The primary implement for writing is the marker. Markers are used for writing's basic element; tagging. Markers with permanent ink are preferred and black is the most commonly used color. Markers come in a wide variety of sizes and tip widths. Displayed below are a few of the more popular types markers used during the 1970s and 1980s.
1. Toy markers Tip width: .25"
Toy markers were one of the earliest tools writers used. They were popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s while the writing culture was defining itself. They were available in a variety of name brands such as DriMark, Magic Marker, El-Marko, and Marks-O-Lot. A variety of colors was also available, but black was preferred. Toy markers were quickly replaced as the tool of choice by markers with broader tips.
2. Standard writing Markers Tip width: .5"
These markers became the standard tool in the early to mid 1970s. They were preferred for several reasons. First of all the tips were broader so tags could be rendered at larger scale. Secondly unlike most toy markers they be easily be refilled with ink. They were available in a variety of brands such as Pilot, Magnum 44, Niji and Marvy.
3. Mini-Wide Tip width: 1"
4. Uni-Wide Tip width: 1.5"
Uni-Wides and Mini-Wides were very desirable because of their broad tip widths. Writers would often put different colors of ink on the tips to produce a variety of tones in their tags. These implements never became as popular as the standard writing markers because they were cumbersome and rendering a decent tag required above average manual dexterity.
5. Flo-Pens (not pictured) Tip width: variety up to .5"
Flo-Pens became popular in the late 1970s. They were about the size of a standard pencil but had tips that were almost as wide as the standard writing markers. They could be easily concealed due to their small size, but also ran out of ink quickly because of limited capacity. They were manufactured by the Flo-Master ink company.
6. Home-made markers (not pictured) Tip width: various
Home-made markers were popular through out the entire course of transit era writing. They were constructed with felt from school black board erasers placed into items such as such as cigarette lighters, Tic-Tac candy boxes and shampoo bottles. Home-made markers were less desirable; because if not constructed properly could be very messy. On occasion liquid shoe polish was also used, but could also be very messy.
Most markers were refilled with permanent inks such as Flo-Master, Marsh and the blue ink used in grocery stores to mark product prices.
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