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Fountain Pens - General
Fountain pens have their roots in old sharpened quills. To avoid having to constantly dip the nib of the pen in
ink, inventors began to develop mechanical fountain pens. The earliest-known fountain pen dates from 1702, and
numerous designs and patents appeared throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1884, Lewis Edson Waterman, an insurance agent, experimented with perfecting the capillary action in
fountain pens and designed the first practical fountain pen. Similarly, George Parker, a telegraphy teacher from
Wisconsin, invented a better fountain pen through his efforts to fix the pens he was selling as a second job. He
received his patent for the Parker Pen in 1889. Other notable early fountain pen manufacturers include the Conklin
Pen Company, Sheaffer, and Wahl, which later became Eversharp.
Collectors of vintage fountain pens are interested in the different innovations in pen technology that occurred
over the years, as well as the many attractive and interesting pen styles. Some collectors focus on just one brand of
fountain pen, such as Sheaffer or Montblanc, while others focus on a pen style or type of technology.
Fountain pens with rare types of nibs are valued at higher prices. The nibs themselves are collectible,
with some specialty nibs valued at up to $300
Montblanc pens, introduced in Germany in 1907, are considered one of the top international luxury pen brands.
Montblanc pens are easily identified by a white star on the cap
The Fulgor Nocturnus, made by Tibaldi of Florence, Italy, with 945 black diamonds and 123 rubies is the
current record holder as the world's most expensive fountain pen. It sold for $8,000,000 at auction in