Instructables

Why do Inkwells come in pairs ?

I have two pairs of inkwell sets. Why to you frequently find sets like this? I know about sanders but they have different lids don't they?

The second bottle is to wash your pen after writing so the ink won't dry on the tip and mess up the tip or leave clots the next time you go to write with it.
randomray (author)  Josehf Murchison11 months ago
Josehf I am selecting yours as best answer, I think that there are two correct answers. I believe this because of further research I have seen many sets with no difference between the two wells and there are a few of the later/newer sets that have red and black lids as well as having the different colored inks in them that match the lids.
Thanks
randomray (author)  Josehf Murchison11 months ago
Just a little more info. I have looked online and so far can't find anything useful. I'm checking out some calligraphy books , but haven't even run into it there.Normally I clean my pens in the sink . If you were in an office or traveling back in the day sinks with water weren't that common and you wouldn't want to clean them in a pitcher and bowl. Josehf do you have any citations for why you believe this? I consider personal experience or a friends or family members to be valuable or a book reference.
My neighbor is an antique dealer and he knows a lot about the history of objects especially things people collect it helps him date and appraise collectables.

As an example preserving bottle before the industrial revolution the lips were ground in 1906 they perfected glass molding and the soothe lipped preserving bottle came to be. 

The same thing happened to pens, before the industrial revolution one bottle was for ink the other was for solvent. Ink like paint was made with everything from gum aerobic as a base to alcohol and oil so some needed a solvent to clean the pen. After the industrial revolution they kept the two bottles and later they went to one bottle, to day you can get calligraphy sets with multiple bottles of different colored inks.

There is lots on the history of pens and virtually nothing on their accessories.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pen
randomray (author)  Josehf Murchison11 months ago
That really sounds like the most likely reason. As I do calligraphy myself using dip pens,fountain pens and other technical pens. Chuckle...That makes me sound better then I am ." just a hobby"Cleaning a pen is a pain if you let the ink dry on it. I'm going to leave this up for grabs for a while , but I think you have the best answer so far.Thank you so much for your answer.
onrust11 months ago
For 2 people sitting opposite of each other.
iceng onrust11 months ago
The Chines will probably use three ink wells in a triad formation.
onrust iceng11 months ago
Well then, how about when you are in the red? An accountant would need a red ink well as well........?
randomray (author)  onrust11 months ago
I am selecting Josehf's as best answer, But, I think that there are two correct answers. I believe this because of further research I have seen many sets with no difference between the two wells and there are a few of the later/newer sets that have red and black lids as well as having the different colored inks in them that match the lids. So my guess at this point is that both you and Josehf are correct , just that his seems to be more likely for the earlier sets and yours applies to at least some of the latter sets.
iceng onrust11 months ago
Red ink is in my opinion is the very best reason for dual inkwells !
onrust iceng11 months ago
Thanks ray & iceng! Look forward to being back on the scene.
randomray (author)  onrust11 months ago
That's what I thought at first too. I don't believe so because most are the decorative type you see on desks at home. " Good to hear from you and happy New Year."
randomray (author)  onrust11 months ago
Thanks for the reply ,but you see them for a desk for just one person.
Jack A Lopez11 months ago
I dunno. Maybe one is a spare. It would be bad news if you ran out of ink right in the middle of writing your sonnet, or haiku, or shopping list, or whatever it is you use calligraphy for...

I always keep a spare keyboard nearby, in case this one runs out of chars.
;-P
randomray (author)  Jack A Lopez11 months ago
While I got a good chuckle out of your answer Jack it really didn't answer the question.On the other I now know what to do with old keyboards now. I was wondering if the second one was for a different color ink red maybe. A full set will have two ink bottles, a case or tray and a bottle for sand with a shaker cap.
Hey Ray!  You were probably hoping your question would be quickly answered by someone who actually knows something about inkwells, and I think there is still hope, that someone besides me will give you a better answer to this question.

All you have to do is wait.  In fact I think you, as the question asker, are allowed to wait forever; i.e. to never choose a Best Answer.  And maybe that's what you should do, if all the answers you get are just, you know, worthless.

Although I stand by my previous answer.  I mean if I had one of those double-inkwell thingies, that's how I'd use it.  One of them would be a back-up, with some ink in it ready to go, in the event that the primary one tapped out, because if I ran out of ink in the middle of writing something, there's a chance I might, uh... Uh... You know, uh...

I might forget was I going to write.
;-)
randomray (author)  Jack A Lopez11 months ago
Chuckle, Jack I use both dip pens and fountain pens and it only takes a second to fill a dip pen and you can't fill them and leave them laying around. A small bottle of ink goes a very long way. Check Josehf Murchison's answer it's most likely correct.
Now that I have read it, I also think Joe's answer is the most believable one.

It is too bad the sellers of these pen-and-inkwell sets do not include any printed instructions, or documentation of some kind, and it is strange that the knowledge for how to use a writing instrument is being transmitted by oral tradition.
randomray (author)  Jack A Lopez11 months ago
I have looked online and so far can't find anything useful. I'm checking out some calligraphy books , but haven't even run into it there.Normally I clean my pens in the sink . If you were in an office or traveling back in the day sinks with water weren't that common and you wouldn't want to clean them in a pitcher and bowl.
The second bottle is to wash your pen after writing so the ink won't dry on the tip and mess up the tip or leave clots the next time you go to write with it.
Josehf, if you re-post this as a top-level comment, it can be marked as Best Aswser. As a follow-up under Jack's post, it cannot be.
randomray (author)  kelseymh11 months ago
kelseymh you have heard the same thing about the paired inkwells? Because it does make the most sense. Thank you for any input.
kelseymh randomray11 months ago
I've heard it said before, but I don't have any kind of citation to back it up.
thanks I did
iceng11 months ago
Early pens were quills made from the third goose feathers from the left wing for right handed scribes.
Writers carried special knives to aid in properly cutting a quill pen.
Swan Quills are considered better for calligraphic writing.


I have found no reference to dual ink wells reasoning  ?
Although there are endless variety of inkwell pairs available on eBay and Etsy.
iceng11 months ago
Early pens filled slowly.
Writers used the dual wells to maintain
a continues flow of thought writing style.

A
randomray (author)  iceng11 months ago
That sounds like it is probably true as the earlier pen sets I see only have one well and a sander. Not that I've seen that many.The sets I have are latter and the fountain pen would have been more likely to be used. Do you know where I could find some more in depth information? Thank you very much.
rickharris iceng11 months ago
I think inkwells were mostly for dip pens.
randomray (author)  rickharris11 months ago
Yes, they were for more than a thousand years, but they were still used with fountain pens. But thank you.