May 31, 2014

A Fountain Pen Timeline

        And lastly, here’s a simple Timeline of the development of the different Pen Types that I distilled from the pen patents, the genealogical pen tree, and the taxonomy.

Revised, June 4, 2014.
        Thanks to David Nishimura for his backchannel input and comments on this Timeline regarding the Bion-type pens.   I have incorporated his suggestions and posted a new version of the Timeline.  I have also taken the opportunity to thoroughly revise the list.  If you have any suggestions and criticisms, please feel free to email me.  My contact info is in my Profile.

Revised again, June 6, 2014, and Sept 26, 2016.

        Timeline Of Pens And Pencils

Reed brush, pre-600 B.Z.
Reed pen, calamus, pre-400 B.Z.
Aristotle’s metal pen, ca. 350-320 B.Z.
Metal stylus and wax tablet, ca. 200-100 B.Z.
Roman metal pen
at Vindolanda, Hadrian’s Wall, ca. 80-130 A.Z.
Quill pen, penne, ca. 400-600 A.Z.
Reservoir attachments for quill tips, ca. 800-900 A.Z.
First mention of an Islamic fountain pen, probably Bion-type, ca. 965 A.Z.
Lead or silver stylus on gesso, ca. 1300-1400
Graphite lead wooden pencils, ca. 1630
Quill reservoir pens, ca. 1636
First mention of Bion-type fountain pens in Europe, 1657-8
Bion-type fountain pens, 1702
Bion’s fountain pen, ca. 1707
Porte crayons, ca. 1700s
Bion-type pen-and-pencil combo, ca. 1700s
Sliding pencils, Mar 23, 1771
Conte crayons, or pencils, Jan 30, 1795
Steel nibs, and penholders, ca. 1780-1800
Gold nibs with rhodium-tin or ruby tips, Mar 14, 1808
Piston filler fountain pen, Mar 4, 1809
Quill slip nibs, Sept 23, 1809
Diamond or ruby-tipped nibs, Dec 20, 1822
Spiral screw mechanical pencils, Dec 20, 1822
Fountain pen and pencil combos, July 26, 1832
Iridium-tipped gold nibs, ca. 1834
Vulcanized rubber, Feb 24, 1839
First fountain pen with rubber sac, Sept 19, 1848
Brush-tipped fountain pen, ca. 1849
Rudimentary stylographs, ca. 1849
Eyedropper fountain pens, ca. 1849
Vulcanized hard rubber, May 6, 1851
Twist filler, rubber sac, Nov 26, 1859
Press filler, rubber sac, Sept 3, 1867
Crescent filler, rubber sac, Apr 2, 1872
Stylographic pens, June 5, 1875
Removable glass reservoir, Oct 26, 1886
Accordion filler, rubber sac, Mar 16, 1886
Propel mechanical pencils, Apr 24, 1888
Ballpoint pen, Oct 30, 1888
Glass cartridge filler fountain pen, Apr 29, 1890
Lever filler, rubber sac, Mar 17, 1891
Safety eyedropper pen, July 18, 1893
Jointless fountain pen, Apr 4, 1899
Gravity-filled eyedropper, Aug 8, 1899
Blow filler, rubber sac, July 16, 1901
Button filler, rubber sac, June 9, 1903
Aerometric filler, rubber sac, Sept 5, 1905, and May 9, 1911
Sleeve filler, rubber sac, Apr 17, 1906, and Apr 6, 1915
Vacumatic precursor, July 10, 1906
Matchstick filler, rubber sac, July 24, 1906
Cam, or crank filler, rubber sac, Apr 23, 1907
Hump Filler, Apr 30, 1907
Bakelite fountain pens, Dec 7, 1909
Felt-tipped pens, Jan 11, 1910
Coin filler, rubber sac, Jan 7, 1913
Celluloid fountain pens, May 6, 1919
Capillary filler fountain pen, Apr 6, 1920, and Mar 1, 1949
Piston filler fountain pen, Sept 28, 1926
Propel-repel mechanical pencils, Dec 20, 1927
Vacumatic fountain pen, Apr 18, 1933
Gravity filler fountain pen, May 14, 1935, and Jan 17, 1939
Injection filler fountain pen, Feb 8, 1938
Aerometric converter, Aug 23, 1948, and June 12, 1956

    George Kovalenko.


