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Fountain Pen

Updated on December 19, 2009

Fountain-pen, a pen which carries its own supply of ink which runs to the writing point as required from a reservoir in the holder. The self-filling type has a rubber reservoir for the ink, and is provided with means for compressing the reservoir whereby the latter sucks ink through the nib as pressure is released. Pens are also made with pistons in the reservoir. A less-used type is the stylographic, in which the writing point is formed by a fine tube; a needle pressed by a light spring normally closes this from within the reservoir, and when the writing point is pressed on the paper the needle is forced back and ink is able to flow. A popular modern development is the ball-pointed pen. The writing-point is a small rotating ball, fed by a reservoir of viscous, quick-drying ink, with a basis of gelatine. First invented by Ladislas Biro in Hungary, it is now made in many countries. Fountain-pen barrels are now made from plastic materials such as bakelite, cellulose acetate, ebonite, and other substances, which can be given a highly decorative appearance.


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