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Quill Facts

A pen made from a flight feather of a large bird

  • Quills are popular writing instruments before the invention of the dip pen.
  • The hand-cut goose quill is still used as a calligraphy tool.
  • Quills provide sharp stroke as well as greater flexibility than a steel pen.
  • Goose feathers are commonly used. Swan feathers are considered premium.
  • Quill pens were used to write the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.
  • A quill knife was the original primary tool used for cutting and sharpening quills, known as 'dressing'.
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