May 29, 2014

A Taxonomy of the Fountain Pen

[Posted on L&P on Nov 5, 2005.]

        In talking about his “fountain pen drive” in a message on Zoss on Mar 30, 2002, and saying it was similar to what Freud called the sex drive, Carlos Henrique Jacob asked whether “a cartridge filler can be called a fountain pen”.  Replying to his question, Michael Wright wrote that fountain pens could be broken down to “Genus = fountain pen, Species = eyedropper, or self-filler, or cartridge”, etc.  And then he signed the message, “Yours taxonomically, Michael”.
        A little later in the year, on Aug 14, 2002, and again on Zoss, Vance Koven proposed a taxonomy of fountain pen filling systems.  I played around with his version and rearranged it a bit, changing some of his terminology, but adopting some of it as well.  His taxonomy was broken down into three major classes, and my regrouping into two came about as a response to the research I had been doing on pen patents.  Somewhere near the end of that research, I realized that I could draw up a genealogy tree of the fountain pen, and genealogy and taxonomy are bed partners.  If you lay a genealogy tree on its side, in bed so to speak, it gives rise, or gives birth, genealogically, to taxonomy.

        The tree I devised started with a trunk composed of the reed brush, and the calamus, or reed pen, then progressed to the penne, or quill, and metal nibs, and penholders, and then branched out into the first fountain pens.  The fountain pens bifurcated into two branches, not three, those that filled directly into the barrel, and those that filled into something inside the barrel.  Thats the simplest taxonomic classification system for fountain pens.  It’s all about the fountain.  Much earlier, Claes Lindblad contributed a two-part article to the Pen Fancier’s Newsletter, Jan & Feb 1978, vol. 1, nos. 1 & 2, titled “Filling Systems In Fountain Pens”.  His list reads almost like an ur-taxonomy of fountain pen filling systems that preceded mine by about 24 years, and it’s noteworthy that he agrees that the fountain pen family tree splits into only two major limbs.  Any further subdivision into nibbed pens, and stylographic pens, or metal and glass nibs is superfluous because almost any kind of point can be placed in any kind of pen.  It’s not exactly the Linnean phylogenetic classification scheme, “Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, and Variety, or Common Name”, but here’s the taxonomic structure that I devised.
1. Kingdom
I. Family
A. Group
1. Subgroup
a. Type
i. Subtype
x. Variety, or Common Name
        Along the way, a parallel family of writing instruments sprang up.  Graphite was discovered and used in its crude state, then encased in wood, and then held in sliding, spiral-cam, and spring-loaded metal cases and holders.  These were sometimes joined up with fountain pens to make the first combos, so that the two families intermarried.  The slide and screw mechanisms for pencils were also adapted for the safety and piston pen mechanisms, and on it goes into the modern era, where some very bizarre hybrids and cross-pollinations occurred.
        Well, when you’re done, what do you do with it?  Some people may not “get” organizing pens using taxonomy, so what’s the goal here?  I view it as an intellectual exercise.  It’s analogous to pure mathematics.  Taxonomy?  What’s it good for?  Not much, but it sure is fun.  We do it because we can, not because it’s useful.  When you’re done with it, it’s all you’ve got.  It’s organized chronologically, so it’s a timeline of patent firsts in its purest, distilled form.  It’s not like Linnean taxonomy that’s useful for its binomial nomenclature, that is, “Genus, species”.  If nothing else, it can help one see the technological similarities in pens that, from outward appearance, might seem dissimilar.  It also helps to standardize terminology, and to place things in the same family according to their technology and function.  It’s just a “pure mechanics” categorization tool.  As John Glashan said in his cartoon in The Observer Magazine, Sept 21, 1980, p.33, “What is this for? / I don’t know, yet, but if it ever works, you can say good-bye to everything you hold dear”.
        I would like to thank Claes Lindblad, Carlos Henrique Jacob, Michael Wright, Vance Koven, Ron Dutcher, Rob Astyk, David Moak, Olle Hjort, Sterling Picard, Dave Johannsen, and David Nishimura for their contributions to this taxonomy.  There used to be an earlier version of the taxonomy online, but the images were not archived on the Wayback Machine, and now the only place to find the final, completed version is in the second volume of my patent book, pp.275-6.
        Here’s an example of the taxonomic structure for a certain writing instrument
, the Waterman’s 52, or the whole Waterman’s #52-58 series, or any “Waterman’s lever filler”.
1. Writing Instruments, the Pen Kingdom, or Pendom, or “The Writing Hemisphere
II. Fountain pen that fills into something inside the barrel
A. Unassisted self-filler
1. With sac
e. With lever
i. Common type
x. Lever attached to the pressure bar, “Waterman’s”
So it could be referred to as “1, II, A, 1, e, i, x”.  It’s a writing instrument that’s a fountain pen that fills into something inside the barrel, an unassisted self-filler with a sac and a common lever attached to the pressure bar, and it is of the “Waterman’s” variety, commonly called a Waterman’s 52.  It is, first of all, a writing instrument, by its Kingdom name, but it is, of course, a fountain pen, or Penna fons, or Fons penna, by its Family name, and its Linnean binomial nomenclature, or its genus-species-and-variety, is Vectis repletus Watermania”, or “Waterman’s lever filler”.
        Here’s the earlier version of the taxonomy that I mentioned above.  If you have any issues with its arrangement, please feel free to send me a message about it.

