American made fountain pens: American Made Pens & Writing Instruments


American Made Pens & Writing Instruments

About American Writing Instruments

You can never go wrong purchasing and owning an American brand fine writing instrument. American pen companies are some of the most historic and important in the industry today.

American Made Pens

Very few American pen companies still manufacturer their pens themselves in the US. Franklin-Christoph is one such company still making their own pens in the United States with the same dedication to quality that has kept them in business for over 100 years.

Fisher Space Pens are made in USA just outside of Las Vegas. Their ballpoint pens come with a refill that is unmatched and can write upside down, underwater, through grease and in extreme temperatures. If you are looking for an American pen the Fisher Space Pen is one of the best.

American Pen Brands

Other companies are traditionally American but have outsourced their production elsewhere. Conklin, established in 1898 and Sheaffer Pen Company established in 1912 continue to be well respected today. These American pen brands are known for producing historic, innovative and quality fine writing instruments for over 100 years, all at a great value, including the iconic Sheaffer Ferrari collection and the historic Conklin Mark Twain Crescent Filler collection.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art pen company produces unique and inspiring pieces based upon historic priceless works of art. Although fairly new to the industry, established in 1978, Monteverde has become well know and well respected for producing high quality writing instruments at an exceptional value. Monteverde also has one of the most elaborate ink offerings (roller ball & ballpoint pen refills, Fountain pen bottled ink, fountain pen cartridges, etc.

Most of these no longer make their pens in the United States and out source them overseas. Brands such as Monteverde, Sheaffer, Conklin or Metropolitan Museum of Art are based in the United States, not all parts used in their pens are necessarily made in America. These American brands may import various parts or entire pens. We list them here because they are American owned companies. Buy pens from these American pen companies today at Pen Chalet.

Top 11 Fountain Pen Brands In the World

Compelling evidence points towards the fact that fountain pen has been in use for a very long time. Its first patent was registered in the year 1827 by Petrache Poenaru, an inventor of Romanian origin.

With time the fountain pen has undergone several changes but the fact remains that it is still the widely preferred medium of people who prefer to give a penmanship quality to their ability of writing. One can use it for a stretch of time without hurting the hand or fingers. The most important quality of a fountain pen is that the writing looks smooth and it is less susceptible to forgery.

Fountain pens are durable and have a much pleasing appearance making them an integral part of any lifestyle. A classic fountain pen in your shirt or coat pocket also denotes a status symbol for the beholder.

1) Mont Blanc

If you are looking for good fountain pen brands that have a classic appeal and look timeless then you need not go further then Mont Blanc as it guarantees to last for decades because its style is omnipresent. The brand is credited with the launch of several models, slightly different from each other, to give each and every one of them a distinguished look.

Mont Blanc is an ultra premium fountain pen brands that launched its first pen in the year 1910. The German origin company is associated with luxury items and is currently a subsidiary of its parent company Richemont, Cartier International.

Mont Blanc pen is exclusive by nature and is high in demand because of its penmanship quality, unique design and regal look. Hugh Jackman has been associated with this brand since the year 2014 as its brand ambassador.

2) Parker

A fountain pen is an important tool that must stand tall against the test of time. Parker is one such brand that has become an all-time favourite of most individuals because of affordable pricing, craftsmanship, and reliable quality.

Parker is a well-recognized brand of luxury and affordable pen that was founded in the year 1888. It is an American origin company that has been associated with several key models like Vector, Reflex, Urban, and Frontier.

A parker pen easily recommends years of writing because it is very durable and comfortable. Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been associated with this brand since the year 2001.

3) Cross

Cross fountain pen is a sight to behold as the brand has given due emphasis on detailing. The products are a work of beauty making them an instant hit with both younger and elder generation.

A.T.Cross Company is an American origin company founded in the year 1846 by Richard Cross. This iconic fountain pen brand has been associated with innovative instruments to create better writing facilities.

Since the 1970s, the brand Cross has officially supplied its pen to the White House in the USA. Most US presidents including Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan have used it for signing the legislation.

4) Pelikan

Pelikan was a German company founded in the year 1832 but was later re-established after its bankruptcy. The brand has been credited with its distinctive styling fountain pens like Future, Cartridge Fountain Pen, and Pelikano.

Pelikan offers a wide product range in terms of price range, colors and pen size for collectors as well as novices. It has introduced special models for school and college students that are easy-to-use and within their price range.

Pelican fountain pens are light, durable and affordable. The brand has preserved the essence of its origin and continues to manufacture its products using cellulose acetate.  Each pen is unique and reliable and offers a snug grip and smooth ink-flow to its handlers.

5) Sheaffer

Sheaffer has been associated with manufacturing and marketing of luxury fountain pens although it has broadened its product portfolio to include few affordable items. Some of its popular models are Valor, Legacy, Prelude, Intensity, VFM, Taranis and Sagaris.

Its products are beautifully designed, fancifully crafted, are lightweight and offers a comfortable grip so that you can continue to write for a longer time period.

Sheaffer is an American origin company that was founded in the year 1912 by Walter A Sheaffer. Presently it acts as a subsidiary of its parent company A.T.Cross Company. Sheaffer is an iconic brand name that is associated with elegance and beauty.

6) Waterman

Waterman is an American origin brand founded in the year 1884 by Lewis Waterman. This iconic brand is a first-generation company dealing in luxury fountain pens. Currently, it is a subsidiary of its parent company Stanford L.P.

In the year 1900, the brand Waterman was awarded “Gold Medal of Excellence”, making it an instant hit amongst fountain pen lovers. Its products are hand tested so that the brand can maintain its exclusive and iconic tag. The nibs are known for its flexibility and smoothness. Subtle changes in design have taken place over the years to keep up with current technology.

Some of its popular products are Carene, The Liason, The Audace, The Expert, The Exception and The Edson. Former president of France Francois Mitterrand was a fan of Waterman brand and always carried its pen with himself.

7) Sailor

Sailor is of Japanese origin and was founded in the year 1911 by Kyugoro Sakata in the city of Hiroshima. It was the first fountain pen brand in Japan and eventually expanded in overseas market to create a name for itself.

The well-established company creates specified, elegant and finest fountain pens of high quality. Its flawless nibs are known for their precision, smoothness, and quality and are considered unmatched.

