Who invented the pen?
The pen, as we know it, had plenty of ancestors. First there were flints, used to scratch messages into, say, cave walls. Early man also used plant juices and even blood as ink, and his fingers as the pen. The Chinese figured out how to use animal hair as brushes for writing. Chalk and clumps of earth were also early writing instruments. Ancient Egyptians fashioned the first real pen, that is, an instrument that held a writing liquid. The pen point was copper attached to a hollow stem. It wasn’t until paper really took off as a medium in the Middle Ages that men figured out that the wing feathers of geese, crows or swans made great pen tips. The tip was pointed and split so the ink could flow down it rather evenly. The first fountain pens were made in the United States in the 1880s and the ball-point pen, most commonly used today, evolved during the 20th century.