Page 4 of Bécassine Among the Allies sees our heroine make the technological leap from porte-plume (nib pen) to stylo (fountain pen). The porte-plume was the standard writing instrument of the 19th Century, and was essentially a metal nib on a stick. The writer dipped the pen into an inkwell, and so controlled the amount of ink in the instrument. The stylo or fountain pen, which dominated the handwriting world in the first half of the 20th Century, had the virtue of portability, as a large amount of ink could be stored in the hollow handle. Unfortunately this ink would occasionally gush forth, as Bécassine discovers, and as Charlie Brown was still discovering in the 1950s. The ballpoint pen of the later 20th Century reduced (but did not eliminate) the risk of ink stains, but lost the nib edge, thereby destroying the art of handwriting. Many cartoonists still use a nib pen. Source: Musée de l'Ecole de Chartres et d'Eure-et-Loir.