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Higgins Ink

The history of Higgins Ink is somewhat murky, as two men--Charles and Rufus Higgins—both laid claim to the world-famous art supply staple. The first man to make this claim was Charles M Higgins, an Irish immigrant to New York in 1860. In his spare time he experimented with inks in his sister’s apartment, and it is there he was rumored to have invented Higgins India Ink and Eternal Black Ink. In 1880 Charles formed a company to sell and distribute his ink, and it soon became the “must-have” ink for artists. However, there is also the story of Rufus L. Higgins, who may or may not have been a relative of Charles. In a Wild West sort of way, Rufus Higgins set up a dry good store in Virginia City, Nevada, which was where the first mention of “Higgins” as a company name was found. Higgins had a shady, or at least poor, business practice. It was rumored he was involved with arson and bad business partners—and no patents for his inks were ever found even though that is how he made most of his money. But, to art historians, it is a tad suspicious that Charles Higgins “invented” his inks within the year after Rufus Higgins developed his in Nevada, only to lose his entire business to fire. So, all in all, even though we may not know the true origin of Higgins Ink, what we do know is that the company creates ink of the utmost quality and will continue to do so, no matter what the future may bring!

  • Inks and Calligraphy Supplies


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