With time the company has gained its reputation for technical excellence and accuracy for enhancing the experience of writing. Some of its models are Sailor 1911S, Sailor 1911L, Sailor 1911 Black Luster, Sailor Classic, and Sailor 1911 Fresca Blue. The sturdy and durable product lines are extremely popular amongst fountain pen lovers.

8) Faber Castell

Faber Castell is an integration of elegance, class, and affordability. It is one of the oldest brands in the world that deals in manufacturing of fountain pens and was founded in the year 1761 by Kaspar Faber. Some of its most popular models are LOOM, MINDORO, and AMBITION.

Wide selection of designs, outstanding quality, firm nib, smooth texture, good grip, and a polished look are some important characteristics of Faber Castell that makes it a well-known name in fountain pen sector.

Faber Castell is a German origin brand that has its product presence in more than one hundred countries across the globe. In the year 2013, it was awarded “Trusted Brand” in pen and pencil category by Reader’s Digest.

9) Aurora

If you are looking for a durable, smooth, iconic and eye-catching fountain pen brand then simply go for Aurora. It is an Italian origin company founded in the year 1919. All its products are made in Turin in Northern Italy.

Aurora is a luxury brand known for its superb craftsmanship, gorgeous designs, and precise detailing. Their limited editions have kept the collectors enthralled and in awe and the brand have received several accolades because of its uniqueness.

Some of their most admired fountain pen models are Aurora Tu Fountain Pen, Aurora Talentum Fountain Pen, Aurora Style Resin Fountain Pen, Aurora Ipsilon Fountain Pen, and Aurora Optima Fountain Pen.

10) Lamy

Lamy is a German origin brand that has carved out a niche place for itself in both the national and international market. It was founded in the year 1930 by its esteemed founder Josef Lamy. This fountain pen brand is known for its all-around performance and excellence.

Some of the most admired models of this well-known brand are Safari, Vista, and 2000. Most Lamy models are equipped with the same type of nib and feed. Its luxury product lines including Safari are made from stainless steel and fiberglass with pleasing lines and sophisticated designs.

Lamy fountain pens are premium instruments that leave a lasting impression on its user. The products have a timeless and classic appearance that makes them coveted items in the eyes of its beholders.  The company has included an affordable fountain pen line in its product portfolio to reach out to a wider customer base.

11) Pilot

Pilot is a Japanese origin company dealing in writing instruments like fountain pens. This public limited company operates via its headquarters based at Tokyo in Japan. Pilot is the largest manufacturer of fountain pen in Japan and faces stiff competition in the overseas market.

Its products are known for smooth handling and gorgeous appearance. A Pilot pen has incredible balance, smooth nib, secure grip, great ink capacity, and sleek design. Some of the most coveted Pilot models are Pilot Custom 823, Pilot Kakuno, and Pilot Plumix Italic.

In the year 1964, the company launched its new product Capless with a fully-retractable nib. This highly popular fountain pen was re-launched as Pilot Vanishing Point in the year 1972.  The brand also offers fountain pens for beginners like The Pilot Metropolitan, which creates perfect and smooth lines with a fine nib. These come in three color choices black, champagne and silver.

Top 10 Luxury Pen Brands in 2019 | Top Pen Companies | Global Pen Market Report

Top 10 Luxury Pen Brands Leading the Global Pen Market

A. T. Cross Company

T. Cross is a leading American luxury goods manufacturer founded in 1846, the company owns several luxury pen brands including Cross and Sheaffer etc. Its Cross pen is particularly popular among the US presidents, all presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump have used Cross pens to signed legislation. The company also manufacturer other luxury goods such as desk accessories, wristwatches, leather goods (portfolios, pen cases), cufflinks, and fine writing instruments.


Lamy is one of the leading pen manufacturers in Europe. The company is German-owned. Josef Lamy founded the business in 1930 by purchasing the Orthos pen manufacturer. Lamy was a pioneer in the use of moulded synthetic plastics to make their product. Today, Lamy has evolved to become one of the world’s top luxury pen brands.


Founded in 1912 as a manufacturer of gold nibs and fountain pens, Montegrappa has been one of the world’s top luxury pen brands for over 100 years. Montegrappa – originally known as ELMO – benefitted from a pool of local talents, a workforce able to produce finely crafted objects, with style, with panache and with a drive to achieve excellence.

Montblanc International

Montblanc is one of the world’s most famous luxury pen brands, manufacturing full range of high-end ballpoint, rollerball, fountain pens and pencils. Established in 1906, Montblanc has expanded its collection beyond writing instruments to include high-quality luxury leather goods, timeless jewellery and elegant stationery, all crafted with the brand’s signature meticulous care and top-quality materials.

Newell Brands

Newell Brands is a multinational consumer and commercial products manufacturer and distributor, with its headquarters in New Jersey, United States. It’s also the owner of several world’s leading luxury pen brands, including Parker Pens, Berol, and Waterman etc.

S.T. Dupont

T. Dupont is a French luxury pen manufacturer founded in 1872. S.T. Dupont’s collections are made in France and the main production site is in Faverges, Haute-Savoie. The company originally built its success on leather work, then has been supplying high-end writing instrument since the 1970s. Today S.T. Dupont is well known for its high quality ball-pens, and making it one of the world’s leading luxury pen brands.


Ancora is one of the leading Italian luxury pen brands that founded in 1919. Ancora Pen is famous for making their own pen nibs using 18K gold, and using other high-end materials, such as precious metals, gemstones and handled sea shells, silver, and brass to make pen barrels. Ancora’s luxury pens are known for its exquisiteness and high price.


The Parker Pen Company is another leading luxury pen manufacturer, founded in 1888 in the US and currently headquartered in France and the UK, where its main production is located. Parker pen is also known as a favourite choice of President John F. Kennedy for signing legislation and to give as gifts


Sheaffer Pen Corporation is one of the leading American luxury pen brands and manufacturers of writing instruments, particularly luxury fountain pens. The company was founded by Walter A. Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa, and incorporated in 1913. Some of the Sheaffer’s high end collections include Legacy Heritage, Intensity, VFM, Prelude, and Taranis.


Aurora Pen Company was established in Turin, Italy in 1919 as the first Italian fountain pen factory. For almost 100 years, Aurora has been known for its high quality Italian craftsmanship, beauty and design in each pen it creates. Aurora’s limited editions have enthralled Collectors for years in addition to their everyday writing instruments.