    George Kovalenko.


May 27, 2014

The Genealogy Tree of the Pen Family

        Marshall McLuhan wrote, “A goose’s quill put an end to talk, abolished mystery, gave us architecture and towns, brought roads and armies, bureaucracies.  It was the basic metaphor with which the cycle of civilization began, the step from the dark into the light of the mind.  The hand that filled a paper built a city.”
        The quill is also just a metaphor for all writing instruments.  Maybe McLuhan didn’t know about the reed brush, which came before the reed pen, or more correctly the calamus, since the word “pen” derives from the word “penna”, or the Latin word for “quill”, before which it comes.  The reed brush led to the reed pen, which led to the quill, which led to the steel nib, which led to the various types of fountain pens.  Somewhere in the middle of my patent research in 2001, I realized that I could draw up a genealogy tree of the fountain pen, in order to lay out the sequence of the invention of the various writing instruments, including steel nibs, fountain pens, wooden pencils, mechanical pencils, and combos.  And moreover, I could show how they grew out of one another.  And then later, because genealogy and taxonomy are bed partners, I also laid out a taxonomy of the fountain pen.  If you lay a genealogy tree on its side, so that it reads like a text, you get taxonomy.  But more on that later.
        As I worked on retrieving the patent information online on Mar 6, 2001, it occurred to me that what I was seeing was the sequence of the evolution of fountain pen technology.  So I stopped for a moment to draw up the following tree.  It all started with this initial, rough draft.

        I know exactly when I drew it up because I placed the date on it.  I place the date on every scrap of note paper involved with my various research projects because I like to leave a good paper trail.  I continued with my data retrieval and inputting, but I took the time to draw up the second draft on Mar 6-7, which was more refined, and more detailed, but still quite rudimentary and crude.

        By the time of the third draft, started on Mar 10, 2001 and finished up about Sept 5, 2001, which went through so many stages of revision that it almost looks like a palimpsest, I had finished the patents up till the 1910s, and I could with confidence fill in quite a lot of the empty blanks.  It became quite unwieldy and cumbersome, so I never proceeded beyond this stage.  If it were to be printed in a book or a magazine, it would have to be laid on its side to straddle two pages, with a staple in its navel like a centrefold pin-up for the penologists.  Hence the taxonomy.


