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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 14, 2007
Fountain pens in vogue again
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Fountain pens in vogue again

With a large variety of roller or ballpoint pens in fashion, the practice of using fountain pens appeared to have been forgotten by and large. But now, these pens are making a comeback, a style statement.

By Sandeep Datta

New Delhi, May 14 : With a large variety of roller or ballpoint pens in fashion, the practice of using fountain pens appeared to have been forgotten by and large. But now, these pens are making a comeback, a style statement.

Once used by the local Munshi ji or the accountant at a local shop, fountain pens are today a craze among style-conscious youth, especially in offices and among the intellectual class.

Many factors are responsible for this. The fact that a fountain pen is used delicately, gives strength to the theory that it improves handwriting.

There are many parents and school teachers in Delhi who want their kids to use fountain pen mainly for this purpose.

"It pains me to notice my son, an engineering student, having a shoddy handwriting. I believe if he starts using a fountain pen, there could be a sea change in its appeal on any notebook. But may be because he has to write with large speed that's why he has to use ball pens that spoils everything," said Meena Ratan, a housewife in Rani Bagh.

For many highly placed individuals, the possession of a quality fountain pen has always been a matter of pride and class.It literally sails on the paper, and I enjoy penning down old memories with it in my personal diary," said Chaudhary Shiv Das Dutta, a retired bureaucrat.

According to Rajiv Jain, the owner of Anant Stationers, one of the oldest stationery shops in Chandni Chowk, fountain pens are making a comeback, though it has always remained a favourite of refined gentry.

"It's true there was a slump in the number of people using fountain pens in the last one decade. But in cities like Delhi, the charm for fountain pens is reviving. A few public schools are encouraging its use over Gel or Pilot pens, claims Jain.tudents usually avoid fountain pens because of the tedious job refilling ink or for its delicate use.

Old fountain pen sellers find such fears petty. They say if a pen is handled with a little care, it can last long. If a pen with a big ink-tank is fully filled, it can last up to four to five days without any hassle.

"The refilling requires barely one minute after six to seven days. If it's held properly between the fingers, using a fountain pen can be a real pleasure," says Ram Kishore, another stationery shop owner at Chandni Chowk.

"Chartered Accountants, advocates and many high-ranking officials in Central or State Government offices and lot of old timers show a special craving for attractive fountain pens," says Kishore.

There are about 25 types of nibs ranging from rupees five to rupees 600 a piece in Delhi markets.

A nib usually lasts for four to five years. When broken, it can be easily replaced. A new nib may usually cost anywhere between rupees two to fifty for most types of the pen. However, quality nibs start from eight to nine rupees in Delhi.

"It is advised to wash the nib after 10 to 15 days in lukewarm water for best results. It is required to protect a nib from getting dry. Compared to any normal gel pen, a fountain pen is cost-effective," says Kishore.

In Delhi, even though Chinese brands are in high demand, but quality-wise it is the Indian brand pen that lasts longer.istorically, the first pen to carry and feed its own ink supply was the fountain pen, which wasn't perfected until late in the 19th century.

German inventor Friedrich Soennecken introduced the nib of the fountain pen.

The period from 1925 to 1940 is regarded as the zenith of the fountain pen era, with many beautiful and highly functional writing instruments appearing all over the world.

Many serious writers and artists regard fountain pens as the best tools for writing or drawing with ink on paper.

The modern ballpoint pen goes back barely sixty years, and disposable pens only emerged in the 1950s. The first pen to carry and feed its own ink supply was the fountain pen, which wasn't perfected until late in the 19th century.

ANI

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