Check Technavio’s Global Luxury Pen Market Report

Check Technavio’s Global Luxury Pen Market Report for more market insights related to the top luxury pen brands. This market research report provides the latest market size and market development for major market segments in terms of product types and regional market landscape. The report contains detailed market trends, market drivers, market challenges and key opportunities. In-depth market analysis such as Porter’s five force model, and comprehensive competitive landscape including detailed profiles of top companies are also included in the report.

12 World Leaders and Their Fountain Pens

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Astir, Lauren. “Tony Abbott Shames Nation With Ballpoint Pen.” Special Envoy Pens, WordPress, 12 Oct. 2014,

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Binder, Richard. “Profile: The Parker ‘51.’” • Pens That Write Right!, RichardsPens, 31 Jan. 2018,

Brown, Jessica. “Theresa May Used a £400 Pen with a Gold Nib to Sign Brexit Letter.” indy100, indy100, 30 Mar. 2017,

Butu, Alina Grigoras. “What Was the Most Expensive Gift That President Iohannis Received in 2017?” The Romania Journal, 15 Jan. 2018,

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Dey, Sohini. “In a Paperless Age, This Mumbai Boy Hopes to Popularise Made-In-India Fountain Pens.” The Better India, The Better India, 28 Apr. 2017,

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Fountain Pen as Bellwether – Resilience

As a writer on environmental topics, I try to limit my purchase of consumer products whenever possible. I do, however, permit myself a couple of extravagances. One is books: my job requires me to be conversant with the latest thinking in my field, so I’ve accumulated hundreds of volumes on climate change, ecological economics, anthropology, and environmental history. My other vice consists of a modest collection of antique Parker and Sheaffer fountain pens made between the years 1924 and 1960. These pens give me daily pleasure as I fill, use, and reuse one after another to write notes, outlines, and lists or to practice a little italic calligraphy. I justify this self-indulgence with the excuse that it doesn’t entail much new resource extraction or energy expenditure. Further, learning about fountain pens has provided some useful insights into American economic and social trends during the last century.

The fountain pen is an ingenious handwriting tool developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While good pens were made in Britain, Germany, Japan, and other countries, most of the key technical advances occurred in the hinterlands of the United States.

George S. Parker started the Parker Pen Company in 1892; Walter A. Sheaffer filed his first patent in 1908 and an application for incorporation in 1913. Both men had been small-town jewelers. Both their organizations initially consisted of a workshop with a handful of skilled employees. And both companies were headquartered in the Midwest—Parker in Janesville, Wisconsin and Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa (where I lived as a young boy). These companies eventually grew to employ thousands of locals; they were the economic engines of their regions.

The beautifully colored pens of the 1930s and early ’40s were constructed of brass, gold, and celluloid—an early plastic made of plant-based material treated with various chemicals, adopted first by Sheaffer in 1924. Manufacturers competed to devise new ink filling mechanisms (levers, buttons, vacuum pumps, and plungers) and to enliven their products with pleasing and sometimes futuristic Art Deco shapes. The best makers offered lifetime guarantees.

The functional development of the American fountain pen achieved its zenith around 1950. By then, Parker had introduced its revolutionary “51” model, whose streamlined barrel was milled from durable Lucite, its cap and trademark arrow-shaped clip fashioned from stainless steel. Its hooded nib kept the pen from leaking ink onto fingers or clothing, and it never skipped. These pens are nearly indestructible. Millions of Parker “51s” were manufactured (and later, hundreds of millions of cheap Chinese knock-offs), and, if you are lucky enough to find one in a junk shop, it will likely require no expensive restoration in order to work as well as it did when it was new—merely an overnight soak in tap water.

During the 1950s, Sheaffer was producing “Snorkels”—pens that fill by turning a knob at the back of the barrel, thereby extending a tube from the nib at the front; a vacuum pump then draws up ink from a bottle. This was the most complicated filling mechanism ever invented—but one that’s also reliable and fun to use once it’s restored. Again, millions were produced in a wide range of colors and grades of trim. Even the cheapest “Snorkel” is a superbly engineered writing instrument.

By the late ’50s, nearly all pen bodies were being manufactured using injection-molded plastics made from hydrocarbons. Molding parts rather than milling them from solid rods of celluloid or Lucite reduced the need for skilled handwork, thereby lowering costs. But gone were the gorgeous mottled and patterned celluloids that had lit up desks, purses, and suit jackets during the otherwise drab Depression.

Fountain pen manufacturing was big business in the first half of the 20th century because nearly everyone did a lot of handwriting. Millions of letters were written to and from troops during the two World Wars, and between family members as they traveled to pursue jobs in distant cities. Billions of written words flowed from the gold nibs of fountain pens (typewriters were for office work). Writing was a personal, tactile, and expressive process, and third-graders spent many tedious hours mastering the Palmer Method of legible, efficient penmanship.

The decline of the American fountain pen began with the advent of the ballpoint in the ’50s. This was a cheaper, more convenient, and often disposable alternative. But nearly everyone’s handwriting went to hell: a ballpoint pen simply can’t be controlled as well as a good dip or reservoir pen (though left-handed writers sometimes disagree). The pen industry’s downturn worsened in the 1980s and ’90s with the appearance of desktop and laptop personal computers, and steepened to a nosedive in the 2000s with the widespread adoption of hand-held computing devices. Today’s third-graders no longer study penmanship. As a result, few children can even decipher (much less reproduce) the cursive “antique writing” that their grandparents painstakingly practiced.

When fountain pen manufacturers fell on hard times in the 1960s, workers started getting laid off. Disposable plastic ink cartridges replaced the many methods of filling fountain pens from glass ink bottles. Parker and Sheaffer were bought by big multinational corporations, and they increasingly produced ballpoints (though both companies also eventually introduced expensive flagship fountain pen models aimed at collectors and fussy executives). Today the factories in Janesville and Fort Madison are shuttered, and current lines of Parker and Sheaffer pens are made overseas.

Something similar happened in dozens of other industries. Markets changed; skilled jobs dried up; and the production of many consumer products shifted from the US to Japan, China, and other countries. Throughout the past five decades, large numbers of talented and ambitious young Midwesterners migrated to the coasts. Their vast, once-thriving region came to be known as the Rust Belt or Fly-Over Country.

