Dip Pens and Nibs
Fountain Pens there were Dip Pens. Dip pens are very simple writing
instruments that consist of a nib holder and a replaceable nib that is
simply pushed into the business end of the holder. Dip Pens don't use an ink
cartridge or contain an ink reservoir of any kind. You simply dip the
nib in ink and write. The biggest drawback with dip pens is that they
can only hold enough pen for between a few words or a few lines, then
you have to dip the nib back in the ink to continue.
The fountain pen was regarded as a huge improvement and rapidly took over from the dip pen. Being able to write pages instead of just a few lines was regarded as a major improvement but there are some very distinct advantages to a Nib Pen. There is practically nothing that can go wrong with a Dip Pen - you can use any type of ink in them, they don't clog or leak, there are no fine feeders or capillary tubes to block, and you can very easily replace the nib allowing you to use a wide range of nibs in the same pen.
Oh, and they're fun to write with.