The First Steel Pens

Boston Herald

PENS were formerly made from quills, the great defect of which was their speedy injury from use, and the consequent trouble of frequent mending. Attempts were made to fit small metal, or even ruby, points to the nib of the quill pen, but the delicacy of fitting was so great that but little success was attained.

It is only a century ago that pens began to be made wholly of metal. They consisted of a barrel of very thin steel, and were cut and slit so as to resemble the quill pen as closely as possible. They were, however, very indifferent, and, being dear, they were not in common use. Their chief fault was their hardness, which produced a disagreeable scratching on the paper.

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