Before the computer, before the typewriter, even before pen and paper were invented, people found ways to write. Ancient writing systems prove that since the beginning of time humans have sought ways to document their experiences and tell their stories. Believe it or not, there are many ancient forms of writing. Today, we will explore the quill pen.
A quill pen is a writing implement made from the feather of a large bird. Quills were used for writing with ink before the invention of the dip pen, metal-nibbed pens, the fountain pen, and, eventually, the ballpoint pen. The hand-cut goose quill is rarely used today, except occasionally as a calligraphy tool. The hollow shaft of the feather acts as an ink reservoir and ink flows to the tip. Quills were the principal writing instrument from the 6th to the 19th century, most of which were made from goose and swan feathers, and later, turkey feathers, However, when the metal pen began being mass produced in 1860, quill pens were used less and less. Quills are denominated ranked in quality based on where they were found on the bird's wing.The first called the pinion is that favored by the expert calligrapher, the second and third quills being very satisfactory also. No other feather on the wing would be considered suitable by a professional scribe.