One sectioned example of an "Original Sign Pen" - the first fibre tip pen, 1962
'Sign Pen', the first fibre tip pen, 1962, with a spare tip, manufactured by Pentel in Japan, The fibre tip pen was invented in Japan in 1962 by Masao Miura and Yukio Horie, who ran a business making art materials. The pens appeared in Britain in 1967. The radically new writing device, equally suited to writing or drawing, was perhaps inspired by the writing brushes used in the East for centuries. Water-based ink absorbed in a fibrous cartridge feeds through the tip, made of harder fibre, by capillary action. The first tips were made of bamboo, but synthetic fibre soon replaced this. These pens are especially popular with children.