The product of a long search for better writing instruments, fountain pens proliferated in this century. Indeed, they dominated the writing utensil market until the post-World War
II rise of the ballpoint. They are still considered to indicate a preference for quality over convenience. They're status symbols, and so today's desk sets disguise ballpoints as fountain pens. Produced during a time when illustration and embellishment were prized, they often resembled the jewelry of their era in their fine crafting and artistic appearance. Manufacturers marketed fountain pens as much on their looks as their performance, but Steinberg points out that the pens also facilitated a more artistic, individualistic script. His colorfully illustrated volume is a valuable addition to popular culture and collectibles collections alike.
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