The early 20th century was no Eden: while it was a time of industrialization, productivity, and increasing prosperity for many, these trends were enabled by the rapidly increasing and unsustainable use of fossil fuels, the exploitation of poor people across the world for cheap labor, and the intensive looting of the natural environment. The World Wars and the Depression hardly felt like paradise at the time. Nevertheless, compared to what would come later, this period would offer some folks plenty of fodder for nostalgia.

In 2016 and again in 2020, “Make America Great Again” signs popped up on lawns across Wisconsin and Iowa—former hotbeds of farm-based progressive populism. The sentiment is understandable. Of course, the revival of the fountain pen industry was never part of the Trump agenda; Republicans merely directed Midwesterners’ simmering frustration toward immigrants and coastal elites. These politicians’ promises to revive the coal industry came to nothing—thankfully, from an environmental point of view—and their calls to repatriate manufacturing have likewise mostly gone unanswered. Deindustrialization and the brain drain contributed to political polarization and dysfunction, as the overall economic trajectory of the US was inexorably driven by ongoing processes of fossil fuel depletion, financialization, and globalization. Today, the country is widely viewed as an empire in steep decline, perhaps approaching collapse.

Fountain pen collecting has itself changed: when I started buying pens in the 1980s, new acquisitions came from antique or junk stores. A high-quality Parker or Sheaffer in excellent condition might turn up on an annual or semi-annual basis; and, if I was lucky, it would cost just a few dollars. I learned to do simple repairs by trial and error or by talking to other, more knowledgeable collectors. Today, the vintage pen market has migrated to eBay and regional pen shows. Online, you’re bidding against collectors scattered around the world; prices settle at predictable levels for condition and rarity. It’s easier to assemble a collection, but it’s more expensive and often not as much fun. YouTube videos teach enthusiasts how to change an ink sac, adjust a nib, or repair a filler.

Fountain pen collecting is a subject of almost no consequence compared to topics I usually write about—climate change, resource depletion, and economic inequality. But it does offer another, perhaps less obviously worrisome and more entertaining, way of understanding the times we inhabit. And it’s an activity that may have handy repercussions one day if the grid goes down and we still need to communicate.

Teaser photo credit: Parker “Duofold,” 1932, from the author’s collection

Conklin All American Fountain Pen Limited Edition Golden Walnut with Gunmetal Trim

Limited edition Golden Walnut All American fountain pen. Made from dark walnut wood originating from Missouri, USA, each pen has a unique grain which is beautifully set off by the polished gunmetal trim. 1,898 pieces are available worldwide, and the cap is inscribed with its limited edition number.

The original All American pen was released in the 1930s at the dawn of the Depression to satisfy demand for an affordable writing instrument that offered the quality for which Conklin has become known. Drawing inspiration from the original models, Conklin have produced a modernised version of the classic All American.

This is a large pen, as it ought to be with such a name: the barrel measures 15.4mm wide, 143mm long closed, 126mm long open, 167mm posted. Weighs 30g.

Cap features the famous Conklin ‘rocker-style’ pocket clip. Barrel is engraved with the Conklin trademark and the model name.

Screw-on cap can be securely posted to the end of the pen.

Supplied with a converter and starter black and blue international standard ink cartridges.

Polished black stainless steel JoWo nib available in a range of sizes. /p>

Supplied in a luxury Conklin gift box.

All Conklin writing instruments are guaranteed for life against mechanical failure due to faulty workmanship or materials.

Additional Information
Product Code: CK74712
Advance Mechanism: Capped
Ink Type: Liquid Ink
Item Colour: Brown
Item Material: Wood
Refill Type: Refillable, Converter, Fountain Pen Ink, Fountain Pen Ink Cartridge
Tip Material: Steel
Tip Type: Fountain Pen

Orders placed before midday Monday to Friday will normally be sent out the same day.

UK Orders

FREE First Class Royal Mail delivery for orders over £25, and just £2.95 for smaller orders. Royal Mail Special Delivery available for £6.95 extra, or FREE with any order over £100 – but note that coronavirus means the usual guarantee doesn’t apply – sorry. No delivery surcharges for Northern Ireland, Highlands & Islands or anywhere else!


International deliveries vary in cost, so you’ll need to add the items you want to your basket, and enter the checkout to see the options for delivery. Prices and payment methods will reflect your country, and many countries have all taxes and duties included to make things easier and more predictable.

Orders over 2kg

For all orders outside the UK, heavy orders may cost more to send, but the shipping cost will be displayed in the checkout before you commit.

More Information

For more, see our Delivery Information page.

History of Fountain Pens – Invention of Reservoir Pen

The main flaws of quills and pens with no ink reservoir is that they must be constantly dipped in ink so they could write or draw and, because of that,
they can very easily stain the surface on which they write. Fountain pen is the first solution for these problems. It has a reservoir in its body which
holds water-based liquid ink for longer writing. This ink passes through a feed to the nib under the influence of gravity and capillary action. Fountain
pen can be filled with ink in different ways, depending of the way it is built: with a pipette or syringe, with its own filling mechanism that works like a
piston or by placing a cartridge filled with ink inside its body. Some rare models hold in their body ink tablets that are dissolved in water and then
poured in the fountain pen.

Earliest mention of a pen that has an ink reservoir is from year 973. Ma’ād al-Mu’izz, the caliph of the Maghreb, region of Northwest Africa, asked for a
pen that would keep his hand clean while he uses it and would not leave as much mess as standard pens and quills. His wish was fulfilled with a pen that
held ink inside and could be held upside-down without spilling but we don’t know precisely how this pen worked or how it looked like. Next mention of a pen
with inner reservoir comes from 17th century when German inventor Daniel Schwenter invented a pen made from two quills. One quill was placed inside the
other; it held the ink and was closed with a cork. Ink left the reservoir through a small hole which led to a nib.

