Ink & Pen analysis

The study of ink (recognizing type, usage, reactions) is a critical component to the world of memorabilia, both in terms of correctly determining era correctness, as well as authenticity.

Every ink, and well as the tool of application used, belongs to specific historical timelines;

PENS (general terminology for a writing implement that uses liquid pigment, i.e; ink see LABORATORY TESTING )

Single reed straw pens (cut and shaped length straw or length of bamboo) were first utilized on Ancient Egyptian papyrus manuscripts, and were the most common writing implement in antiquity. Inks from all civilizations of this ere consisted of lampblack (soot), animal glue (derived primarily from collagenous material present in animal hide or from the extraction of collagen present in animal bones, or derived from recycled gelatin), plants, and mineral inks based on such materials as graphite that were ground with water.

Exemplars of such can be found as of the 4th century BC (the age of Hellenistic Egypt / The Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, also known as the Saite).

Quills or kulmus (Cured molted flight feathers of large birds) was the primary writing instrument in the Western World due to their unmatched sharp stroke, greater flexibility, as well as their compatibility with parchment and vellum. Red and black inks included iron salts and ocher as a pigment, in addition to phosphate, sulfate, chloride, and carboxylate ions - Mixed with tannin from gallnuts (tree nut) as a thickener, and lead being used as a drier. * When first put to paper, this ink is bluish-black. Over time it fades to a dull brown.

Exemplars of such can be found as of the 6th century AD * In the Middle East and much of the Islamic world, quills were not used as writing implements. Only reed pens were present.

Metal nibs for dip pens (A dip pen or nib pen or pen nib usually consists of a metal nib with capillary channels like those of fountain pen nibs, mounted in a handle or holder) It can use waterproof, pigmented, particle-and-binder-based inks, such as India ink, drawing ink, traditional iron gall ink and acrylic inks—each of which damaging to fountain pens due to clogging and/or corrosion. Dip pens are also more sensitive to variations of pressure and speed, producing a line that naturally varies in thickness, capable of producing a finer line than fountain pens.

Exemplars of such can be found in as of 43AD in Ancient Rome.

Fountain pens (distinguished from earlier dip pens by using an internal reservoir to hold ink, eliminating the need to repeatedly dip the pen in an inkwell during use) was the first mass produced writing implement due to new worldwide manufacturing techniques being perfected cheaply and efficiently. Inks intended for use with fountain pens are water-based. Some pigmented inks do exist for fountain pens, such as "Carbon Black", however these are uncommon.

Exemplars of such can be found in Europe as of the 17th century *The exception being the journals of Leonardo da Vinci written during the Renaissance in a fountain pen of his creation.

Ballpoint pens (also known as a biro or ball pen, is a pen that dispenses ink over a metal ball at its point, i.e; over a ‘ball point’) are a cleaner and more reliable alternative to dip pens and fountain pens, are now the world's most-used writing instrument. The dyes used in blue and black ballpoint pens are basic dyes based on triarylmethane and acid dyes derived from diazo compounds or phthalocyanine. Common dyes in blue (and black) ink are Prussian blue, Victoria blue, methyl violet, crystal violet, and phthalocyanine blue. The dye eosin is commonly used for red ink.

Exemplars of such can be found as of the late 19th century.

Fiber or felt-tipped pens (Have their own ink source and a tip made of porous, pressed fibers - Marker pens and Highlighters work on similar principle) originating in Japan commonly using solvents for ink, such as toluene and xylene. As of the 1990’s their ink is usually consists of an alcohol base (e.g. 1-Propanol, 1-butanol, diacetone alcohol and cresols) - Making these the most durable and versatile of all pens in terms of range of uses on surfaces such as glass, plastic, wood, metal, and stone.

Exemplars of such can be found as of the 1960’s.

Rollerball Pen (these use ball point writing mechanisms with water-based liquid or gelled ink, as opposed to the oil-based viscous inks found in ballpoint pens.) originated in Japan. The opaque ink pigments used for these are typically copper phthalocyanine and iron oxides, and the gel (available in several bright and pastel colours, as well as opalescent, metallic, and glittery colours) consists of water and biopolymers, such as xanthan gum and tragacanth gum, as well as some types of polyacrylate thickeners. These less viscous inks, which tend to saturate more deeply and more widely into paper than other types of ink, give roller ball pens their distinctive precision writing qualities.

Exemplars of such can be found as of the 1960’s.