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The History Of The Ballpoint Pen

The ballpoint pen origins date back to 1888, when the first patent was registered to John J Loud. Loud was trying to design a pen that would reliably write on things other than paper, but what he found was the design was not suitable for everyday use, meaning his idea never took off.

For decades after Louds? design, there were several more unsuccessful attempts at the ballpoint. Most who tried had trouble with even distribution of ink, and clogging but it wasnt until a Hungarian man named Laslo Biro came up with a new design based on quick drying newspaper ink that the ballpoint really started to gain traction. Biro enlisted the help of his brother who was a chemist and the pair of them (who had to flee Germany in WWII) went into business in Argentina. They licensed the design out to several different countries over the next few years following the end of the war, and high sales established the Biro name as the household synonym for a ballpoint pen today.

During the 1950s, the ballpoint market had become crowded, and consumer interest had plunged. It wasnt until Parker released the Jotter in in 1954, selling millions in less than a year that interest and requirement for the ballpoint pen took off again. Around this time the Bic ballpoint was launched onto the market, which saw huge success during the 1960s. As a result of this success, the price of ballpoint pens was driven due to the high competition.

Since then, the design has been super-refined so that now a cheap ballpoint is able to provide users with a writing ability thats a similar quality to more expensive options, with the latter benefiting from removeable refills which come in various colours.

The ballpoint today is the most popular pen worldwide and is the go-to note taker for most people. From offices, schools and at-home everyday use; we all have access to multiple ballpoint pens in our lives. Despite the increase in digital devices, and screen based working, we dont see the ballpoint going away anytime soon!