Historical information

Pen-wipers or pen-cleaners were invented to prolong the usefulness of their pens by keeping them clean and dry between uses. This helped to prevent rusting of the nib from water-based inks. In the 1890s and 1900s, with the rise of the fountain pen, pen-cleaners remained a popular desktop accessory, since they could still be used to wipe away the excess ink from the nib and feed of a pen, once it had been refilled in an inkwell. Pen-cleaners died out in the second half of the 1900s when people started using ballpoint pens.


This item is from Raper Collection donated to the Wodonga Historical Society by Mrs. Jean Raper.

Physical description

A blue/mauve glass bowl on 6 petal shaped metal feet. It contains a central black brush which was used to clean the ink from metal pen nibs.