        Once, a short time after this, when I was walking through the back room of a library, I noticed a rare book brought in by interlibrary loan for another patron.  It was a book that dealt with the history of violin making and violin bow making.  In the back of the book, I found this poster-sized illustration of the genealogy tree of violin making titled “The Development of Violin making in Italy”.  I briefly considered drawing up an equally elaborate illustration of the tree of fountain pen life, but then I quickly came back to my sentences and reconsidered it and thought I would leave the drawing to someone else with skills from the past, maybe even someone from that era.  In the “Zits” cartoon on a fountain-pen theme on May 2, 2014, a character in the last panel says, “If you need me, I’ll be in the past”.  That’s the way I feel, sometimes, when I’m doing my pen research.

      George Kovalenko.


May 24, 2014

Graphs of the Pen Patents

        Back in the 1980s, the only way to do genealogical research was to visit a bricks-and-mortar research library or museum, and to hold books and manuscripts in your hands and read them in person.  It was either that, or get microfilm shipped to your local public or university library by interlibrary loan.  That was the old analogue method, when cut-and-paste meant just that, scissors and glue and scotch tape, and lots of typing on a typewriter.  Patent research was done the same way, except you had to go to your closest patent depository library to do your research, unless you lived closer to the USPTO in Washington DC, and now also in Arlington.
        Back then, I was making plans to go down south to the States to visit a patent depository library to research all the fountain pen and mechanical pencil and ink bottle and inkwell patents, but it would have taken months of research and lots of resources that I didn’t have, so I put my plans on a shelf for another day.  But then in September 1993, I discovered the rudimentary index list of US patents from 1845 to 1910 in the microfilm of The Scientific American.  After the end of 1910, the patent list was silently and unspokenly eliminated from the magazine.  There’s an article titled “An Address To Our Readers” in the Sci. Am. on
Jan 7, 1911, p.24, with a statement of the new directions for the Sci. Am., in which the US patents are not even mentioned once.  In fact, the editorial uses the word “invention” three times, but the patents are conspicuous by their absence.  I also corresponded with a patent official in the USPTO and got a hardcopy of an index of all the patents back to 1790, from which I had to glean all the pen patents by “scanning” and “searching” and “optically recognizing” them with my eyeballs.  That was the way it was back in the beginning, just at the start of my search.  [What used to be available only on microfilm is now available on Hathi Trust, and the links to all the volumes of Sci. Am. are all available in this blog post.]
        Around the end of September 1993, when I finished putting together my list, it hit me with a lightning bolt of realization that one of the consequences of creating a chronological list of patents is that I could quantify the patents by year and graph the total numbers of pens-per-year.  That was one of the first things I did with all the data I collected in 1993.  It’s astounding how closely the numbers of patents, and the ups and downs of the graphs, coincide perfectly with US and world history and politics, the economy, geological and weather phenomena,
and things such as volcanic eruptions.  The pen graph also shows how important the stylograph patents are to the total number of pen patents in the ten-year period when they were first introduced, what I have come to call the Stylographic Decade, from 1875-85.  Not only could I graph the yearly totals of the fountain pen patents, but I could compare this graph against the graph of the yearly totals of the inkwells.  It’s gratifying to see the fountain pen line rise as the inkwell line declines.  I later also collected the Canadian patents from 1859 to 1911, the UK patents from 1771 to 1901, and the French patents from 1707 to 1901.
        I showed my list to various people at pen shows to try to get them interested in completing it, but no one else wanted to do the work of extracting the data.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  They wanted the info, and they saw the potential, but they didn’t want to do the work.  So anyway, the list sat until December 2000.  The USPTO went online around 1998, and I checked it out then, but I was discouraged by the arcane system, and I didn’t notice whether the number-search function was activated, yet.  In any case, David Glass, a collector and researcher of Conklin pens, posted on Zoss on Dec 15, 2000 that the USPTO had a patent number search window on their website, but I didn’t read the message until about Dec 27, and I didn’t check out the website until Jan 4, 2001, after the new year.  I blitzed through all the patents from 1790 to 1910 between January and September that year.  If you can believe it, I finished the analogue, hand-written retrieval of information on June 26, and I finished all the type-written inputting into my database the day after Sept 11, 2001.  And then I crashed.  I was suffering from post partum depression like you wouldn’t believe.  I didn’t have anything to do anymore, so I did nothing at all until Oct 1, when I slowly started to get back into the database and to clean it up.
        On June 10, 2001, when I got to the patents from 1896, I found this article in
Sci. Am., “The Progress Of Invention During The Past Fifty Years”, July 25, 1896, pp.82-83.  That was the year of the 50th anniversary to the magazine, and the whole issue was devoted to their celebration, but this article included a graph of all the inventions-per-year from 1846 to 1896, and the author wrote something that goaded me into getting back into the graphs and creating more of them.
It is interesting to observe how closely the grant of patents and the prosperity of the country are related.  Referring to scaled diagram No. 2, the zigzag line marks the increase or decrease in the patents issued from year to year.  We note the depression of the civil war, followed by the rapid reaction and growth of reconstruction.  Again the depression caused by the financial panic of 1873, and again in 1876, the unsettled and dangerous condition of politics incident to the contested presidential election.  This was followed by another wave of prosperity, indented with depressions in the presidential election years, while the stringency of the times from 1890 to 1894 shows a marked influence in the corresponding depression in the line, all of which indicates a most sympathetic relation.
        Along the way, while reading all the patents, I noticed certain patterns in the ways the different types of pens and categories of patents evolved and influenced one another.  Often these groupings of similar patents seemed to have an etymological slant because they revealed something about how certain terms originated, and how pen terminology in general evolved.  As I put together the list of patents, and then the graphs, I noticed certain patterns of development and evolution of the various types of fountain pen technology, and I started to write articles and essays about the various patterns that I was noticing.  That was when the flow of my pen articles and posts on various pen websites began.  Lately, I have been arranging them and collecting them into a book that I call Fountain Pen Etymologies, including an article on the history of red hard rubber, and mankind’s fascination with the color red.  Included in the appendices, along with the graphs of pen patents, there is also a genealogy tree of fountain pen filler types, a taxonomy of fountain pen filler types, a timeline of fountain pen landmarks, and a 51-page bibliography of books and articles and magazines on pens.  But first let’s start with the graphs.

