Fountain pens ruled the world of writing for half a century or so, until the ball point pen was invented by László Bíró, a newspaper editor in Hungary.
The inventor of fountain pen is Lewis Waterman — an American insurance agent. As always, necessity led to the invention of the fountain pen and the necessity here was to prevent the insurance policy forms and the shirt pockets from being smudged due to leaky pens. Lewis Waterman (photo, above) found that the variations in the air pressure was the root cause of the problem. A higher pressure within the ink chamber of the pen would cause the ink to leak and lower air pressure would not enable the ink to flow smoothly. Keeping this scientific reason in mind, Waterman redesigned the nib of the pen with cuts (known as ink duct) to maintain air pressure. The world’s first leak-proof pen was presented by Lewis Waterman on February 12, 1884 after which the name Waterman became synonymous with fountain pens.