What is so special about Fountain Pens? As you start reading, sooner or later, you will find: “There are so many aspects involved in the function of a fountain pen, and the demands for precision are so stringent, it must be a miracle that it works at all.”
You find the story about how this site came to exist on the page How it began. It also tells you a bit about me, where I am coming from and about my intentions. I enjoyed putting it all together, for you, with the hope that you get much pleasure from reading and discovering.
Welcome to my Fountain Pen Website
From 1978 to 1983, I worked for a German pen manufacturer and rather sooner than later, I arrived at the same point: There must be some magic involved in the function of fountain pens. Accepting magic was a big hurdle to jump, for an ingeneer. (If your wonder about my spelling, click on it and find out.) I did jump, and the rewards were magical.
During this time, my main project was to make a fountain pen work, which had been handed over to me as a visual design model. It took almost three years to complete the job. This site tells the stories about my search and adventures.
You won’t find long tables of test results nor scientific proof, since “the proof is in the pudding”. The pen is in production ever since, and all fountain pens of the company rely on the same functional components.
If you are left with any questions, ask me. Your questions help improve this site, and one thing is for sure, my enthusiasm increases proportionally with your level of interest and participation. Fair enough?
This site is structured, somewhat. Each topic starts with general information, then follows the scientific background, then technical and quality details and finally the production of the component. When you tackle an issue, I would highly recommend, start at the beginning.
Completed chapters are shown in the Table of Content ⇒⇒
Click on a title to get there.
The following chapters are completed (or in process). Click on their dark blue title, they are links to their pages. I included another page, which offers a summary of the standard components of a fountain pen, including all those topics, which still wait to be written.
The making of Ink – Components of Ink – Drying – The Perfect Ink – My Commentary on Comments of Clients
Ink is a significant part of writing, and I wonder why designers and ingeneers neglect it, often.
The Magic about Nibs – What is the purpose of the slit? – The “Breather Hole” – Control of Ink Flow – Pressureless Writing – Nib Manufacturing Process – Materials
It is the most significant part of a fountain pen. It is the point, where it all happens. Ink is transferred to paper.
How does it fulfil its role? – The Main Task – Physics needed to understand the function – Capillaries – Surface tension – Design – Test – Materials – Manufacture
It is the least understood component of a fountain pen. Since this component occupied me the most it fills the largest part of this site.
This blog has grown a lot since its inception, and for some of you, all this technical writing and diagrams can appear quite daunting. Send me a brief note about your interest and I would be delighted to offer you some direction. Click on Contact, and it will take you to my contact page.
Mark Twain said this: “None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen or half its cussedness, but we can try.”