The Sword and the Pen – two powerful weapons that take great mastery to wield correctly. Make your choice carefully, we’ll soon find out which is the mightiest weapon of them all!
Swords evolved from daggers of the Neolithic era where they were made of flint or bone. During the Bronze Age daggers became more refined and ornate, but the material was not strong enough to make a blade longer than dagger sized. However, materials improved throughout the Bronze Age and by around 1600 BC the first swords were being crafted.
During the Iron Age swords became increasingly common. Though the iron of the time was not much stronger than copper, iron swords were easier to produce and the material was more readily available.
There have been many famous types of swords used by many cultures throughout history.
The first curved swords were called scimitars, and were used by the Persian army during the 9th century.
And in East Asia the 13th century brought the Samarai warriors, and with them a variety of famous swords including the katana (long sword), wakizashi (shorter companion sword for katana), ōdachi (extra long field sword), and tachi (long cavalry sword).
Swords maintained their statuses as important military weapons until firearms reduced their utility and eventually replaced them. Today they are often used decoratively, and symbolically in military ceremonies and parades.
The pen has evolved quite a bit since its debut, and even today there are a variety of pen types to choose from.
Ancient Egyptians wrote on papyrus scrolls using thin reed brushes or reed pens from the Juncus maritimus or sea rush. Reed pens continued to be used until the Middle Ages, but were slowly replaced by quills starting in the 7th century.
The reed pen was eventually replaced by the quill pen as new writing surfaces were created. Animal skins, vellum and parchment replaced papyrus and allowed for finer writing with a quill pen.
These early pens all required an ink source in which they could be dipped. The earliest record of a pen with a reservoir dates back to the 10th century AD. In 953, Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes, and was provided with a pen which held ink in a reservoir and delivered it to the nib.
The first fountain pen to receive a patent was invented by Romanian student Petrache Poenaru in the 1820s, and used a large swan quill as a resevoir.
Next we come to the ballpoint pen, patented by John J Loud in 1888. However the ballpoint design was really perfected by Hungarian newspaper editor László Bíró, who used newspaper ink coupled with a ball-socket mechanism to prevent ink from drying inside the reservoir while allowing controlled flow.
Though in modern times computers have replaced the need for a pen in many circumstances, pens are still important writing implements, and their simple mechanics make them reliable tools for jotting down notes whenever you need them.
So which will it be? Will physical or mental might reign? It’s time for you to decide! Join team Sword or team Pen this Thursday August 2nd at 11 am ET and may the best team win!