940s and 1950s, fountain pens retained their dominance: early ballpoint pens were expensive, prone to leaks and had irregular inkflow, while the fountain pen continued to benefit from the combination of mass production and craftsmanship. This period saw the launch of innovative models such as the Parker 51, the Sheaffer Snorkel and the Eversharp Skyline, while the Esterbrook J series of lever-fill models with interchangeable steel nibs offered inexpensive reliability to the masses.

By the 1960s, refinements in ballpoint pen production gradually ensured its dominance over the fountain pen for casual use. Although cartridge-filler fountain pens are still in common use in France, Germany, India and the United Kingdom, and are widely used by young students in most private schools in England and at least one private school in Scotland,[4] a few modern manufacturers (especially Montblanc and Visconti) now depict the fountain pen as a collectible item or a status symbol, rather than an everyday writing tool.

Nibs

Fountain pen nib labeled "IRIDIUM POINT GERMANY"

The modern fountain pen nib may be traced back to the original gold nib which had a tiny fragment of ruby attached to form the wear-point. Following the discovery of the Platinum group of metals which include ruthenium, palladium, osmium and iridium, a small quantity of iridium was isolated and used on the iridium-tipped gold dip pen nibs of the 1830s. Today, nibs are usually made of stainless steel or gold, with the most popular gold content being 14 karat and 18 karat. Gold is considered the optimum metal for its flexibility and its resistance to corrosion, although gold's corrosion resistance is less of an issue than in the past because of better stainless steel alloys and less corrosive inks. Gold nibs are tipped with a hard, wear-resistant alloy that typically uses metals from the platinum group. The tipping material is often called "iridium", but there are few, if any, penmakers that still use tipping alloys containing the metal.[5] Steel nibs may also have harder tips; those with un-tipped steel points will wear more rapidly due to abrasion by the paper.

Detail of a Visconti stainless steel nib and feed.

The nib usually has a slit cut down its centre, to convey the ink down the nib by capillary action, as well as a "breather hole" of varying shape to promote the exchange of air for ink in the pen's reservoir. The breather hole also acts as a stress relieving point, preventing the nib from cracking longitudinally from the end of the slit as a result of repeated flexing during use. The whole nib narrows to a point where the ink is transferred to the paper. Broad calligraphy pens may have several slits in the nib to increase ink flow and help distribute it evenly across the broad point. Nibs divided into three 'tines' are commonly known as 'music' nibs, as their line, which can be varied from broad to fine, is suited for writing musical scores.

Although the most common nibs end in a round point of various sizes (fine, medium, broad), various other nib shapes are available. Examples of this are oblique, reverse oblique, stub, italic and 360 degree nibs.

Mabie Todd Swan flexible 14k nib.

Fountain pens dating from the first half of the 20th century are more likely to have flexible nibs, suited to the favored handwriting styles of the period (e.g.: Copperplate script and Spencerian Script). By the 1940s, writing preferences had shifted towards stiffer nibs that could withstand the greater pressure required for writing through copy paper to create duplicate documents. Furthermore, competition between the major pen brands such as Parker and Waterman, and the introduction of lifetime guarantees meant that flexible nibs could no longer be supported profitably. In countries where this rivalry was not present to the same degree, for example the UK and Germany, flexible nibs are more common. Nowadays, stiff nibs are the norm as people exchange between fountain pens and other writing modes. These more closely emulate the ballpoint pens modern users are experienced with, but are often described as feeling like "writing with a nail" by those who prefer the feel of a more flexible nib. (Nibs, especially more flexible nibs, can be easily damaged by ballpoint users who write with excessive pressure. Ideally, a fountain pen's nib glides across the paper using the ink as a lubricant, and requires no pressure.)

An apparent common denominator of good quality nibs—as long as they have been used appropriately—is that they are long lasting, often lasting longer than the lifetime of the original owner. Many vintage pens with decades-old nibs can still be used today.

