When I started school in the 1950s, we were taught to write with an implement that had not changed since Victorian times.
The ‘dipping pen’ was dipped into inkwells built into the school desks.
Someone had to be the ‘Ink monitor’, and I volunteered for the job. I had to go around with a container of ink and a metal funnel, filling up each desk inkwell before the lesson began. I liked the smell of the ink, and enjoyed trying to fill the inkwells without the ink overflowing onto the desk. Writing with those pens was not easy. Blots were an issue, and many shirt cuffs and wrists became badly stained with the ink during lessons.
It wasn’t too long before the inkwells were removed, and we were expected to supply our own pens and ink. My parents bought me a ‘lever action’ fountain pen, which sucked the ink up into a rubber tube concealed inside.
Bottles of ink would be carried in our satchels, always very tightly closed to prevent a disastrous spillage that could ruin everything inside.
Then ballpoint pens came along, and ink-pens became a thing of the past before I finished school. But I retained my love for writing with a pen, and continued to send personal letters written this way until just two years ago, when a wrist injury made it difficult for me to hold a pen again.