The next innovation in writing instruments was the steel-tipped pen, which had been invented around 1780, but did not come into commercial production until the 1820s. By the 1840s, use of the steel-tipped pen became widespread. Pens with steel nibs remained common until the 1940s, when they were gradually replaced by self-filling fountain pens, and the inexpensive ballpoint pen.
According to records, this pen was a wedding present to Annie Elizabeth Newby from the bookkeeper at Fort Edmonton. Annie married John Walter in Chief Factor Richard Hardisty’s home on October 21, 1886.