They were also used with fine brushes to illustrate manuscripts with figures, decorations, and images and become more and more popular from the 15th century on, when writing and flourished writing started to spread through the western world. Many important documents were written and signed with quills like Magna Carta and American Declaration of Independence.
The popularity of quills lasted until metal pens entered mass production in the 19th century but they are still used today in some cases. For instance: 20 goose-quill pens are placed at the tables each day the U. Supreme Court is in session. There are different methods of treating feathers to become quills. They all use large feathers only 5 or 6 largest from goose, swan or turkey although feathers of crow, eagle, owl or hawk can also be used and try to harden its shaft.
Some methods place shaft of the feather into hot ashes until it is soft. After that, father is flattened on a hard surface with a pen knife and rounded with fingers. The feather is cut down to 8 or 9 inches from the top because the ending of the feather tended to be a nuisance.
The shaft or base of the feather is then stripped of the filament left from the extraction from the bird. One thing that sets the quill apart in its manufacturing process is that it has a natural slit. The slit can be enlarged if needed with a knife. A nib is then formed similar to that of the reed pen but with one difference; the tip of the nib is cut at a degree angle.
Some nibs can be bent downwards if the desirable stroke needs to be very sharp or precise. For starters, the quill is as light as a feather Literally. The aerodynamics that the feather provides helps with the swiftness that occurs when you write.
The quill is definitely thinner than the reed pen and therefore, easier to handle. The quill and reed pen both share the ability to store ink due to capillarity but the quill is more versatile in writing miniscule scripts and perfecting strokes. For me, it was a fun experience writing with the quill; it gave me the same sense of time that the reed pen gave me. The nib on my pen was actually metal and not animal, so my experience may have not been as precise as I'd wanted it to be.
One problem that I did encounter was that Ink always dried up in my nib and therefore made it hard for me to hold onto ink. My nib also got bent to the point where ink just spilled out of the pen. Overall, the quill was a better experience than the reed pen. Ink Last but not least is the medium which connects the instrument to the paper; Ink.
Ink is just as important as any writing utensil because without it, nothing would get on the paper. The remains were then mixed with water. Tree gum was then added to keep the particles from clumping together. The gum also helped the ink stay on the papyrus. Between Ancient Egypt and Greece, the ink recipes were fairly the same but probably used different organic materials species of trees. Colored Inks, especially in Classical Antiquity, weren't as widespread. Egypt used the earth pigment iron oxide to pigment the ink a clayish red.
Most of the dyes from this time were from the ground or insects. As time progresses, discoveries are made about ink compositions in papyri and manuscripts. It was actually in use, though not popular, as early as the third century B. Medieval scribes used a metal-tipped bone stylus or a thin piece of lead called a "plummet" an ancestor of the pencil to mark out faint guidelines, then wrote using various types of pens, including reed pens, and pens cut from the flight feathers of large birds, called quill pens.
As metalworking became more refined, pen nibs were made of metal. Early metal nibs were durable and did not have to be sharpened like a quill pen did — though they still had to be dipped in ink every few letters — but they did corrode from the acids in early inks, and they were stiff and sometimes difficult to write with.
As metal technology improved, so did pen nibs. A few pens were even made of blown glass, but were not widely adopted, probably because they broke easily. Mechanical Pencils and Self-Replenishing Pens Though most pencils were graphite not lead in wood, what we call the mechanical pencil was developed surprisingly early.
Invented in , the "Everpointed Pencil" had a somewhat thicker lead than pencils do now, but the principle was the same. As we have seen, early pens all had to be dipped frequently in ink, so the invention of a pen with a reservoir that would last for many, many words was a big deal. The first of these pens, which we call fountain pens, was invented in though the earliest designs were not very practical and could be refilled as needed from a bottle of ink.
Various different refilling methods were devised, most involving some kind of built-in suction device, but fountain pens now can be refilled by inserting a plastic pre-filled cartridge. The initial invention of the ballpoint pen in resulted in a product that did not catch on. A truly practical ballpoint pen — also called a "biro" — first required the development of an ink of the right consistency to flow smoothly out of the pen without leaking.
Such an ink was finally developed in , though it was still many years before it was perfected.
Animal skin, prepared in just the right way, was found to be a durable surface that could even be scraped clean of ink and re-used if necessary.
With any new invention, a sea of copycats and imitations follows the initial discovery. Colored Inks, especially in Classical Antiquity, weren't as widespread. One problem that made me question myself as a student in this course, was the inefficiency of the nib after using it for so long. The fancy, fully plumed quill is mostly a Hollywood invention and has little basis in reality.
Archeologist have found these writing utensils in sites from Egypt and Greece, where most literature was produced during this time period. The nib acts essentially like a pen tip on a modern ballpoint pen. The initial invention of the ballpoint pen in resulted in a product that did not catch on. Invented in , the "Everpointed Pencil" had a somewhat thicker lead than pencils do now, but the principle was the same. If you have a number to harden, set water and alum over the fire; and while it is boiling put in a handful of quills, the barrels only, for a minute, and then lay them by. They all use large feathers only 5 or 6 largest from goose, swan or turkey although feathers of crow, eagle, owl or hawk can also be used and try to harden its shaft.
They were popular in the Western World from the 6th to the 19th century until steel pens appeared. Typically, the best quills are from turkeys due to their particular hard feather tips. Widely considered the first practical, mass-produced fountain pen, it gave writers the ability to carry around a pen with its own ink supply. This is THE mother hen of all pens. No other feather on the wing would be considered suitable by a professional scribe. For instance: 20 goose-quill pens are placed at the tables each day the U.
With the instrument also came the substance which was used to write. Well, this type of dependent relationship, noted above, exists between the writing surface and the writing instrument. Resulting mixture would be ink ready to use. Tools for Writing on Clay The very earliest writing known to history is found in the area now known as Mesopotamia, and it was impressed into clay tablets around B.
This is especially clear when we look at the evolution of pens that contain their own ink supply, but even early writing implements changed as other technologies, such as metallurgy, advanced. Papyrus didn't fold well because it became brittle as it dried, which is why early Western books were in the form of scrolls. Throughout Antiquity, this was the pen of choice but as societies advanced, so did technology and apparently the writing instrument too. It was made from layers of thin sections of reeds, and made such a practical surface that it was adopted all over the Mediterranean world, including Greece and Rome.
Typically, the best quills are from turkeys due to their particular hard feather tips. The best tool for writing on papyrus — which is much like a very textured paper and even gave paper its name — was a reed pen.
Other methods use hot water or hot sand, but the main idea is to cure the feather and make it more flexible so it can withstand longer writing. A nib is then formed similar to that of the reed pen but with one difference; the tip of the nib is cut at a degree angle. This process would be easy for people to follow and artisans to perfect. Around , an ink cartridge was introduced that was disposable, pre-filled, and made of glass or plastic. This is especially clear when we look at the evolution of pens that contain their own ink supply, but even early writing implements changed as other technologies, such as metallurgy, advanced.