Understanding the workings of the fountain pens and their parts

Quite surprisingly, the modern fountain pens can detect their origin to the lowly quill derived from the birds’, preferably, a goose’s tail feather, the sharp end of which was dipped into the ink and used for writing. Coming to the fountain pens as people know today, with a nib and a reservoir, it can be traced from 1850s when there was a steady flow of ink pen patents and productions. The working of the best fountain pens has remained the same with those ancient pens with a considerable modification for which these pen users today hardly experience any kind of ink spillage and smudges here and there.

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The mechanism of earlier fountain pens

When you buy a fountain pen, you will see that its working is quite simple – the pen holds ink in a tank within the pen which is delivered through the nib via gravitational force and capillary action. The earliest range of fountain pens was often referred to as eyedroppers because eyedroppers were mainly used for filling up the tank with the ink. There were no sac or filling mechanisms that took up the space within the tank, and thus it could hold much ink, supporting longer and uninterrupted writing. But the barrel was made of hard rubber, which was the source of the problem. After some time, the warmth of the hand expanded the rubber tank where the nib is screwed with it giving way to leakage.

Various parts of the pen

The smooth working of the best fountain pens is made possible with the help of the major parts of the pen and their matchless functionality. A few parts of the ink pen include:

·        Cap of the pen: It goes without saying that the caps help in protecting the nib of the pen, and the earliest varieties of these pens had the slip-on caps which were later modified into screw-on caps as well as clutch cap and snap on caps. The metal bands which are normally found near the mouth of the hard rubber or plastic caps only play a decorative role. They help in reinforcing the portion of the cap that receives the maximum amount of stress and ceases the spreading of cracks in the cap lip.

·        Clip of the cap: The clip’s size, finish and decoration simply add to the personality of the pen and it is important because it’s the first thing that’s visible when you clip your pen somewhere.

·        Points: This is one of the most critical aspects of the pen which is made of sheet metal and even gold alloys of 14 or 18 carats in some expensive pens. Originally, gold was chosen as the point materials for the best fountain pens owing to their imperviousness to chemicals within the caustic inks. See more at Notedian

·        Feed: The function of the feed is to get the ink from the tank through the point to the nib. Feed designs in the best fountain pens are fairly critical and the ones available today are developed through considerable experimentation.

When you buy fountain pens either for yourself or for the purpose of the gifting, you will be surprised to see how well these elegant pens work.

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