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I - Ink
Posted On 11/10/2017 22:18:06 by chillipepper


How many of us can remember the Pen, Nib and the ‘Ink Well’  in the desks that were used in the Schools?...Along with those went the ‘Blotter’ for drying the Ink. I’m not sure what Grade I was in when we began using the Pen instead of the Pencils and Rubbers. It was about the time that we graded from printing words to Cursive…..I think I was in Grade 3.   I remember that there were two colours of Ink that we used. One was a dark blue and the other Red. The red ink was not used a lot by the students; however the Nuns/Sisters used it when correcting work. One sure couldn’t miss seeing the mistake when it was underlined with red Ink !!

The Ceramic Ink Well was on the top right of the desk next to the Groove that held the pens and pencils. I can’t remember any being on the left side for the children that were left handed.  Each morning before school commenced certain children were allotted to filling those Ink Wells. 

Learning to adjust to the Pen for some was difficult as the Pen had to be held in the correct position for the Ink to flow smoothly down the Nib. Sometimes if we dipped the Nib too deep into the Well and if we didn’t dab the nib onto the Blotter, excess Ink would drip onto our books and unlike the pencil it could not be erased. Thank goodness for the Blotters.

A favourite sport of mainly the boys when the Nuns/Teacher went out of the room for a few minutes was to make ‘Paper Planes’ with the Nibs  and using the bend of the Ruler to shoot these Nibs up to the Ceiling. The ceiling in our school was very high and it was only when a person looked upwards that they saw the ceiling riddled with these Paper Planes.   I don’t think the Teachers ever noticed as I cannot remember anyone ever getting into trouble for doing this.  The story goes that when the School was transferred/sold to the local Community, the Ceiling had to be replaced. No guess as to why?!!.

Back in those days Hand Writing with many people was an art….It was beautiful to see with the flowing curves of the letters and the slight slant to set it off. Sadly an art lost today. My parents and all in their generation had beautiful Cursive Hand Writing.

At home if we wanted to write in Ink we had Fountain Pens. These held a cylinder within the casing of the pen so it only had to be renewed every so often depending how much the pen was used. I remember a popular Gift given to people for their 21st Birthday or Special Occasions was a Gold or Silver Fountain pen inscribed with their Name and the Year on it. These Fountain Pens were treasured and people kept them for years, even after the Biro’s became popular.

Now when we think of Ink it is to refill the ink Tanks in our Printers!!.


Added Note--------An inkwell is a small jar or container, often made of glassporcelainsilverbrass, or pewter, used for holding ink in a place convenient for the person who is writing. The artist or writer dips the brush, quill, or dip pen into the inkwell as needed or uses the inkwell as the source for filling the reservoir of a fountain pen. An inkwell usually has a lid to prevent contamination, evaporation, accidental spillage, and excessive exposure to air. A type known as the travelling inkwell was fitted with a secure, screw lid so a traveller could carry a supply of ink in their luggage without the risk of leakage.


Inkwells gradually fell out of use in the early part of 20th century  as the reservoir fountain pen (which needs to be filled only occasionally) replaced the dip pen, which needed to be dipped in ink after writing a few lines. Old school desks had round holes for inkwells. 



Tags: Memories


Viewing 1 - 1 out of 1 Comments

11/24/2017 03:25:02

Your recollection of past times amazes me. You brought back memories for me too. The desk you show is similar to the desks we had in the one-room school I attended my first two years (1947-48).

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