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Benares House Gallery
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Fountain Pen
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Title: Fountain Pen
Identifier: 2006.1.30
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1930
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A dark green, red and white (pearlised) marbled plastic pen with silver coloured metal trim. The nib has the manufacturer's name with the model name "Ideal" and the country of origin "Canada". The manufacturer's information is repeated on the barrel of the pen impressed into the plastic. In addition the words "Fountain Pen" are added. .The screw top has a thin silver coloured band near the open end and imprinted on the top is again "Waterman's Made in Canada".

Lewis Edson Waterman (1837-1901) is cited as being the inventor of the first capillary feed fountain pen. According to tradition, Waterman worked as an insurance sales man who was thwarted on a policy sale by a faulty pen which only blotted the contract which the client took as an ill omen and decided not to complete the transaction. Waterman decided to improve on the pens available and came up with a fountain pen that had a feed for the ink. He began manufacturing pens in the early 1880s receiving a patent in 1883. L.E. Waterman Company became the world's most successful maker of fountain pens due in part to aggressive advertisements. By the 1920s, Waterman had subsidiaries in Canada (Montreal), France and the U.K. Waterman began to wane in the 1930s and finally in 1959 sold its American interests to Bic. The French subsidiary, JIF- Waterman still keeps the name and traditions of the original company alive today.
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