What is a Fountain Pen Anyway?

Fountain pen

As I strolled past the sale table at Staples the other day I noticed a lovely Cross fountain pen was on sale for a very reasonable price.  I ruined the last one I had by printing with it, so I was cautious, but I couldn’t resist.  I love fountain pens.

The first time I ever used one was in grade four.  In those days we didn’t have cartridges like this one does but rather there was a little rubber squeezer (not a technical term) on the shaft safely tucked under a casing.  You unscrewed the casing and pressed the cylinder together to force air out and then put it in the ink bottle to draw the ink up into it as you released the rubber.

My classmate, Glen Ferguson, may recall that he filled his and then proceeded to squirt the ink back out of the pen onto my nice new pink suit.  At nine, things like that are easily forgiven but not forgotten.

The history of the pen goes all the way back a few thousand years to the quill pen used by the scholars and scribes of old who dipped it in ink and then took the words to ancient parchment or cloth.

My modern one has a cartridge, but it still has the wonderful combination of scratch and skate as words become visible in the deep black liquid which takes a few moments to dry.

Somehow words written with a fountain pen seem more real to me.  They require a little more thought than the words written with ball point pen or on the keys of the computer.  They are sort of like the Velveteen Rabbit.  They are real because they require some effort and love.  They are not just empty and effortless but truly flow from the instrument to the paper.  fountain pen parts

My grandchildren who are not learning cursive writing or calligraphy like I did will never know the pleasure and joy of making thoughts appear on a page with this fabulous tool.  They will have missed a great lesson.



About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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1 Response to What is a Fountain Pen Anyway?

  1. Randal Oulton says:

    Hi, I’m not sure what the means, “ruin it by printing”? You mean that writing out non-cursive letters can ruin a fountain pen??

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