In 1912, Walter A. Sheaffer took his idea of a pen-filling apparatus that utilised a lever system and, with his life savings, founded the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company in Fort Madison, Iowa. The company was established in the backroom of Mr. Sheaffer's jewellery store with seven employees, and was incorporated a year later, in 1913. By the 1930s, Sheaffer fountain pens were being advertised as the pen that "fills instantly from any ink-well, with one touch of a finger. Cleans automatically when filling. Sheaffer has manufactured fountain pens down to the present day.

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