While quills are rarely used as writing implements nowadays, they are still manufactured as specialty goods, mostly for enthusiasts. Such quills typically feature metal nibs or are even furnished with a ballpoint pen inside to eliminate the need for a separate ink supply.
Quills were originally made from the feathers of geese, ducks, and other birds. However they can also be made from the tails or backbones of animals such as porcupines or rabbits. They are usually very finely tuned using a tool called a quill grinder which reduces the length of the feather or bone to about 1/8th of its original size. The reduced size makes the tip of the quill more flexible which is desirable for writing purposes.
People have been using quills since ancient times. The first written reference to their use comes from China around 220 B.C. They were later adopted in Europe around 50 A.D.
You might be wondering why people would want to use something that looks so outdated? Well, quills are much better at holding an ink flow than your typical stick. This means less ink needs to be used which saves money and resources. Also because of their flexibility you can write with less effort which comes in handy when you're old or sick.
In modern day society people tend to use computers instead.
A quill is a writing implement created from a big bird's moulted flying feather (ideally a main wing-feather). Before the creation of the dip pen, the metal-nibbed pen, the fountain pen, and, finally, the ballpoint pen, quills were used to write with ink. Today they are used in art and craft projects.
Quills are used for writing because of their fine tip and soft shaft. They are also used as fishing hooks, sewing needles, and toothpicks. The word "quill" comes from Latin quadratus, meaning "four-sided". This refers to the shape of a mature feather.
During maturation, a feather grows continuously for about two years before it reaches its maximum length. At this point, the feather begins to decay because there is no more growth potential in itself so it must be replaced with a new one. Once maturated, the feather can no longer grow anymore but it still remains very flexible and can be cut into fine points called "quills".
People have been using feathers instead of tools to write with since at least 300 B.C. However, it wasn't until much later that people started harvesting large numbers of birds and thus began the age of mass extinction. The early writers used whatever feathers was available to them which usually meant chickens or other species not particularly useful for flight. As we will see, different types of feathers were used for different purposes.
Traditionally, quill pens were produced from the flying feathers of huge birds such as geese and swans. Prior to the introduction of metal dip pens, quill pens were the greatest writing devices available. Even in current times, quill pen instruments are favoured in calligraphy due to their crisp and flexible strokes, which modern steel pens cannot equal.
In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci invented a method for manufacturing pens from chicken feathers, but they did not become popular until much later. The French government banned the use of real bird feathers in pen manufacture because they considered it cruel! As an alternative, people started using wood, horn, or bone. In 1770, the first steel pen was manufactured in Sheffield, England.
Even today, there are companies that manufacture quality quill pens. They usually use turkey or goose feathers instead of swan or geese feathers because they are easier to obtain. However, even these modern quill pens are mostly made from synthetic materials in China because it is impossible to produce them otherwise. Although they serve as a good substitute, rubber and plastic pens have some limitations that real feather pens do not. They will fade when exposed to sunlight or dry heat, and they won't stand up to cold temperatures very well.
People have been using metal tools to make pens since the 16th century. But only in recent years has this technique become popular again.
Quills were used until metal pens became mass-produced in the nineteenth century, although they are still used in some circumstances today. The Greek and Roman writers used them to keep their notes brief and clear.
In medieval Europe, lawyers used quills to write down their speeches as they argued them before a jury or council. They would carefully remove the hair from the back of a chicken's neck to produce a quality pen.
In the early 1600s, Dutch sailors invented a method of making wooden pens from hollowed-out trees. These were much better than steel pens at that time because they didn't break when dropped on the ground or water.
In 1770, Henry Fox Talbot created a paper milling machine that is now used to make quills. He called his device "A Machine for Making Quills."
Since then, metal pens have replaced quills in most cases. However, some people prefer the writing quality of quills and they can be bought online and in some craft stores.
The world's oldest known piece of written material is a quill pen and note dated about 3500 B.C. found in Iraq.
The Origins of Quill Pens A quill (or quill pen) is a writing utensil created from a huge bird's flying feathers that utilizes ink to produce markings on a writing surface. The feather's point is prepared so that it may be used for writing, and a hollow shaft of the feather retains the ink, which flows to the tip by capillary action. The word "quill" comes from the Latin quadrillus, meaning four-sided. Thus, a quill is any feather that forms part of a bird's wing structure that has two parallel sides and one flat side. The two parallel sides are called filaments and are made up of overlapping scales. One filament runs along each side of the writing instrument.
People have been using quills for writing since at least A.D. 75, when they were found in Pompeii. However, it wasn't until much later that people began to develop ways of keeping the quills moist so that they would remain flexible enough to use for writing.
People first learned how to preserve quills by drying them. This was probably done by hanging them up to air-dry. Later, people soaked them in alcohol or other liquids to make them more pliable and keep them moist longer. Today, quill pens are still made from natural materials such as wood, bone, horn, and even plastic. But most commercially available quill pens are made from chicken feathers because they are readily available and relatively inexpensive.
A quill pen is a writing utensil constructed from a big bird's moulted flying feather (ideally a main wing-feather). Before the creation of the dip pen, metal-nipped pen, fountain pen, and, finally, the ballpoint pen, quills were used to write with ink. 14 October 2019 13 News [via Google].
Quill pens have been used for writing since ancient times. They are known from drawings on cave walls in France dating back to 30,000 B.C. The French word "quill" comes from the Latin callus, which means "to pluck or pick." Thus, a quill pen is a pen that is made from the plucked feathers of a bird.
Today, quill pens are popular among students and teachers of English as an affordable alternative to real pens. Quill pens are also useful when you do not want your handwriting to be seen by others because they cannot be typed either. Finally, quill pens do not run out of ink so they are good for writing notes or articles that you do not want to change later on.