Lewis Waterman

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Lewis Edson Waterman (November 18, 1837[Note 1] – May 1, 1901),[1] born in Decatur, New York, was the inventor of the capillary feed fountain pen and the founder of the Waterman pen company.

Lewis Edson Waterman
Waterman's fountain pen, patented February 12, 1884

Lewis Edson Waterman founded his company in New York in 1883 with the invention of a new feeder. He used the capillarity principle which allowed air to induce a steady and even flow of ink. He worked on his invention for ten years before placing it on the market.[1]Waterman got a patent for his new fountain pens in 1884.[2]

Waterman began selling his fountain pens behind a cigar shop and gave his pens a five year guarantee. He opened a factory in Montreal, Canada in 1899, offering a variety of designs.

Waterman also invented a successful method for preserving and condensing grape-juice.[1]

Following his death in Brooklyn in 1901,[1] his nephew Frank D. Waterman took the business overseas and increased sales to 350,000 pens per year. After Frank took over, he renamed the business Waterman. S. A.

Waterman was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006.[3]


  1. ^ Several newspaper obituaries list his date of birth as November 20, Boston Daily Globe, New York Times, (May 2, 1901)


  1. ^ a b c d "DEATH LIST OF A DAY" (May 2, 1901) New York Times
  2. ^ U.S. Patent 293,545 Fountain Pen, February 12, 1884
  3. ^ Biography at National Inventors Hall of Fame

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