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 wiper was used by the teacher at Upper Gundowring Primary school, Victoria. The school, number 2733, opened on 13 July 1886. Due to changing demographics in the region, in 1953 the school was merged with schools from Dederang North, Kergunyah, Gundowring, Kiewa, Red Bluff, Charleroi and Gundowing North on a 10 acre site with 11 rooms at Kiewa to become Kiewa Valley Consolidated School.


This item is was donated by Mrs. Betty Barberis, a well-known artist in the Wodonga district.

Physical description

ThIs ceramic pen wiper/ cleaner was produced to clean and maintain the nib on an ink pen. It has a blue line pattern at the base, middle and inside the rim.