The Roman alphabet, also used extensively for inscriptions in stone, was made entirely of straight lines. To write in the wax, Roman scribes used a stylus that was long and thin like a pen, but had a point on one end for writing, and a broad, flat area on the other end for erasing by smoothing the wax out.
The ancient Egyptians invented a writing surface called papyrus sometime in the third millennium B. 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.
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. These pens were lengths of reed cut to a point on one end and slit to facilitate the movement of ink. They had to be repeatedly dipped in ink, but this worked well enough that very similar pens made from different materials were used right up into the 20th century, and are even used by some artists and calligraphers today.
Papyrus didn't fold well because it became brittle as it dried, which is why early Western books were in the form of scrolls. In the East, where paper was available early on, a brush was used for writing. Because these brushes were thick but tapered to a fine point, ancient Chinese writing is composed of sweeping strokes with both thick and thin lines, and the art of calligraphy was highly regarded.
Papyrus was used in Europe, too, but there was such a demand for writing materials that the supply of papyrus reeds began to run out, so another material was sought. 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. This was called parchment or vellum. 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.
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. This pen gave more uses other than writing. You could highlight and color as well. The Discovery of The Cell Theory. Apartheid South Africa Legislative Laws Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl appearances.
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These days, when we want to handwrite something, we reach for a ballpoint pen, but it wasn't always so. There is a long history of writing with other kinds of tools before our writing instruments got as advanced as a pen with a supply of ink inside.
Writing did not just begin with a feather and ink! History of Writing Utensils Look into this timeline to see all about how the first writing utensil came .
Gel pens are one of the most modern writing tools and are beloved for their strong lines and nice colors. They are used by both professionals and amateurs because of these characteristics. Read more about history of gel pen. The history of writing instruments, which humans have used to record and convey thoughts, feelings and grocery lists is, in some ways, the history of civilization itself. It is through the drawings, signs, and words we've recorded that we've come to understand the story of our species.
However, according to HISTORY, today, around 8 billion pens, pencils, markers and highlighters are sold each year, and people all over the world are given the opportunity to record their own stories with the modern product of these historic writing utensils. HISTORY OF WRITING including The first writing, Evolution of a script, Cuneiform, Hieroglyphs and papyrus, Seals of the Indus valley, Chinese characters.