#DidYouKnow is a Blog Series on www.jmnorthup.com and www.nornstriad.com
There are so many things in life that we take for granted.  Things that once eluded the average person, yet today, are commonplace.  One such thing is the pen.
Why do I care?
First off, I love history.  I love science.  I am fascinated by invention.
Oh, yeah, and I am a writer, so…  there’s there.
Pens were originally invented in Ancient Egypt because scribes were trying to find a better method for  replacing the cumbersome stylus and clay tablets.  That is what brought the amazing reed pen.  These were made from single pieces of straw.  A straw reed would be sharpened at one end and a slit would be applied to allow the pigment (or ink) to flow down for marking the papyrus.
BENEFITS: not heavy or brittle like clay and more transportable.
CONS: they didn’t say sharpened long and too rigid.
The rigidity and inability to remain sharp lead to quill pens (whose only lacking was that they didn’t have an ink reservoir – first mention of one is 973 in Northwest Africa).  These were made from the feathers of large birds of flight that were sharpened to a point.  They were popular because they could maintain their points and remained so until steel points replaced them.
Really, innovation occurred in the 19th century.
Dip pens and pens with reservoirs were known and used before then, but the fountain pen (created by German inventor Daniel Schwenter) and ballpoint (patented 1888 in America) came in the 19th century along with modifications that made them more user-friendly and practical.  
Japan brought fiber and felt-tipped pens in the 1960’s, which developed into markers and highlighters.

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