Writings and pens in history

Writings and pens in history

11 October 2020 Off By historic-pen

Today we will talk about the pen and its different forms and uses within our history. Because yes this dear pen that we use every day has a story as old as ours.

Throughout history, humans have expressed their perceptions of reality, their emotions and their environment. Witness to acts and changes, man has been able to remember his past through writing.

We will therefore go through the types of writing that have accompanied humanity throughout its evolution until today.


Definition: “Which has the wedge shape”

cuneiform clay text

Cuneiform writing is a form of writing which consists of a set of signs in the form of triangular symbols, aligned with precision. They are found on clay tablets.

Man then used “camales” to write. These camales came from reed cut to a point.

This form of writing has been found in Mesopotamia.


Definition: the term hieroglyph comes to us from the Greek ἱερογλύφος / hieroglúphos, itself formed from ἱερός / hierós (“sacred”) and γλύφειν / glúphein (“engrave”).

Hieroglyph picture

Hieroglyphics are a mixture of ideograms and phonograms engraved with chisels and calames on stone or papyrus parchments.

We find this writing in Egypt.


Definition: a graphic symbol representing a word or an idea used. It is to be distinguished from pictograms or phonograms.

The ideograms originated in China. They were discovered on the shells of turtles or the bones of farm animals carved into with a blade.

Phenitian Alphabet

Definition: non-pictographic consonantal alphabet, ancestor of the Arabic and Greek alphabet. This consisted of angular and straight letters, although today they are found in cursive forms.

Phenitian Alphabet picture
Phenitian Alphabet

Clay or stone tablets were stone was used as a medium, and carved into with a chisel or a calame. It was written from right to left.

They were found in the region of Phenicia around 1000 years BC.

Greek Alphabet

Descendant of the Phenitian alphabet, it is made up of twenty-four letters. It is used today in the scientific field, particularly in nomenclature.

Greek Alphabet picture
Greek Alphabet

We find this writing on wooden tablets coated with wax, papyrus and parchments made of animal skin. A calame was used to write.

Cursive and Codex Romain

Roman Cursive Script is written in Latin with a stylus on a tablet, or with a brush or pointed nib when writing on papyrus. We saw it appear by following the Codex, which was a set of bound papyrus pages. It could be considered as the ancestor of the modern book.

Cursive and Codex Romain
Cursive and Codex Romain

Uncial writing

Developed in the Medieval era (used in the Carolingian era)

Unciale text
Unciale text

Alphabet adapted from ancient Roman cursive, adapted from Codex. It is written with a quill pen (goose feather) on animal skin parchments.

Humanistic writing

Written with a quill pen on vegetable-fiber rag paper, it was developed during the Renaissance period in Italy and later became common across Europe.

Humanistic text picture
Humanistic text

The fountain pen

Petrache Poenaru was a Romanian engineer mathematician. Responsible for the invention of the fountain pen, he patented it in Paris in 1827. The concept of the fountain pen is based on the idea of using a capillary in order to pass ink from a reservoir onto paper. This invention made it possible to write without having to use feathers of animal origin.

Fountain pen picture
Fountain pen

The ballpoint pen

An invention of American origin, which was perfected and patented by the György brothers : a Hungarian journalist and chemist respectively, who enabled the development of this invention. They reduced manufacturing costs and increased tool reliability.

Ballpoint pen picture
Ballpoint pen

Writing tools have continued to evolve and improve over time. They have contributed to the democratization of writing throughout the world, making themselves a vector of human evolution, research and the evolution of technologies all while constantly evolving. The pen will remain the most significant tool in the history of thought.