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U. S. Government Standard Ink Recipe in Popular Science (January 1935, p. 54) 11.7 g tannic acid 3.8 g gallic acid 15 g iron sulfate 3 cc hydrochloric acid (aka muriatic acid; or 2 cc sulphuric acid) – used to prevent sediment forming 1 g carbolic acid-- a preservative to prevent mold* 3.5 g china-blue aniline dye (water-soluble) 1000 cc distilled water *Have corner drug store make up a solution containing 5 or 10 cc of water, the entire amount being substituted for the 1 gram called for in the formula 1. First dissolve the tannic and gallic acid crystals in about 400 cc water. 2. In another beaker, containing 200 cc water, place the ferrous sulphate and the hydrochloric or sulphuric acid. 3. The dye then should be dissolved in 200 cc of water placed in a third container. 4. When all three solutions are ready, mix them together and add the carbolic acid solution and enough additional water to bring the total solution up to about 1000 cc in volume. A part of this water can be used to rinse out the containers. 5. Pour the resulting ink into a bottle, leaving practically no air space at the top, and stopper it tightly. The ink is then ready for aging, a process that may vary from 12 hours to several weeks. The longer the ink ages, the freer it will be of suspended particles. A good ink will show no sediment after standing for 24 hours. Skin-tight cappings may be placed on bottles by dipping the corked necks into a hot mixture of cooking gelatin, glycerin, and water. Note: the article also mentions using methyl violet dye for a violet ink (quantity not given) or nigrosine dye for a blacker ink. However, Pharmacist mentioned trying methyl violet dye and he had disastrous results with it. As per Pharmacist, I halved the water to make it fountain pen-friendly. I also substituted an equal amount of salicylic acid for the carbolic acid (it's less hazardous and less expensive that way). I also added 25 ml glycerol as a flow-moderator for fountain pens (it works equally well with dip pens, though, even with the changes). The ink is very waterproof. It goes down blue and oxidizes to black (on cotton papers this process is a little slower). Here is how it looks in different fountain pens (only the Hero 5028 felt dry to write with): And here's how it compares with other iron gall inks: