This post is part of a series of articles I have written on the subject, Writing History. This is a continuation of the writing history I started in my previous post. It is my intention that we have a grasp of where it all began (in relation to writing).
To see the bigger picture, its important to explore other inventions leading to the first computer. This takes us back to the era of pens.
The first fountain pen was invented in 1827. Pens fall into two categories Modern Pens and Historic Pens.
Modern pens include ballpoint, rollerball, fountain and felt or ceramic tip pens. Ballpoint Pens replaced the fountain pens. To date, Ballpoint pens have become the most commonly used for everyday writing.
Different types of pens are grouped according to the writing tips they have.
(1) Rollerball Pen uses gel ink.
(2) A Fountain Pen uses water-based liquid ink with a nib.
(3) Felt-tip Pen or a marker has a porous tip of fibrous material. Markers are also known as highlighters.
Historic Pens are no longer commonly used. They are occasionally used by calligraphers including other artists. Below I have listed a few of the historic ones.
A Dip Pen
A Dip Pen has no ink reservoir, so it must be repeatedly recharged with ink while being used.
Quill Pen is made from a flight feather of a large bird. These were largely used in medieval times to write on parchment or paper.
A Reed pen is made from a single piece of reed that is pointed into a square and split at the point. For more information click here.
Pens As A Status Symbol
Many people like to use expensive types and brands of pens and fountain pens as a status symbol.
The Evolution – Computer History
The history of writing evolved over the years from one stage to another and the introduction of technology. I will hand pick just a few examples of the route taken to travel from the pen invention, the phonograph, the typewriter to the highway of computers.
In a study, ‘Machines for Writing and Reading’ Lisa Gateman writes that a phonograph is one of the machines invented in 1887. A phonograph is a textual device for taking dictation. Later, it became known in its later forms as a gramophone.
The invention of the typewriter and the personal computer with the keyboard input method offered another way to write. It’s reported that early European typewriters began appearing in the early 19th century.
Freed and Ishida (1995) describe the computer invention as a huge milestone in technology which made it possible to include massive amounts of information on a tiny “chip.”
Plamquist M. etal (1999) mentioned that computers help users to write more efficiently and effectively. In this era, writers take advantage of the most modern word processors to help them write better and faster.
A computer also provides detailed discussions of locating, evaluating, and organizing the information on the Internet. Both the world wide web and the computers help writers generate ideas; collect and evaluate information; draft, review, revise, and edit text.
The history of computers has presented a vast variety of computer technology, covering the most basic calculator to complex mega-machines that see today.
A Massachusetts College Research Paper (2003) report on how computers began. Claude Shannon, a young engineer and mathematician, published a seminar paper in 1948 entitled “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” In this paper, he introduced his theory which later shaped the communication technologies that we use today.
As a follow-up to Shannon’s theory, a paper presented at an International Symposium in 1998 entitled, ‘Wearable Computers’ reported that the first wearable computer, a cigarette pack sized analogue device, was jointly invented by the Shannons and Thorps in Las Vegas in 1961.
Since then, a lot of developments have taken place in the History of Writing and the communications sector. I get so excited when trying to figure out what’s coming next.
If you have any question related to my blog post, the Invention of the First Computer, please feel free to leave it below. I will be more than happy to respond.