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In 1883, Waterman was an insurance broker in New York City, getting ready to sign one of his hottest contracts. In honor of the occasion, Waterman bought a new fountain pen that he considered far more stylish than a cumbersome dip pen and ink well. With the contract on the table and the pen in the client's hand, the pen refused to write, and actually leaked onto the precious document. Horrified, Waterman raced back to his office for another contract, but a competing broker had closed the deal. Determined to never again suffer such humiliation, Waterman began to make fountain pens in his brother's workshop.
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