Writings

How to make a fountain pen

Tuesday, 6 Mar 2018

Fantastic transcription of an article from Scientific American (1879) on how fountain pens are manufactured. Comfortingly, not a lot has changed.

The nib is placed on a piece of pumice rock, which you can see the second worker holding. There are thin articulated gas pipes reaching out from the wall. At its end permanently burns a tiny flame, much smaller than the one on a cigarette lighter. The second worker holds the mouthpiece his hand and directs the flame towards the nib. When he blows into the pipe the flame forms a point and gets much hotter. Through adjusting the amount of air he blows he controls the temperature.)