Pens are of three main types: ball, fountain, and felt. Ball pens (A), developed in 1938 by the Hungarians Laszlo and George Biro, have a ball bearing (1) at the tip of a tube of special ink (2). Some fountain pens (B) are cartridge-loaded but most have a barrel (3), nib (4), feed (5), an ink reservoir (6), and self-filling mechanism (7). A felt pin (C) has a fiber tip (8) and "transorb" (9), and an ink reservoir (10).
A pen is an instrument for writing with ink. The earliest pens were the Chinese brush and the Egyptian reed pen for use on papyrus. Quill pens, usually made from goose feathers, were used until the mid-nineteenth century, when steel pens largely replaced them. The modern fountain pen was invented by L. E. Waterman in 1884; its nib is supplied with ink from a reservoir in the barrel by capillary action. In postwar years, the The ball-point pen and fiber-tip pen have become more popular for everyday use.
A pencil is an instrument for writing or drawing, usually consisting of a wooden rod with a core of mixed powdered graphite and clay. The mixture is extruded as a soft paste and placed in the grooves of two half-pencils which are glued together and dried. The term "lead pencil" comes from an early mistaken view that graphite is a form of lead. Pencils vary in hardness, the hardest (10H) containing the most clay, the softest and blackest (8B), the least. HB and F are intermediate grades.