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Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
Artifact of the week–#7-Quill pen

Artifact of the Week: Quill Pen (969.226)

Clue: Before email or text messages, I was the only means of communicating or recording information.

Answer: Quill Pen

Last week’s artifact was a dark green quill pen decorated with white beads and a tassel. Due to its thin shape, this quill is no longer in working order. Earlier models were equipped with a bird’s feather, most commonly goose, and a treated, hollow point to hold ink, which was released as the tool was used. Writers had to carry a small knife to occasionally sharpen the point. By 1800, steel quills had been invented but remained costly until the 1820s when they went into mass production. This artifact provides insight into the lives of early Niagara-on-the-Lake residents and the medium they used to communicate.

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