Complete Ballpoint Pen History

A Complete Ballpoint Pen History All You Need To Know

Ordinary but necessary things in everyday life surround us every day. We are so accustomed to some that we do not notice their presence, but their absence is noticeable. These things can include a ballpoint pen.

Despite increasing gadgets, cellular networks and electronic signatures. Manufacturers and shops of ballpoints such as the Parker jotter hold their positions even now. Nowadays, it’s possible to see expensive pens as fashion accessories or addition to a businessman’s image. So crucial in historical inventions, national ballpoint pen day is marked on June 10th.

At first glance, this is a fairly simple object. These days, nobody attaches importance to pen designs and shapes.

Who Invented The First Ballpoint Pen?

Once in the state of Massachusetts, inventor John J. Loud invented the first ball pen. US patent No 392,046 this event occurred on 30.10.1888.

But did you know before 1888, nobody even guessed that they would come to replace conventional fountain pens? Does the common ballpoint pen now conquer the entire globe with its convenience and ease of use?

The pen design by leather tanner John J Loud resembles current roller deodorants. A thick core passed ink to a rotating sphere. Being able to leave marks on a rough surface, wood or coarse wrapping paper. It used special inks; they were more viscous than those that came with a fountain pen. Unsuitable for writing on paper, this patent lapsed.

fancy handwriting pen

New Century

Over the next 30 years, there was a mass of people to patent their varieties of handwriting instruments. But John Loud kept the secret of his famous universal creation, and his followers did not receive their desired profit.

Following designs were not good enough, leaked and deteriorated. Sometimes the ball itself, performing its primary rotation function, fell out after several times of use. As a result, he would become a pioneer in the history of the ballpoint pen. Competitors did not bother him, thanks to secrets known only to him.

But the invention of Mr J. Loud, as it is not pitiable, had its drawbacks. For example, it leaked in hot weather because it thawed. In winter, it refused to operate at all because the ink froze.

Biro Brothers

It was only in the 30s of the 20th century that the Bíró brothers (Hungarians by nationality)-the chemist György and journalist László Bíró-made a ballpoint pen that would not dirty hands and clothes of writers, and not leave blots or smudge.

A thought to create an ink pen appealed from frustration to Hungarian newspaper editor László József Bíró in the mid-1930s. From his work, he often visited newspaper printing houses. Suddenly, as he watched machinery produce dry news sheets. He thought it would be great if it dried out as fast as newspaper ink.

László researched and realized that it wasn’t possible to develop such a comfortable writing instrument. Quick-drying ink formulas must be thick enough, and such ink will clog the fountain pen capillary action. But László did not stop there. “If you cannot use thick ink in a normal fountain pen,” he decided, then you need to come up with some other writing tool.

Move Countries

With his ideas, Laszlo enticed his brother György, a chemist, and together they developed a completely new design. They had an idea to replace the sharp tip with an ink reservoir. With a freely rotating tip on the end, then everything should happen.

In the summer of 1938, a prototype ballpoint pen created by them turned out usable. But with World War II, liberal journalist Laszlo Biro did not want to live in Hungary who supported Hitler’s Third Reich. Soon, taking his prototype pen, he emigrated to Paris, then Spain, and Argentina.

In 1941, his brother moved too. In the same period. Hungarian siblings and Argentine friend Juan Jorge Meyne, who became the project investor, to produce a successful ballpoint pen using thick inks. The new biro pen appeared on sale in 1943 under the brand Birome (a mixture of the surnames Bíró and Meyne). It’s curious that in Argentina, “Birome” is still called ball pens of different brands.

Postwar Implements

The history of the pen in the united states resembles an action novel. In 1943, American commercial traveller Milton Reynolds, travelling through South America, bought a “Beer”. An enterprising businessman realized reliable ballpoint pens would make his cash if he mastered its mass production in Chicago.

