Who invented the fountain pen?
The earliest surviving fountain pens date to the early 18th (or possibly later 17th) century; they are made of metal, and most used cut quills as nibs, although gold-nibbed examples are also known. These are often called "Bion" pens, after the French royal instrument maker Nicolas Bion (1652-1733) who described them in a treatise first published in 1709. Bion made no claim to be their inventor, nor is there any evidence that he ever made such pens himself -- let alone, held a patent on them.
From the beginning of the 19th century, the number of fountain pen designs patented and produced began to multiply. Three major advances, however, paved the way for the fountain pen ...more