        In the graph of the pen patents from 1845 to 1915, the first surge of patents occurs in 1855-57 after the hard rubber patent and the first realization of the viability of the fountain pen, but then the surge dies down to zero twice during the Civil War period.  There is a second surge in the rebounding rapid growth of reconstruction after the Civil War that peaks in 1867-70, but then it dies out again with the financial panic of 1873.  It might also be the result of a reaction to the typewriter patents in that period, and also the setbacks of the great Chicago and Boston fires.  The third surge in the fountain pens that peaks in 1878 is at first augmented by the stylograph patents in 1876-78, but then the fountain pens go into the doldrums from 1878-83 just as a surge in the stylographs causes what I call “The Stylographic Decade” from 1875-85.  The stylos hit a high peak in 1880 that could almost be called a stylographic anomaly, but it almost coincides perfectly with the fountain pens hitting a new low a year later in 1881, yet another anomaly.  The stylograph saps the strength of the development of the fountain pen, thus causing a set back, or break in its momentum by stealing its thunder and diverting its energy.  But then the Frank Holland, John Holland, F. C. Brown, Waterman, Wirt, and others’ patents caused the fourth surge in fountain pens.  But what happened in the period between 1885-90 to cause those two temporary dips?  Well, 1885 was a year after the presidential election, and 1888 was an election year, but 1885 was also about a year after Krakatoa exploded in Indonesia and caused a “year without a summer.  The stagnation in that period could also have been caused by all the pen company court cases in what could be called the era of litigation.  The fountain pens continued on upwards as the stylos dwindled away.  The fifth surge coincided with the patents of Parker, Lapham, Shattuck, Stewart, Holland, Weidlich, Moore, Cooley, and many others.  And then the world went into another serious recession in the “hard times” between 1891-97, with another financial panic caused by a year without a summer.  A series of volcanic eruptions of Bandai-san in 1888, Bogoslof in 1890, Nikko-Shirane in 1890, and Awu in 1892 and 1893 culminated with the eruption of Vulcano, Italy, in 1888-90 and 1892.  But then the fountain pens soared off from 1896 to 1906 into the sixth surge with the coming of the safety eyedropper, the jointless pens, the middle joint eyedroppers, the button fillers, the other early bladder pens and other self-fillers, the pen-cap clips, the safety screw caps, and the lever fillers.  However, the financial panic of 1907 brought the rise in the graph to a halt and then a plunge, and the recession of 1907-09 made it dip even further into 1909.  The pen numbers rose again in 1910, but then they plateaued in the depression before the First World War and during the war.