On return home, Reynolds made inquiries about the rolling ball pen. Patented Bíró’s invention in the USA with his surname (before the inventor did it himself). Then mastered the mass production of a ball point pen with no license. After an advertising campaign on October 29th, 1945, the initial batch of Reynolds pens went on sale. Sold under the brand Reynolds Rocket in Gimbels department store in New York City, at the cost of $12.50. Fifty police officers had to maintain order. With 8 million made by Reynolds international pen co in the six weeks prior, ten thousand sold out in days!

Design Wars

Reynolds insolence outraged Laszlo Biro and his American partners. Wahl-Eversharp, which bought Bíró’s pen license, sued Milton Reynolds but did not defend its patent rights. Reynolds referred to the earlier patent, dated 1888, in court. Reynolds said his pen was a reduced copy, and Bíró’s construction has nothing to do with it.

wholesale pens

BIC Pens

Marcel Bich followed the successful Biro’s. Not yet gained a patent, he was already an investor in fine metal processing technology. He developed tiny bearings for a stainless-steel handle (now tungsten carbide used to make it). His steel ball-bearing diameter was only one millimetre (it was incredible accuracy).

In 1950, he licenced Biro’s idea and created an “atomic grip”. Which, following fashion, gave his name to his product. He organizes a large-scale company. Within a two year period, the business produced over 40 million. And since 1965, we could buy Bic Cristal in almost any country.

Artistic ink sketch

Designer History

Bic employees believe (and declare this) ink in their pens enough to draw a continuous 2 km line. Thanks to its practical design, an ordinary pen became an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It has a transparent case, through which the level is visible. There are holes in it to equalize pressure in the rod-envelope the metal ball with paste. The hole in the cap appeared in 1991. It was made so that any child who swallowed it could not suffocate.

Fisher Space Pens

Paul Fisher improved the characteristics of the ballpoint. He created his space pen, which took a special place in the history of the modern ballpoint pen brands. It is possible to write even in zero gravity with its pressurized ink cartridge; it could work on almost anything from grease to metals.

Classic Style

Types of ballpoint pens

Price category shows the quality and role of each pen. Simple plastic handles can be disposable and with a replaceable body. Removable caps or push-button mechanisms for activating letters. Such models are inexpensive, less than one pound, and most often serve not for long.

Average price category includes pens for everyday use. Models of this segment have mechanisms for extending refills they use (push-button or rotary). Aluminium parts and rubber inserts also abound.

image of penmanship

Fancy Pens

Premium or business class represented by famous high-quality brands. The range of prices within this category is extensive and depends on materials and finishes. Luxury pens from Mont Blanc or Montegrappa branded pens cost mid-hundred pounds.

Twist Ballpoint Pens

A.T. Cross has a long background in developing, manufacturing writing implements. Richard Cross started the firm in 1846. An employee Walter Boss purchased the organisation in 1916; his family remained key figures into the early 21st century.

The Cross company is known for several historical developments. A propel-repel mechanical pencil is the forerunner of today’s mechanical pencil. Stiff competition from 150 pen manufacturers with quality issues Cross didn’t release one until 1953. Cross released their first twist ballpoint pen designs in 1954 with its mechanism similar to ones used in their pencils. A slim ballpoint refill and the “Cross Century” famous even now.


Retractable pens

Retractable ballpoint pens first appeared in 1950 from “The Frawley Pen Company”. With several parts, barrel, two cams, thrust button, springs and cartridge. Examples from Parker or Waterman pens are reliable, stylish models that adorn the look of a present-day person and testify to their high status and good taste.

The humble Ballpoint pen takes its rightful place in the range of stationery products. This irreplaceable item even became the creator of a separate artistic direction. Pictures drawn with their help are appreciated by critics—a wide range of applications and ease of use. A large selection of models defines them as the most demanded accessory with a smoother writing experience.

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4 thoughts on “A Complete Ballpoint Pen History All You Need To Know”

  1. Ages ago, when I was learning about blogging, someone mentioned to me that I could even write about pens – because there will no doubt be someone who will want to read about them. I don’t write about pens, but I was so thrilled to see a blog about them! A fascinating story, thank you for putting this together 🙂

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