Hooded nib of a Hero Pen
The Integral Nib of a Parker 50 (Falcon)

Other styles of fountain pen nibs include Hooded Nibs (Examples of hooded nibs are Parker 51, Parker 61, or the current (2007) Parker 100, Hero 329), Inlaid Nibs (e.g., Sheaffer Targa or Sheaffer P.F.M) or Integral Nib (Parker T-1 and Falcon, Pilot Myu 701), which may also be ground to have different writing characteristics.

Users are often cautioned not to lend or borrow fountain pens as the nib "wears in" at an angle unique to each individual person. A different user is likely to find that a worn-in nib does not write satisfactorily in their hand and, furthermore, creates a second wear surface, ruining the nib for the original user. This, however, is not a point of concern in pens with modern, strong tipping material, as these pens take many years to develop any significant wear.

Filling mechanisms

A squeeze filler by Hero

The reservoirs of the earliest fountain pens were mostly filled by eyedropper. This was a cumbersome and potentially messy process, which led to the commercial development of alternative methods that quickly dominated the industry. However, newer, more convenient filling mechanisms have never entirely displaced "eyedropper-filling" pens in the marketplace, and they remain widely manufactured today. For some the simplicity of the mechanism, coupled with the large volume of ink it can encapsulate, compensates for the inconvenience of ink transfer.

After the eyedropper-filler era came the first generation of mass-produced self-fillers, almost all using a rubber sac to hold the ink. The sac was compressed and then released by various mechanisms to fill the pen.

The Conklin crescent filler, introduced c. 1901, was one of the first mass-produced self-filling pen designs. The crescent filling system employs an arch-shaped crescent attached to a rigid metal pressure bar, with the crescent portion protruding from the pen through a slot and the pressure bar inside the barrel. A second component, a C-shaped hard rubber ring, is located between the crescent and the barrel. Ordinarily, the ring blocks the crescent from pushing down. To fill the pen, one simply turns the ring around the barrel until the crescent matches up to the hole in the ring, allowing one to push down the crescent and squeeze the internal sac. Several other filling mechanisms were introduced to compete, such as the coin-filler (where a 'coin' or 'medallion' was supplied along with the pen) match-filler using a matchstick and a 'blow-filler' which unsurprisingly required the pen owner to blow into the barrel to depress the internal sac. In 1907 Walter A. Sheaffer patented the Lever filler, using a hinged lever set into the pen barrel which pressed down onto a bar which in turn compressed the rubber sac inside, creating a vacuum to force ink into the pen. Introduced in 1912, this innovation was rapidly imitated by the other major pen makers. Parker introduced the button filler, which had a button hidden beneath a blind cap on the end of the barrel; when pressed, it acted on a pressure bar inside to depress the ink sac.

Following the crescent filler came a series of systems of increasing complexity, reaching their apogee in the Sheaffer Snorkel, introduced in 1952. With the advent of the modern plastic ink cartridge in the early 1950s, though, most of these systems were phased out in favour of convenience (but reduced capacity).

Screw-mechanism piston-fillers were made as early as the 1820s, but the mechanism's modern popularity begins with the original Pelikan of 1929, based upon a Croatian patent. The basic idea is simple: turn a knob at the end of the pen, and a screw mechanism draws a piston up the barrel, sucking in ink. Thus they were easier to fill. This is also why this filling mechanism is very popular in today's fountain pens. Some of the earlier models had to dedicate as much as half of the pen length to the mechanism. The advent of telescoping pistons has improved this.

The Touchdown Filler was introduced by Sheaffer in 1949. It was advertised as an “Exclusive Pneumatic Down-stroke Filler.” To fill it, a knob at the end of the barrel is unscrewed and the attached plunger is drawn out to its full length. The nib is immersed in ink, the plunger is pushed in, compressing and then releasing the ink sac by means of air pressure. The nib is kept in the ink for approximately 10 seconds to allow the reservoir to fill. This mechanism is very closely modeled after a similar pneumatic filler introduced by Chilton over a decade earlier.

The Sheaffer "Snorkel" system filled the ink sac through a retractable tube above and behind the pen point. This eliminated the need to dunk the point in ink, and the subsequent need to wipe it.