        The inkwell patents followed a similar path in response to world issues, but the graph followed a different trajectory.  The inkwells don’t die out during the Civil War and during the financial panic of 1873, but they certainly do dip down.  Just the same as the fountain pens, the inkwells took a dive and went into the doldrums during the stylographic decade, which was also the decade of portability.  The stylo activity displaced the inkwell activity as well as the fountain pen activity, but then the inkwells made a surge between 1888-92.  The resurgence was caused by a retreat into conventional writing instruments.  It was the last hurrah of the dip pen and the inkwell.  There’s an anomalous high in the inkwells between 1895-97, a brief resurgence, but then the inkwells line dives below the fountain pens line and it never comes up over the pens line.  The inkwells never rebounded, and they stayed down during the fountain pen’s resurgence and takeover.  There’s another three-year anomaly between 1906-08, but then the line dies down during the First World War.

        This graph of the inkwells and stylos shows how the stylo patents fill in the gap in the inkwell patents.  It could almost be called the missing data.  As well as filling in the gap in
the inkwell line it also augments and bumps up the fountain pen line.

        The lines of the pens-and-stylos and the inkwells together in one graph make the battle between the inkwell and the fountain pen quite “graphic”.  When the inkwells graph is up, the pens graph is down, and when the pens are up, the inkwells are down.  It’s interesting to watch the zigs and zags between the inkwells and the pens, but best of all it shows how the battle was eventually won by the latter.

P.S.  Click on any of the graphs and then scroll through all of them with the scroll wheel on your mouse, and you can flip through the graphs in sequence, perfectly overlapped one over top another.

George Kovalenko.


May 19, 2014

Zen and the Art of Pen Puzzles

        Here’s my version of the puzzle that’s on Pentrace, for a little while, but with 39 pen names instead of 38.  I also included a joke that almost spelled out the missing word, just to show that I could have included it.  As a hint, its spelled backwards.  I also added the word “ZEN”, which is also a pen name, so that’s an even 40, but I think there’s room for a prime 43 names.  The original puzzle is from the Journal of the Writing Equipment Society, Summer 2011.

George Kovalenko.


May 12, 2014

More Waterman’s First RHR

  , addendum to Waterman’s First RHR Pens.

        When I found this color image in an ad in Geyer’s Stationer, Apr 13, 1905, p.63, I thought that I had finally found an earlier RHR Waterman’s pen ad.  But it turned out to be a bust.  The ad consists of five ink bottles and traveling inkwells, or “pen fillers” as the ad calls them, and seven vest-pocket and chatelaine pen pouches, or pen “pockets” as the ad calls them.  At first it looked like there was a RHR Waterman’s fountain pen in one of the leather pen pockets, but if you blow the picture up, and look at it closely, there is a spiral of slightly darker reddish-black swirling through it.  It’s just a mottled pen, as it turns out.  The picture is part of a two-page ad, pages 63 and 64, and the other part of the ad, the one on the other page, consists of a line-up of pens.  The pens listed on the next page are shown in sizes #12 to #18, by the way, and are still said to be available only in “plain, mottled, and chased rubber”.  Oh, well . . .

