The first practical fountain pen is credited to Lewis E. Waterman, a 45 year old American insurance broker.
He frustrated with inefficient pens of the day, invented the capillary feeding fountain, the first practical alternative to a pen dipped in an inkwell. Mr. Waterman produced the first widely successful modern fountain pen design and started the Waterman Pen Company in 1884.
Waterman was the first to use the term ‘fountain pen’ with the claim that his pen held ‘a fountain of ink’.
Lewis Waterman died in 1901, and his son Frank took over the successful pen business. The younger Waterman added a clip to the cap in 1905, which was nice improvement, but getting ink in the pen was still a messy process. The hands and clothes 0f writers grew black with ink.
Waterman’s director, M. Perrand, who invented the ink cartridge, refined this refilling process. He put the ink into a small glass tube with cork stopper. The concept was patented in 1935.
Fountain pens were widely used until the invention of the ballpoint in 1945. While fountain pen are still popular, the ballpoint pen has continued to gain a popularity so that it is the pen most frequently used and most frequently encountered by a document examiner.
In 2000 Newell Rubbermaid acquired the business including Waterman brands to make their Office Products Group the world leader in writing instruments with 3,000 different products.
Waterman Pen Company