Historic Quill & Document Co.

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The History of The Quill Pen

The writing Quill pen came into use in the seventh century after the Reed pen, and remained the preeminent writing instrument for most of the Western World for over a thousand years. Some of the best pens were made from the flight feathers of geese. The word pen comes from the Latin word "Penna" which means feather. After plucking the wing feathers, the barrel or shaft needed to be carved. To cut the pens a sharp knife was needed, hence the word "penknife". Scribes and stationers carved, sharpened, and slit the point (nib) for writing, hence the word "stationary". No two quills write the same because of the development of the shaft and the carving by the quill maker. Therefore, each pen is as unique as the writer. It is a tedious task and a skilled art to select, clean, and trim each writing quill.

The Quill Pen Creates History

"One drop of ink makes thousands, perhaps millions think." -----Lord Byron
Nothing has so affected our lives and history as the Quill Pen. Who can forget the power of the quill in the hands of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Paine, as they wrote chapters in American history?
"These are the times that try men's souls"----- "When in the course of human events"----- "We the people of the United States"-----Stirring words written by courageous determined people with the one instrument that is mightier than the sword.
Early scribes wrote and decorated the pages of their manuscripts including the Bible with the quill pen, while others were penning the Magna Carta. Even artists were signing their works of art with the quill. Wars were started, won and lost, and some were even averted by the stroke of the quill pen. Great works of literature, daily ship logs, correspondence and historical documents that changed the world, such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were written and signed with the quill pen.

Why The Goose Quill Pen Writes So Well

When the quill maker hand crafts quills, not all flight or wing feathers can be used. Sometimes only two or three feathers can be utilized from a goose. For normal writing the nib must be carved to a very fine point. A slit is then put in the base of the shaft for the ink to travel to the tip. The goose shaft has the unique characteristic to hold the ink until light pressure is applied allowing the ink to flow. The quill must then be sanded to eliminate any splattering of ink while writing and to allow the point to glide smoothly across the surface. When using the quill pen you should always clean the ink off the nib after use. When writing with a quill you should use a light touch and a slanted hand. Regular use and practice will help the quill to write at its best. The entire pen is completely washable. Submerse the whole pen in warm soapy water, rinse and when it is dry it will return to its natural shape. Each feather has millions of interlocking barbs with a light sheen of oil that causes the feather to return to its original shape.

A Word About Ink

The use of colored fluids for drawing characters on parchment, hide, or cloth was common in ancient Egypt and China at least as early as 2000 B.C. Ancient writings that are still preserved often used inks based on lampblack (carbon black), a finely ground pigment dispersed in water or oil, and sometimes stabilized with a vegetable gum or glue. It was allowed to dry and then mixed with water to form ink. Carbon black provides excellent opacity and is not affected by moisture or light. Other inks were made from indigo from the galls of oak and nut trees, from berries, and from the ink fluids secreted by octopus, cuttlefish, and squid.

The Company

Our founder began hand carving and trimming quill pens over 50 years ago. We have locations in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. We carve and ship over a hundred thousand pens a year to a few select museums around the globe. Some of our clients include The Queen of England, The White House, The U. S. Supreme Court, Independence Hall, and Television Documentary Companies.


For the first time in our company's history we are making our quill pens, powered ink, and documents available to the public exclusively through the Internet .

Why You Need A Quill Pen

Authentic writing quill pens are seldom available anywhere else. The beauty of the white goose quill in your home or office, placed on your desk or table is unique and unmatched in style and elegance. With a little practice, not only will you will enjoy writing with the quill, your penmanship will improve, and your correspondence will become something to be admired. Make your signature stand out. Feel the excitement as the pen glides along its journey of creating remarkable letters and documents for you.

Teachers and Classrooms

After demonstrating the quill pen to thousands of students at various museums and historic sites, we saw their excitement and genuine interest in the goose quill pen. We are convinced that by writing with this pen , the students outlook about school begins to change. This was confirmed by the long lines in which they wait just to be able to sign their names with the quill. Ask a child after seeing a picture of the quill pen if they would like to write with one. The answer is going to be a resounding "yes". WOW! Finally something positive about a school subject. You see, once they write with the quill pen they begin to ask questions about it. Hence "English", Hence "History". It helps give birth to a whole new attitude.
People have asked us for years to make available our quills.
Now WE Have Done It!!!
Good luck and happy writing with your goose quill pen.

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Ordering Information

Writing Quill Pen Package 101 Includes:

One Handcarved, White Goose-feather Quill Pen with Handcarved Writing Nib
2 Packages of Powdered Ink
Ink Bottle With Cork
Bottle for Pen Holder
History of the Quill Pen Instructional Brochure

Writing Quill Pen Package 201 Includes:

One Handcarved, White Goose-feather Quill Pen with Handcarved Writing Nib
2 Packages of Powdered Ink
History of the Quill Pen Instructional Brochure
Unique Designed Brass Desk Set with Ink Bottle

Click here to download the order form in ASCII format.
The order form contains a full description of products offered and pricing.
Click here to view the products. (Two 45K JPEG images)

Send email to wrsmith3@sat.net with questions regarding purchasing information.

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