A capillary filling system was introduced by Parker in the Parker 61 in 1956.[6] There were no moving parts: the ink reservoir within the barrel was open at the upper end, but contained a tightly rolled length of slotted, flexible plastic. To fill, the barrel was unscrewed, the exposed open end of the reservoir was placed in ink and the interstices of the plastic sheet and slots initiated capillary action, drawing up and retaining the ink. The outside of the reservoir was coated with Teflon, a repellent compound that released excess ink as it was withdrawn. Ink was transferred through a further capillary tube to the nib. No method of flushing the device was offered, and because of problems from clogging with dried and hardened ink production was eventually stopped.[7]

Around the year 2000 Pelikan introduced a filling system involving a valve in the blind end of the pen, which mates with a specially designed ink bottle. Thus docked, ink is then squeezed into the pen barrel (which, lacking any mechanism other than the valve itself, has nearly the capacity of an eyedropper-fill pen of the same size). This system had been implemented only in their "Level" line, which was discontinued in 2006.

Most pens use either a piston filler or a cartridge; many pens can use a converter, a device which has the same fitting as the pen's cartridge and has a filling mechanism and a reservoir attached to it. This enables a pen to either fill from cartridges, or from a bottle of ink. The most common type of converters are Piston-style, but many other varieties may be found in vintage Sheaffers.

Inks

Inks intended for use with fountain pens are water-based. These inks are commonly available in bottles. Plastic cartridges came into use in the 1960s, but bottled inks are still the mainstay for most fountain pen enthusiasts. Bottled inks usually cost less than an equivalent amount in cartridges and afford a wider variety of colors and properties.[attribution needed]

As fountain pens are not tightly coupled with their inks as is with ballpoints or gel pens, some care must be taken when selecting an ink. Fountain pen inks are almost exclusively dye-based because pigment particles usually clog the narrow passages.[8] Some pigmented inks do exist for fountain pens, but these are uncommon. Normal Indian ink cannot be used in fountain pens because it contains shellac as a binder which would very quickly clog such pens.[9]

Inks ideally should be fairly free-flowing, free of sediment, and non-corrosive, though this generally excludes permanence and prevents large scale commercial use of some colored dyes. Proper care and selection of ink will prevent most problems.[10]

Cartridges

Most European fountain pen brands (for example Caran d'Ache, Faber-Castell, Michel Perchin, DuPont, Montegrappa, Stipula, Pelikan, Waterman, Montblanc, Monteverde, Sigma, Delta, Italix and Rotring) and some pen brands of other continents (for example Bexley, Retro51, Tombow and Acura) use so called "international cartridges" (AKA "European cartridges" or "standard cartridges" or "universal cartridges"), in short (38 mm in length, about 0.75 ml of capacity) or long (72 mm, 1.45 ml) sizes, or both. It is to some extent a standard, so the international cartridges of any manufacturer can be used in most fountain pens that accept international cartridges. Also, converters that are meant to replace international cartridges can be used in most fountain pens that accept international cartridges. Some very compact fountain pens (for example Waterman Ici et La and Monteverde Diva) accept only short international cartridges. Converters can not be used in them (except for so-called mini-converters by Monteverde). Some pens like modern Waterman pens have intentional fittings which prevent the usage of short cartridges. Such pens can only take a proprietary cartridge from the same maker, in this case the long Waterman cartridges

Many fountain pen manufacturers have at various times developed their own proprietary cartridges, for example Parker, Lamy, Sheaffer, Cross, Sailor, Platinum, Platignum, Waterman and Namiki. Fountain pens from Aurora, Hero, Duke and Uranus accept the same cartridges and converters that Parker uses and vice versa (Lamy cartridges, though not officially, are known to interchange with Parker cartridges also). Cartridges of Aurora are slightly different from cartridges by Parker. Hero, Duke and Uranus have made few fountain pens that take international cartridges. Corresponding converters to be used instead of such proprietary cartridges are usually made by the same company that made the fountain pen itself. Some very compact fountain pens accept only proprietary cartridges made by the same company that made that pen, for example Sheaffer Agio Compact and Sheaffer Prelude Compact. It is not possible to use a converter in them at all. In such pens the only practical way to use another brand of ink is to fill empty cartridges with bottled ink using a syringe.