Samuel Pepys, English naval
administrator, mentioned in his writings a metal pen “to carry ink” in 1663 while Maryland historian Hester Dorsey Richardson also wrote about fountain
pens that existed in 17th century. In the 19th century, standard pens were improved with mass production of cheap steel pen nibs which also influenced
fountain pens. On May 25, 1827, Romanian inventor Petrache Poenaru received patent from the French government for a fountain pen which had a barrel made
from a large swan quill. In America in 1848, Azel Storrs Lyman got a patent for a fountain pen with “method of supplying ink to pens from a reservoir in
the handle”. These were not the only patents for fountain pens of that time but these pens needed three inventions to become popular: iridium-tipped gold
nib, hard rubber, and free-flowing ink (early fountain pens didn’t understand the role that air pressure plays in the operation of pens). First fountain
pen to have all this was made in 1850s. Duncan MacKinnon and Alonzo T. Cross invented in 1870 a variant of fountain pen called stylographic pen which used
a wire in a tube as a valve for ink. All these pens were filled with an eyedropper. First self-filling fountain pens were invented in the early 20th
century. They were crescent-filler pens (which had a rubber sac and a crescent button which pressed it) and twist-filler pens.

All these early fountain
pens had a characteristic to leak so some manufactures tried to solve this problem. Some variants had a retractable point which closed the ink reservoir.
Other had screw-on caps with inner caps that sealed around the nib. Improvements continued after that. Pens were made from celluloid instead of hard
rubber, filling mechanisms were made with pistons and levers, and solid-ink fountain pens appeared. In type fountain pens became a status symbol after
ballpoint pens became cheap and easier to use variant.

90,000 Bexley BX802 Review – at

It was me, of course, slightly shifted the accent in the title … The last “American” is not about the BX802 model, but about Bexley and its fountain pens in general … But everything else is correct …

Another not very well-known pen brand would have passed me by … Yes, I saw these pens in the pictures, looked at the price, did not understand, went on …

One friend of the pen adherent advised me in response to my question about Bexley: just try it yourself… Why not listen to the opinion of an experienced friend …

A little bit about the Bexley company. The company is relatively young – founded in 1993 by a group of enthusiasts, adherents of writing with a pen and writing with vintage pens. The founders decided to create new pen models based on the classic American pen designs and using modern technologies. According to the website, the materials for the pens are processed on high-precision equipment, and the casings and nibs are hand-polished by experienced craftsmen.The company’s production is located in the state of Ohio, USA.

On the whole – already interesting. Since, as far as I know, all major pen manufacturers have long since moved production from the United States towards Asia, Mexico and other countries. And only Bexley continues the traditions of American quality with the hands of American craftsmen. This fact alone (if it is, of course, a fact, I cannot verify, and indirect signs and information from various sources confirm this) already commands respect for the brand. At the same time, it explains the rather big price for Bexley pens.And what do we get for this price?

Let’s take a closer look at the Onyx Bexley BX802 I got.


The box modestly contained a pen in a gray-black case with reddish lines. Without causing enthusiastic exclamations.

I take it in my hand. O! Something seemed to turn on inside her body and the handle literally came to life! Mother-of-pearl lines began to sparkle, glow, the pen seemed to start emitting an inner light!

Just don’t think that taking a pen in your hand, it can be used as a flashlight in a dark room 🙂 Of course, light reflections played on the body.And how they played! Plus, when you take the pen in your hand, you can feel the warmth of its body. The feeling of life and warmth of the BX802 reminded me of the Pelikan pens of the Souveran series – very beautiful and very pleasant in the hand. Offset!


The body of the Bexley BX802 is made of acrylic. It is slightly translucent – this can be seen under certain lighting conditions. Just handsome.

Handle – moderately light. Dimensions – slightly larger than the Pelikan M200 – it doesn’t feel small, the handle looks large enough.

Cap – threaded, with a simple and stylish clip, on which the letter B is unobtrusively embossed – the only reminder that you have a Bexley product in your hands.

On the back of the handle, the cap is held by friction. Holds confidently. The balance of the pen is wonderful – it is convenient to write with it both without a cap and with the latter on.

Filling system

It is typical: cartridge or converter of international standard. Simple and reliable operation.The cartridges are relatively affordable.


And here it will be more interesting …

I had seen this pen in the photo before, and I wrote with similar pens, so I did not expect any revelations. Although the question why there is a fairly simple Iridium Point Germany pen on the 129USD pen (the recommended price of the model) remained. And the answer was … at the tip of the pen 🙂

So, Bexley is installing large size German nibs from Bock on its relatively inexpensive models.(Typical pens use two sizes of nibs – standard and large). Again, I have tried exactly this size German nibs on other pens – excellent smooth writing, moderately resilient nibs.

My Bexley fountain pen has an F nib with the typical IPG lettering on it.

OK! Refueling. Writing.

Remember in the beginning I mentioned that Bexley craftsmen hand-finish each handle? I don’t know how true this is (I haven’t been to the Bexley factory yet), but the pen surprised me.I was pleasantly surprised.

Instead of writing smoothly and typical of a “German”, it writes so softly that I took a magnifying glass a couple of times and looked for inscriptions with a breakdown of gold on it 🙂

I never expected such softness from a pen that seemed to be familiar to me. Maybe Bexley does somehow bring these feathers, maybe Bock makes them feathers with the usual appearance, but according to a special specification, it is not clear. And the pen writes very softly, velvety and, at the same time, also quite thin! Just some kind of joy!

In conclusion

Yes, Bexley, represented by the BX802 model pleasantly surprised me.The pen reminded me of my beloved pet – he is lively, and constantly pleases, and entertains, and also brings benefits (in this case, he writes perfectly).

For purchase – I recommend.

It should be about the shortcomings, according to tradition 🙂

There are two. Both are endangered.

1. The recommended price is a little too high, in my opinion (although the quality is still higher than this price)

2. Model BX802 is discontinued.

In general, if you liked it and want one for yourself, go ahead and search the net.The leftovers are still on sale. And what is even more pleasant, at very attractive prices.

By the way, the BX802 is also available in Cracked Ice and Cappuccino colors – they are also very beautiful.

It is not known for certain whether the last Bexley is a real American manufacturer or not. But the fact that the pen has turned out to be classically sustained and warmly alive is a fact. There would be more fountain pens in our hands!

