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Early Quill Fountain Pens


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I'm sure you've probably seen this, but if not:


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There is a very early patent (french?) that has a pen with 2 feathers making a pen that holds ink. Im not sure if you are after that one? I could remember somewhere seeing the drawing but sadly unable to locate it anymore :(.

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On 8/16/2021 at 6:28 AM, shalitha33 said:

There is a very early patent (french?) that has a pen with 2 feathers making a pen that holds ink. Im not sure if you are after that one? I could remember somewhere seeing the drawing but sadly unable to locate it anymore :(.

Yes that’s the one!

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On 8/16/2021 at 4:09 AM, OCArt said:

I'm sure you've probably seen this, but if not:


Hadn’t seen that. Thank you!

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I've done some study of those years ago just out of interest, if I recall it right , there is several design dated to those time that utilize multiple quill to made sort of a fountain pen


  • simplest is using 2 quill, one as typical normal used as per writing, the other with all feather stripped and with an outer diameter just enough so it can snug  fit into the first, this would had either scored or cut slit and the said use is to let the tip of the quill part ( along with the inner quill ) immersed in ink for a while and draw ink into the area between the 2 quill, essentially the Parker 61 capillary filler 16th century style ( not quite sure about the time frame though )
  • the same idea as above but with multiple quill one inside the other with cut slit so ink can flow from one to the other ( or rather seeps from one to another ) and used likewise , this is actually used in oriental bamboo brush also dated as far back as 6th century ( or earlier ) except the Brush use Bamboo and not quill and the cut slit is replaced by engraved grooves inside the bamboo
  • a closed end quill is used as a reservoir , aka cartridge style and insert into the quill with the intention that the ink can slowly flow or by squeezing, forced onto the writing part ( won't work today, the ink must be having pretty high viscosity for this to work so probably animal fat based carbon ink come to mind )
  • as the third one but with the closed end inner quill having the closed end pointing towards the tip and with carefully cut on the side close to the closed end forced shut but allow capillary action to happen between the inner cartridge and the outer writing part. I had difficulty understanding how they fill this
  • There was a mention somewhere that its possible to made something akin a fountain pen using quill with loose quill cut pieces stuffed into the writing quill itself to store ink, again I kind of wonder how they work and how they would fill

Pretty much all I ever read about them use the same capillary method to deliver ink just as we had feed doing that for our pens today but without the proper material the 15th to 18th century engineers use the same material as the quill itself. But since actual quill had to be aged, dried and processed, am not so sure the material can handle any kind of the say abuse but the idea seems sound. I've even experiment with the 1st and 2dn idea using plastic straws and yes they do work , just not sure how effective they would be with quill , which obviously its much less pliable than plastic straw & harder to shape and form.  

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