Avatars of the World’s Mightiest Weapon From The Eighteenth Century


This saying has turned even more true today with the advent of the internet and social media, where words flow faster than thoughts thanks to smartphones and PCs. But for all of us to learn writing, we needed to tield pens and pencils, the oldest know writing tools on earth, and only then could we finish school and understand the significance of the smartphone culture around us.

With all due respect to the internet, we know that pen usage has diminished greatly today, because everything is being electronically generated, be it a simple bill or a business plan. Yet, many collectors of pens believe that the best models were available in the 19th century.

Did you know that pens were invented in India wherein feather stalks were used to write? Before that man used charcoal and chalk to note emotions in the form of drawings or scripts. But the writing tool got more diversified when the western world brought in different models and improvised. We have brought together the vintage avatars of pens from the colonial days of history. Sit back enjoy the models and watch how pens evolved through the 18th century.


A. This pen is from 1745 wherein the barrel design resembles th fountain pens of new world, but is actually a primitive form of well known fountain pens. There is no nib in this pen but a simple perforation that releases the ink automatically when upturned. Yes, this has no control on ink flow.

B. A rare creation from the eighteenth century, this is a dual worker. It has a slide pen on one end and pencil on the other and was used by butlers to take notes.

C. An American pen from the same era, this has a closed length of 5 cm and an opened length of 7 cm. The pen is a rare American creation since it uses 1.05mm pencil lead.

D. This is a pencil with a black rubber barrel and gold trimmed finish that is heavily carved. The open length is 9.7 cm, wherein the main mechanism is twist retraction.

E. The very first ink eraser looked something like this- a giant scraper.

F. A fancy pencil with a glass barrel and a hexagonal body, this sterling silver beauty was meant for the higher classes of society and resembles our ball pens of today to a great extent.

G. A 1.5 mm lead pencil that is entirely gold filled. The pencil is retractable and offers user friendly grip.

H. A forget me not pencil that is slender and suited for female use. The fancy brocade pattern on the sterling silver body shows the rarity of the creation.

I. The best example of how dual hexagonal shafts help in building great grip, this pencil has all the marks of being an English production with its sterling silver finish.


J. The historically omnipresent dip pen that was every aristocrat’s table companion, this has a gold filling and a wooden tapering end. Class? Yes.

K. A rare creation with pearl toppings and gold filled ends, it was called a Magic pencil by the maker Johnson.

L. An extra long pencil that is 9 cm in length and has an excellent ribbed alternating gold and black finish.

M. Retractable dip pen that has an improvised nib and a wooden taper that improves grip.

N. Another dip pen with a pearl end finish that adds grace to hands when the pen is being retracted.

O. A dual worker again this is a pen and pencil combination with the lead section screwed in at the end of the pen. The gold fill finish adds class to this American creation.

P. The first example of a ferrule is here, wherein the black taper is important and elongated and the main grip is around the gold filled ferrule. This is when the modern design of pens with grippers emerged.

Q. Plate steel nib and a classy barrel sets this long American dip pen apart from the others from that era.

R. A desk pencil that had a lead clutch that could be squeezed to get more out of the 2.5 mm lead. The body is made of rubber barrel and gold finish round end. Did Princess Diana have one on her desk?

S. An Edward Todd Magic Pencil, this gold finished pencil also has Molly engraved on it. And did you notice that cute ring in the end?


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