Ball age – Spark No. 20 (5516) from 04.06.2018

80 years ago, the main writing instrument of the 20th century, a ballpoint pen, was patented.What has she changed in the world and whether she has a chance to survive in the computer age, found out “Ogonyok”

Any invention that changes the world gives rise to legends, and a ballpoint pen is no exception. We owe her appearance to the Hungarian journalist Laszlo Biro: they say that through the window of the cafe he saw children playing balls and regained his sight. This insight made a revolution: recall that the essence of a ballpoint pen is that ink from a rod is transferred to paper using a ball that can spin in any direction.The point, however, is not only in the ball, but also in special ink that dries quickly – Biro also spied on this, this time in the printing house (he was surprised how quickly the ink of the newly printed newspapers dried up). By the way, the introduction of the novelty was not without the military, in general, in the 20th century, many inventions were tested in the army, and only then they went to serve in civilian life. So the popularity of ballpoint pens began with the fact that 30 thousand pieces were purchased … by the British Air Force: fountain pens at high altitudes were not good for anything.Well, the name of the inventor himself went down in history thanks to the word “biome” – this is how pens are still called in Argentina, where Biro and his family fled from the Nazis.

However, he secured a place in history for himself without that, because his ballpoint pen changed the world. How? First of all, the manner of writing changed: the new pen required a different pressure, and the way of supplying ink in it was such that it became easier to write in block letters.The changes, however, were not limited to the desktop – the fashion also changed: after the fountain pens, the aprons that were mandatory for schoolgirls, which protected dresses from blots, gradually fell out of use. And how many accessories have disappeared! It is unlikely that any of today’s schoolchildren wear special covers to protect their pockets from ink leakage or know why blotters were needed …

Success, however, did not come immediately. As British writer James Ward, author of a book on various small inventions, notes, early manufacturers flooded the market with low-quality goods (pens blotted, left scratches), and consumer enthusiasm quickly subsided.The situation was saved by a businessman from the United States, Patrick Frawley, he began to produce pens with a retractable tip, and at the same time conjured over the quality of ink – these pens are now known under the Paper Mate brand. However, the Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA) got the pens of another businessman, Frenchman Marcel Beek: it was he who invented to make them hexagonal, the same shape as traditional wooden pencils, and besides, equip them with a branded cap – this is how they appeared handles Bic. The know-how was not only in the design: initially, ballpoint pens were expensive and cost $ 12.5 per unit (about $ 160 in the current equivalent), and the cost of “bic” was reduced to 19 cents.

However, if the price was the decisive argument for the consumer in the West, then for Soviet citizens it all boiled down to quality: the first ballpoint pens, mass production of which were established in our country only in the mid-1960s, could not boast of them. It is worth mentioning the rods separately: it was difficult to get them and the old ones had to be refilled in special workshops, after which they began to get dirty. But foreign pens in the USSR were a sign of high status: multi-colored pens were especially appreciated (this is when several rods were inserted into one pen at once) and pens with moving pictures (often indecent) on the body – this is given to the Swedish ambassador by Georges Miloslavsky from the cult film “Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Profession “.

In the 1990s, Russians finally got the opportunity to easily get any foreign pen, and refueling workshops are a thing of the past: the need has disappeared.

It would seem, write and rejoice. However, with the advent of computers and all kinds of gadgets, it became clear: the problem is no longer in the pens, the letter itself is dying by hand …

“Today, about 90 percent of texts are created using buttons,” says Alexander Kaplan, head of the Laboratory of Neurophysiology and Neurointerfaces of the Biological Faculty of Moscow State University.- And it’s not just about the keyboard: many devices use word prediction technologies, when a word of, say, ten letters is typed literally with two touches (the so-called T9 function in smartphones). Another thing is that we will not be able to completely get away from hand movement – this is a natural feature of our body and our brain. A person’s hand needs to leave a mark, so a pen in one quality or another will most likely survive, but paper will not.

According to the expert, in the future paper can replace the screen, we will not only write, but also draw on it with our finger, and artificial intelligence technologies will help us with this.For example, if a user makes a sketch of a house, the rest of the details will be drawn by the computer.

– Once, in the process of writing development, we switched from drawing on walls to drawing on paper, today there is a reverse transition: from drawing on paper to drawing on screens, both of which are a natural process, – the expert explains to Ogonyok. – Another issue is that the dominance of gadgets and various social channels, where people freely handle the rules of grammar and spelling, distorts the very system of communication between people.When you write on paper, you organize yourself, and computer culture allows you to switch to emoticons, half-words and half-meanings. A subculture of grammatically incorrect language is being created. However, we still have the opportunity to prevent this.

Not everyone, however, considers the process irreversible: the letter by hand has been buried more than once, experts remind, but it is still alive. Even a ballpoint pen was blamed for his death, and she, as it turns out, saved him! Time magazine recently collected a selection of such alarmist materials from its own archive: it turned out that already in 1947, the dominance of typewriters, telephones, voice recorders and stenography was blamed for the bad handwriting of Americans, and in 1980 they added computer printouts! However, the most surprising thing, perhaps, is different: at one time the ballpoint pen supplanted the fountain pen, and now the pendulum of history seems to have swung in the opposite direction.According to a study by the famous futurist and business analyst Theodor Modis (Switzerland), with the advent of ballpoint pens, fountain pen sales really collapsed and continued to decline from 1951 to 1973. But then there was a turning point: starting in the mid-1970s, fountain pens moved to the luxury segment. As a result, fountain pens and ballpoint pens are not competitors today, and their sales have been growing simultaneously for some time now! The result is evident, more precisely, in the hand: the most expensive pen in the world is a fountain pen, it is made of gold, platinum and 30 carat diamonds, costs 1.4 million dollars and, it seems, is not going to become a thing of the past.

Who knows, maybe a new life awaits a ballpoint pen in the computer age, which we don’t know about yet?


Word and deed

Maryana Bezrukikh, Director of the Institute of Developmental Physiology of the Russian Academy of Education

The main achievement of the ballpoint pen was that the writing process itself was accelerated. Remember how it happened before: you had to dip a fountain pen into an inkwell, brush away a drop of ink on the tip of the pen so as not to put a blot, then when the ink ran out, repeat again.Many actions were required that were not directly related to writing, the result was influenced by the density and quality of the ink, it was necessary to write with a certain pressure so as not to tear the paper – in a word, the fountain pen in this regard differed little from the goose pen of the time of Pushkin. The ballpoint pen eliminated all this complicated process.

What’s going on today? The skill of handwriting is lost, in fact, children write with a pen only at school, and then mainly in elementary. Our institute has an advisory center where parents with children who have learning problems apply.So now there is a stream of schoolchildren writing in such a way that it is impossible to make out. The reasons are clear and, unfortunately, objective: there is much less handwritten work.

In the everyday life of a person, the need for written speech is minimized. Who is writing today? Those for whom this is a profession.