International cartridges are closed by a small ball of glass, held inside the ink exit hole by glue or by a very thin layer of plastic. When the cartridge is pressed into the pen, a small pin pushes in the ball, which falls inside the cartridge. The Parker cartridges do not have such a ball. They are closed by a piece of plastic, which is broken by a sharp pin when inserted in the pen.

While cartridges are mess free and more convenient to refill on the go than bottle filling, converter and filling systems are still sold. Non-cartridge filling systems tend to be slightly more economical in the long run since ink is generally less expensive in bottles than in cartridges. Advocates of bottle-based filling systems also cite less waste of plastic for the environment, a wider selection of inks, easier cleaning of pens (as drawing the ink in through the nib helps dissolve old ink), and the ability to check and refill inks at any time. The Noodler's Ink Company even goes so far as to maintain a "zero disposable cartridge" policy and refuses to issue any cartridges due to their high levels of economic and environmental waste (a single bottle of ink can represent a few hundred international cartridges at between 350% and 780% the cost of similar bottled ink on a volume/dye content comparison depending upon different brand costs). Disposable pen cartridges have been found floating in most ocean trash samples[citation needed] another reason for Noodler's refusal to cooperate with the predominant filling method used by modern pen companies.

Fountain pens today

A modern metal and plastic fountain pen
A modern resin fountain pen fitted with a vintage nib

Today, fountain pens are treated as luxury goods and often as a status symbol. Fountain pens may serve as an everyday writing instrument, much like the common ballpoint pen. Good quality steel and gold pens are available inexpensively today, particularly in Europe and China where there are "disposable" fountain pens such as the Pilot Varsity.

Fountain pens can serve various artistic purposes such as expressive penmanship and calligraphy, pen and ink artwork, and professional art and design. Many users also favor a fountain pen's air of timeless elegance, personalization and sentimentality,[11] which computers and ballpoint pens seem to lack,[12] and often state that once they start using fountain pens, ballpoints become awkward to use due to the extra motor effort needed and lack of expressiveness.

For ergonomics, fountain pens may relieve physiological stress from writing; alternatives such as the ballpoint pen can induce more pain and damage to those with arthritis. Some also believe it could improve academic performance.[13]

Some fountain pens are prized as works of art. Ornate pens may be made of precious metals and jewels with cloisonné designs. Some are inlaid with lacquer designs in a process known as maki-e. Avid communities of pen enthusiasts collect and use antique and modern pens and also collect and exchange information about old and modern inks, ink bottles, and inkwells. Collectors may decide to use the antiques in addition to showcasing them in closed spaces such as glass displays.

