July 22, 2009

A Fountain Pen of Note

One of my favorite exhibits on display at Monticello was Thomas Jefferson's fountain pen. According to the card, this pen, made of silver and gold, was used by Jefferson in 1824, two years before his death on July 4, 1826.

I don't have any pictures of the notebooks mentioned in the display, I did see one and it was quite ingenious. The notebook was a fan style bound collection of credit card sized ivory slats. Jefferson would write on the slats in pencil and then erase for re-use. Brilliantly durable.

The above image is a close up shot of the nib. I apologize for the low quality pictures, they were taken in low light without a flash, per the rules. Below, you can make out the initials "TJ" on the butt of the pen. Though not clear in the photo, they are actually quite legible.

I inquired about replicas at the gift shop, but unfortunately, none were for sale.

NOTE: I found a short blurb about Jefferson's involvement in the creation of the modern fountain pen here. The images displayed in the article are replicas of then pen shown in this post .

1 comment:

octoberchild said...

Really enjoyed the post, the photos, and the link...thanks for that.