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  1. I got a new toy for my birthday, a digital microscope. I decided to test it out with a bag of unsorted dip pens I had on hand and so I took pictures of the difference between a turned-up tip and a Oval or Round or Ball or Dome point tip. (depending on branding). These types of tips were originally made to create a smooth-writing pen. Instead of a sharp tip resting on the paper, the deformation of the very tip of the pen created a broader surface and allowed for smoother writing across the paper. The earliest form was the turned-up tip. This was just by turning up the very tip of the tines to create the broader surface. This is a Barion Pen #45. It's harder to see from the tip view, but the side view shows it very clearly. And on the bottom you can see the slightly broader, more rounded surface. The next is a Spencerian #42 Gilt Point Dome Point. This is the Spencerian version of the type of point made by using a very small and very hard punch to create a small bowl shape into the very tip of the tines. This creates a round shape on the bottom which makes for a very smooth writing experience. And then the bottom of the Spencerian. The last pen is an Esterbrook 902 Oval Point. You can see the shape of the bowl or indentation is slightly different, but the effect is basically the same. These various kinds of tips were quite popular. Esterbrook's 788 was one of its best sellers. But because of the slightly broader surface area, you can't use these pens to get very fine hairlines. They will always make a slightly broader line than a sharp-pointed pen. As a result these were pretty much exclusively used for business, correspondence and other general uses, and not calligraphy. I think I'm going to like my new toy.

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