Pen Ingeneer and Designer
Over a period of five years, starting in 1878, I was employed with a German company as ingeneer and designer for pens. I was lucky, because product quality and consumer satisfaction weighed very highly for of this company’s executives during decision making. Since then, my passion for fountain pens has been ever increasing.
Thirty years later, in 2008, my passion for fountain pens wanted to be expressed through writing about it. Writing stories had been my hobby from about 1988. So, here I will tell you my stories about fountain pens. Amongst ingeneers we say: “A drawing says more than a thousand words”… and often more. Therefore, there will be images, too.
To Draw a Fine Line
The desire to draw fine, intricate and constant lines, in particular for writing, had led to the process of writing with a nib, bringing ink (stain) on paper (writeable surface) in a controlled fashion. For thousands of years, this has hardly changed. Fountain pens facilitate this process in a simplified way.
Principally, their structure has not changed over the last two, three hundred years. I can assure you, it has not changed during the last since 1980, because that’s when I was there. Research I undertook on some older fountain pens, reaching back into the early 1900, indicate the same.
Therefore, I assume my knowledge has not become obsolete. It appears to me, in the small enclave of fountain pens, technology has not progressed much at all, there seems to be no need for change. Alas, I have noticed, changes in manufacturing and material technology have reduced function and quality.
Fountain pen writers are special people, who, once they have embraced their fountain pen remain satisfied with and loyal to their pen/s and for them, tradition is of high significance. Due to this nature of their users, fountain pens, it seems to me, are one of the few products, which are still designed and manufactured with the intention to last.
Therefore, there is no innovative push (marketing’s motivation) in this marked except in styling and change in colour, finish and material. The user wants tradition and reliability and mostly shy away from over featured products (mobile phones).
Every now and then, I meet people, who talk about their fountain pen, and often, it is the one, I feel responsible for. I hear words of pride and joy. My fountain pen has been manufactured and sold since the early eighties. Multiply this time in number of days, by 12 hours a day in the beginning, later 24 hours a day, every twenty seconds, six pens. Its a big number.
This assures me, I have contributed towards creating positive feelings in our world. This makes me happy and proud. What a uplifting feeling this is.
What you find
The work published in this site is based on my own (re-) search for understanding the function of fountain pens. My experience, when using this knowledge adds tangible and practical forms of applying this understanding to the ingeneering design.
Occasionally, you may find me mentioning facts, which may sound like divulging company secrets. Far from it. Any mechanical ingeneer could grasp these principles, once they put their mind to those matters, because this is what I did, being a mechanical ingeneer and a designer.
I would like to finish with a sentence I found on the internet: “Today, a majority of fountain pen users use fountain pens as their primary writing instruments for reasons related to writing comfort, expressive penmanship, aesthetics, history and heritage.”
Above all… enjoy
Amadeus W. Penmacher
19 October 2008
About an inspirited Ingeneer Old-timer from my ingenious blog
A Writer’s Biography from my writer’s blog