The Great Inkwell Experiment Part Five—Third-Week Results

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Inkwell Experiment Results Graph-Week Three

    1. glass well with a simple gravity-closing hinged lid;
    2. glass well with a silver snap-close hinged lid;
    3. metal well with glass insert and a hinged outer cover (thus with space between the insert and the cover);
    4. wooden well with glass insert and an unhinged cloth-lined wooden lid;
    5. glass writing-box bottle, with threaded brass lid;
    6. pottery ink bottle, with a new, replacement, cork;
    7. (control) plastic graduated cylinder, open;
    8. (control) modern glass ink bottle with plastic lid and synthetic lid liner (J. Herbin).

Week three results are in! And it seems that I’m finally getting the hang of Excel (or, more specifically, how to make readable charts using Excel.) Full data to date can be seen here.

As expected, the brass inkwell went dry last Saturday. Interestingly, even the modern, very effective, ink bottle is exhibiting some loss over time.

And it seems that the time-honoured solutions of using natural products such as cork (the stopper for F) and wood (the case for D) are very effective. It reminds me of the Japanese chests, made of paulonia wood (the same wood as many traditionally-made Japanese kitchen knives). One significant characteristic of paulonia is that it absorbs huge amounts of water, very quickly. The reports are that, when caught in a flood, the drawers of these chests swell shut almost instantly, perfectly preserving the clothing inside them. It made me wonder if the wood of inkwell D is simply swelling shut enough to limit air exchange, and thus evaporation.

In any case, one more week to go, and then on to conclusions and full data. Tune in next Friday…

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