Earlier, an ordinary person at least wrote letters, postcards, telegrams. Today, the maximum that is required is to put your signature on a contract already printed on a computer. And here’s the result: any loss of experience destroys the skill, and writing is one of the most recent cognitive skills mastered by a person, and also one of the most difficult.Is it any wonder that handwriting is becoming a thing of the past? And how to preserve it, if in everyday life it is needed less and less?

I do not share the opinion of those who talk about the indispensability of writing for the development of the brain or that, for example, working on a computer is dull. Against! When a person writes with a pen, he uses one dominant hand. And in the case of a keyboard, that’s two hands. That is, functionally, for the brain, writing with a pen is much easier than typing on a keyboard. However, it seems that the keyboard is also not the last such instrument in the history of mankind.Today, it is increasingly said that a written text can become a thing of the past, and we will slander it. If this happens, there will be many new requirements for the structure of speech, for its style. And this is exactly what should be paid special attention to: according to our surveys, up to 60% of children today come to school with an unformed speech. Why? It’s simple – parents replace communication with children with gadgets, but gadgets do not talk to a child!


Victor Novikov, graphic artist, member of the Union of Artists, icon painter

When we write with a ballpoint pen, this is a continuous letter: we put the pen on, as we were taught at school, and we write without interruption.In calligraphy, we think about every letter, over every movement, it is, of course, slower, but much more useful. The ballpoint pen has spoiled both people and culture. The Chinese and Japanese have not given up their hieroglyphs, which are written with a brush. We have an incomplete replacement for a nib – a fountain pen. But when you write with a pen, you simply have to write correctly, turning the sheet, hand, or the surface itself as needed for the letter.

Source: “Orthodoxy and Peace”

Anatoly Makhlaev, Head of the Department of the Forensic Center of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Krasnoyarsk Territory

In general terms (by handwriting.- “ About “) we can judge about anthropometric data – what is the physique of a person. If the pressure on the handle is large, the person is probably sturdy. As for the character … we can judge by the style of the writing about some of the features. One of the main features is the writing line. If it goes down, chances are you are a pessimist. The rising one is an optimist. Another element is handwriting acceleration. It happens that people sculpt letters to each other like that … Stingy people. It happens that the manner of writing changes over time. The absence of stereotypes speaks of a person’s inconstancy.

Source: “Arguments and Facts”

Alan Kreve, Head of a large company – manufacturer of accessories

I write a lot by hand … It seems to me that the younger generation today is also returning to this. At least I hope so. We live in a world where everyone has an iPhone, an iPad, a computer, and it seems that you can do without pens. But sometimes, when I want to take a note, write something down so as not to forget, I do it by hand on paper, and the process itself is a special pleasure for me.When it comes to letters with words of gratitude, an invitation for a special occasion, perhaps a declaration of love, an invitation to a birthday or anniversary, I think that such letters are definitely better written by hand if you really want to do them. special.

Source: Kommersant Style

Kirill Zhurenkov

90,000 5 most unusual pens |

The ballpoint pen was first patented on October 30, 1888. Since then, its design and functionality have undergone many changes.Pens for status, pens for self-defense, and even pens with which you can scribble an obscene word in zero gravity – in our review.

In Russian, the word “pen” has several meanings. They are sometimes touched, if the handle is a lady’s, pulled, if it is a door handle, in moments of despair they reach it, and, of course, they write with it.

A little history

The first analogue of a modern writing pen appeared around the 30th century BC.An ordinary reed stick, a clay tablet – and you’re done.

Much later, from the love of mankind for recording their ingenious and not very thoughts and feelings on paper, parchment and other improvised materials, birds suffered greatly. No wonder the English word pen comes from the Latin penna, that is, the feather of a bird. Geese, swans and turkeys will never forget this. It is good that in the 20th century their suffering came to an end – the bird’s feather left the writing person’s desk forever.

Today we write with felt-tip pens, fountain and capillary pens, gel and rollerball pens and even biopolymer ink pens, but ballpoint pens remain the most popular, cheap and convenient product in this category.

Officially, the invention of the principle of operation of a ballpoint pen dates back to October 30, 1888, when it was patented by John Loud. More than 50 years later, in the late 1930s, a Hungarian journalist Joseph Laszlo Biro, who studied methods of making ball bearings for cars and weapons, received a patent for a similar modern ballpoint pen.

American salesman Milton Reynolds, while traveling in Argentina, bought several of these pens on the street, thought about it, made inquiries and – bingo! Entry with goods to the American market was just free.A little later, Reynolds flooded the United States with comfortable handles, patenting this useful invention there and setting up its production.

Interestingly, Reynolds’ pen was marketed as “the first fountain pen that writes underwater.” Practicality, cheapness and a fantastic slogan made it very popular among Americans. So, one of the departments of a large New York department store sold more than 10,000 pens during lunch on October 29, 1945.

Later, the Frenchman Marcel Beek earned millions in the production and sale of ballpoint pens.He created the cheapest model to manufacture and modestly named it – BIC. This product laid the foundation for the BIC Corporation, which currently controls a third of the American ballpoint pen market.

In a word, since October 30, 1888, a long way has been passed. It is clear that producing the same ballpoint pen for 126 years is both boring and unprofitable. Therefore, retail never ceases to amaze the consumer with the unexpected design and functionality of such a familiar subject, familiar from the first grade of school.

Most expensive

The Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece. 730 thousand dollars – and it is yours. The pen, which is as expensive as a comfortable pleasure yacht, is a collaboration between Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels. According to the creators, this is “a real masterpiece of jewelry art.” We readily believe, because where else can 840 diamonds and more than 20 carats of other precious stones, secured using the secret technology of Van Cleef & Arpel, go?

The most brilliant

The frame of the La Modernista Diamonds pen from the Swiss company Caran d’Ache took 5,072 diamonds, but even it cannot compete in price with The Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece.The cost of the most diamond pen in the world is “only” 265 thousand dollars. In addition to diamonds, the handle, made by hand by master Robert Perron in 6 months of continuous work, is adorned with 96 rubies of 32 carats.

The most cosmic

A special feature of the Space Pen ballpoint pen, created by Fisher Spacepen Co., is that the ink is inside a special pressurized cartridge. Therefore, it can be written in zero gravity, as well as on wet and oily paper, at any angle, in extreme weather conditions and even under water.

