Quill Pen

Quill Pen

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
The Copp family used these quill pens in their home in Stonington, Connecticut during the 18th and 19th century. Quill pens were generally made from the five outer feathers of a goose or swan’s wing. The end of the feather was shaped to a point, with the hollow shaft of the feather serving as an ink reservoir when dipped in an inkwell. Quill pens served as a primary writing instrument prior to the mass production of dip pens around 1820.
The Copp Collection contains a variety of household objects that the Copp family of Connecticut used from around 1700 until the mid-1800s. Part of the Puritan Great Migration from England to Boston, the family eventually made their home in New London County, Connecticut, where their textiles, clothes, utensils, ceramics, books, bibles, and letters provide a vivid picture of daily life. More of the collection from the Division of Home and Community Life can be viewed by searching accession number 28810.
Object Name
date made
ca 1750
Physical Description
quill (overall material)
bamboo (holder material)
overall-mounted on board: 3/4 in x 2 in x 8 3/4 in; 1.905 cm x 5.08 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of John Brenton Copp
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Cultures & Communities
American Enterprise
Copp Collection
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object