   George Kovalenko.


May 04, 2014

Herbert Fisher in New York

, and a little more on the myth.

        Herbert Fisher was a machinist who lived in Brooklyn, and worked as a pattern and model maker in hard rubber and brass.  For at least a year or two, around 1883, he ran a company, along with Olin H. Dolbeare.  Notice the fateful year.  His company made fountain pen and stylograph parts for other penmakers, perhaps even for his own pens, and his company was listed in the business section of the Brooklyn directory as a maker of “Stylographic Pens”.
        He was born in Connecticut about 1841 or 1846, and shows up in the 1855 New York State Census, b.1846, and the 1860 US Federal Census, b.1841.  He was in his late teens or early twenties in 1861-65, and he may have fought in the Civil War.  Here are all the Herbert Fisher entries from the volumes of the Brooklyn business directories on, along with some information from other sources.

1878, p.294, no listing for Herbert.
1879-80, p.321, Herbert, shooting gallery, 381 Fulton St.
1881, p.342, Herbert, rubber, 57 Boerum Place, h 87 Schermerhorn Ave.,
p.1316, also under the “India Rubber Goods” heading in the business directory section.
1882, p.347, Herbert, hard rubber, 57 Boerum Place, h 641 Warren St.,
p.1334, also under the “India Rubber Goods” heading in the business directory section.

Herbert Fisher & Co., “stylographic pens”, 1883, p.359.

1883, p.359, Herbert, stylographic pens, 225 State St., h 73 3rd Pl.,
p.359, Herbert Fisher & Co. (Olin H. Dolbeare), stylographic pens, 225 State St.,
p.284, Olin H. Dolbeare, stylographic pens, 225 State St, h 184 Skillman St.,
p.1482, under the “Stylographic Pens” heading in the business directory section.

The “Stylographic Pens” heading in the business directory listing, 1883, p.1482.
1884, p.388, Herbert, rubber goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.,
p.307, Olin H. Dolbeare, hard rubber goods, h 668 Prospect Place, hereafter in other occupations.
No more “stylographic pens” listing for Herbert Fisher, he went back to what he knew.
1885, p.411, Herbert, rubber, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1886, p.328, Herbert, brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.,
p.328, his wife is listed, Mary E., brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1887, p.362, Herbert, brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.,
p.362, Mary E., brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1888, p.357, Herbert, manufacturing, 57 Boerum Place cor State St., h 313 11th St.,
p.358, Mary E., brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1889, p.372, Herbert, pattern maker, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1890, p.392, Herbert, model maker, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1891, p.368, Herbert, manufacturer brass goods, 225 State St., h 313 11th St.
1892, no business directory in Ancestry, but the 1892 New York State Census lists Herbert, manufacturer, 45 years old, and wife Mary E., 40.
1893, no business directory in Ancestry.
1894, p.389, Herbert, brass goods manufacturer, 48 Boerum Place, h 467 11th St.
1895, p.415, Herbert, models, 48 Boerum Place, h 467 11th St.
1896, no business directory in Ancestry, but the New York Death Index lists Herbert Fisher, birth date about 1846, age 50, death Sept 1, 1896, probably from inhalation of too many heavy metals.
1897, p.456, Herbert still listed, model maker, 467 11th St., Mary E., dressmaker, h 834 Quincy.

No more listings for Herbert Fisher in the volumes hereafter.

1898, p.472, Mary E., widow of Herbert, h 459 11th St.
1899, p.417, Mary E., widow of Herbert, h 459 11th St.
1900, p.445, Mary E., widow of Herbert, h 459 11th St.

No more listings for Mary E. Fisher in the volumes hereafter.

        After a short career in the pen business in 1883-84, as the head of Herbert Fisher & Co. and making stylographs and fountain pens, and a much longer career as a machinist of hard rubber and brass goods, Herbert Fisher died in 1896, just 50-55 years old.

George Kovalenko.