A modern fountain pen, writing in cursive script

See also

References

  1. ^ Bosworth, C. E. (Autumn 1981). "A Mediaeval Islamic Prototype of the Fountain Pen?". Journal of Semitic Studies XXVl (i). ""We wish to construct a pen which can be used for writing without having recourse to an ink-holder and whose ink will be contained inside it. A person can fill it with ink and write whatever he likes. The writer can put it in his sleeve or anywhere he wishes and it will not stain nor will any drop of ink leak out of it. The ink will flow only when there is an intention to write. We are unaware of anyone previously ever constructing (a pen such as this) and an indication of 'penetrating wisdom' to whoever contemplates it and realises its exact significance and purpose. I exclaimed, 'Is this possible?' He replied, 'It is possible if God so wills'."" 
  2. ^ a b Richardson, Hester Dorsey (1913). "Chapter XLVII: The Fountain Pen in the Time of Doctor Who". Side-lights on Maryland History, with Sketches of Early Maryland Families. Baltimore, Md.: Williams & Wilkins Co.. pp. 216–217. ISBN 0806314680. 
  3. ^ Staff writer, Canadian Intellectual Property Office. "Centenary of the Romanian Patent Office". WIPO magazine (Geneva, Switzerland: World Intellectual Property Organization) 2006 (1): 15. 
  4. ^ "Fountain pens boost 'self-esteem'". news.bbc.co.uk. November 13, 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/6143844.stm. Retrieved November 25, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Where's the Iridium?". The Nibster. http://www.nibs.com/article4.html. 
  6. ^ Match, Richard (September 1956). "Things you never knew about your pen". Popular Science Monthly (New York) 169 (3): 278. "it drinks its fill automatically, by a reverse application of our old friend capillary action" 
  7. ^ Conner, Rick (2005-01-20). "Parker 61". Penopoly a fountain pen website. http://www.rickconner.net/penoply/park.06.html. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Fountain pen inks aren’t all the same". Penfountain's Blog. 2010. http://penfountain.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/fountain-pen-inks-arent-all-the-same/. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  9. ^ Covington, Michael A.. "A Few Notes About Fountain Pens". http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/pens/. Retrieved Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Inks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". Richard Binder on Ink. http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/care/inks.htm. Retrieved 2011-02-16. 
  11. ^ "Title Unknown". japantimes.co.jp. https://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?file=fl20061224x2.html. Retrieved January 26, 2007. "the key word I was left with was "personal" -- not only because a fountain pen will over time change to suit your writing style, but because -- unlike a typewriter or a keyboard -- it will reflect your moods and feelings in the actual form of your writing" 
  12. ^ "Title Unknown". japantimes.co.jp. https://search.japantimes.co.jp/member/member.html?file=fl20061224x2.html. Retrieved January 26, 2007. "the unique feature of fountain pens that differentiates them from workaday ballpoints -- let alone pencils. Also, ballpoints are in their best condition when they are brand new, whereas fountain pens get better the more you use them, Toshifumi Iijima, another of the museum's staff explained." 
  13. ^ Mcginty, Stephen. "School brings back pens so pupils get write stuff". Edinburgh: news.scotsman.com. http://news.scotsman.com/teaching/School-brings-back-pens-so.2826355.jp. Retrieved December 11, 2006. "The school believes that mastering stylish handwriting with a fountain pen raises academic performance and boosts self-esteem." 

Further reading

  • Finlay, Michael (1990)). Western Writing Implements in the Age of the Quill Pen. Wheteral: Plains Books. ISBN 1-872477-00-3. 
  • Fischler, George; Schneider, Stuart (1992). Fountain Pens and Pencils. New York: Shiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-88740-346-8. 
  • Lambrou, Andreas (2003). Fountain Pens of the World. New York: Philip Wilson Publisher. ISBN 0-302-00668-0. 

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fountain pen — Fountain Foun tain (foun t[i^]n), n. [F. fontaine, LL. fontana, fr. L. fons, fontis. See 2d {Fount}.] 1. A spring of water issuing from the earth. [1913 Webster] 2. An artificially produced jet or stream of water; also, the structure or works in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fountain pen — Pen Pen, n. [OE. penne, OF. penne, pene, F. penne, fr. L. penna.] 1. A feather. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. A wing. [Obs.] Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. An instrument used for writing with ink, formerly made of a reed, or of the quill of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fountain pen — fountain pens N COUNT A fountain pen is a pen which uses ink that you have drawn up inside it from a bottle …   English dictionary

  • fountain pen — n ↑cap, ↑nib a pen that you fill with ink →↑ballpoint …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fountain pen — fountain ,pen noun count a pen that has a container inside that you fill with ink in order to write with it …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • fountain pen — ► NOUN ▪ a pen with a reservoir or cartridge from which ink flows continuously to the nib …   English terms dictionary

  • fountain pen — n. a pen in which a nib at the end is fed ink from a supply in a reservoir or cartridge …   English World dictionary

  • fountain pen — noun a pen that is supplied with ink from a reservoir in its barrel • Hypernyms: ↑pen • Part Meronyms: ↑ink cartridge * * * noun, pl ⋯ pens [count] : a pen with ink inside that flows to a special metal tip (called a nib) * * * ˈfountain pen… …   Useful english dictionary

  • fountain pen — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms fountain pen : singular fountain pen plural fountain pens a pen that has a container inside that you fill with ink in order to write with it …   English dictionary

  • fountain pen — pen with a reservoir for continuously supplying ink …   English contemporary dictionary


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