Interestingly, the inventor Paul Fisher spent over $ 1 million on the development of the pen. Later, NASA became interested in his project, which now supplies the Space Pen to the participants of the Apollo project. True, the current price for Fischer’s fountain pen is only $ 6.

The most combatant

In the early 2000s, the so-called “tactical pens”, which are made of titanium, aluminum or stainless steel, became widespread throughout the world.With this object, you will surely not disappear face to face with danger on a dark deserted street, since due to the significant thickness of the walls of the case and maximum resistance to any load, this handle can be used as a knuckle duster.

The very first domestic

The main problem with the production of the first ballpoint pen in the USSR was that domestic manufacturers could not create a high-quality batch of very small balls.At first, very arbitrary geometric bodies came out that could not be used in such a precise mechanism as a pen. In addition, the USSR could not derive the ideal ink formula in any way.

But by 1965 the balls began to come out, as it should be, spherical in shape, and a solution for ink was found: castor oil + rosin.

Citizens of the USSR began to use pens en masse in the early 70s, despite the initial ban on writing with fountain pens in schools.

Most popular today

At the moment, ballpoint pens of various shapes and all colors of the rainbow are produced in the world. Pens are used as a tool for mass advertising marketing, printing company logos on them and presenting them to clients.

The functionality of some pens is simply amazing: pens with combs, bottle openers, laser sights, screwdrivers, calendars, cheat sheets and much more. Human fantasy in this regard simply has no boundaries.

Nowadays it is popular not only to collect pens, but also to decorate their other acquisitions with them. The first art project using fountain pens was launched by Kostas Schuler in 1981. The American attached more than 10 thousand of these stationery to his 300SD Mercedes Benz car! And in general, he amazed the inhabitants of his city with a suit, to which about 300 ballpoint pens were also sewn.

The Japanese gave the world another strange kind of use of pens – pen spinning, or “twisting the handle”.This popular hobby has spread all over the world. Many consider this activity to be absolutely pointless, however, according to fans of penspinning, it develops hand motor skills, finger dexterity and attentiveness.

Tanya Barbotina, who has not yet forgotten how to write by hand

The history of the writing pen | Granite of science

The invention of the pen has a long history. It all started with images. Our ancestors wrote with crude instruments that became more and more perfect over time.It is thanks to writing that we were able to create, share knowledge and learn, leave memory for future generations. The first examples of writing date back to the 6th millennium BC. The first inscriptions were carved out of wood and stone with stone and metal objects. Later, humanity began to use a kind of “stylus” for writing on wax tablets, brushes, chalk, and soon pens. The pen, in its original historical variations and prototypes, is a very ancient written object. It has stood the test of time, and even in the age of high technology, when we exchange information using electronic gadgets, we still continue to use it.

The first pens that used ink appeared in Ancient Egypt. But they looked a little different than we are used to seeing them now. Ancient Egyptian scribes used so-called reed pens to write on papyrus. Then came the pen tools, which were made from feathers of large birds (appeared in the 7th century), while reed pens remained popular until the Middle Ages.

Modern metal handles date back to the 18th century.The first metal-tipped pens were mass-produced in 1822 by John Mitchell of Birmingham. The quality of steel nibs has improved over time, and the metal nib dipped in ink has become a popular writing instrument. The method was quite simple: the pen was immersed in ink, which remained at the tip due to the capillary action. But there were also pens, which had special reservoirs, and they no longer needed to be dunked often. It is assumed that they first appeared in the 10th century, but did not gain popularity until the 19th century – before the advent of the fountain pen in France.During this period, everyone who dealt with writing considered it necessary to contribute to the development of writing instruments. So, on October 30, 1888, John J. Thunder patented a ballpoint pen. Then, in 1907, Eduard Penkala invented his first fountain pen with solid ink. In 1938, Laszlo Biro invented his ballpoint pen, and Yukio Hori of a Tokyo stationery company invented a pen with a felt-tip reservoir. This is how the predecessor of modern markers was created in the 1960s.

The middle of the 18th century saw the invention of the steel feather.However, it did not have much popularity and a wide range of applications, since the pen was without slits, and ink splashes flew in all directions. Only at the end of the century, namely in 1792, through the efforts of D. Perry, a longitudinal slot appears at the tip, due to which the quality and convenience of writing significantly improved. Although in 1803 a patent was issued for the invention of a pen made of metal, but it gained success only years later – in 1822. It was then that the Mitchell brothers in the English city of Birmingham launched the mass production of pens that already used a metal nib.A couple of years later, the first machine appeared, allowing the mass production of steel nibs by stamping – Mazon became its inventor in 1826. The production technology was constantly improved, and by 1850 Birmingham workshops had produced almost half of the world’s number of pens and nibs made of metal. So, by the end of the 19th century, goose nibs actually disappeared from active use, and were replaced by a pen with a steel nib.

The automatic fountain pens created by the Romanian inventor Petrake Poenaru are considered to be the first examples.He received a patent for his “self-charging portable ink pen” in 1827. These pens were quite revolutionary. The end result was something more visually appealing than regular feathers. Despite their undoubted value, there were many flaws in Poenaru’s design. For starters, they didn’t have a system to regulate the flow of ink, so they spread all over the sheet of paper. To make matters worse, ink in the 19th century tended to curl up until it reached the tip of the nib.

Poenaru’s design was not perfect and people kept looking for a pen that would not leak or need constant refill. It wasn’t until 1884 (almost 60 years after Poenaru’s invention) that Lewis Waterman, an insurance agent from New York, improved the fountain pen. Some people mistakenly believe that the first fountain pen was invented by L. Waterman, but he only brought to mind a sample of the long-invented pen. As the story goes, he lent the client a pen to sign the contract, and ink seeped all over the document.Frustrated and having lost a lot of money after this situation from the failure of the deal, Waterman decided to take matters into his own hands and change the fountain pen permanently. Its updated design used an ebony rubber chamber on the outside and an ink-feed with indentations on the inside. The ink flowed smoothly, following the simple laws of gravity, without flooding the paper. By the 20th century, Waterman’s design underwent even more changes, such as the addition of a replaceable ink cartridge. An innovative invention at that time, such as a pen, was made by hand.Such handmade work was very expensive, so it quickly became a luxury item and the best samples were available only to the elite class.

George Parker made a significant contribution to the further development of the fountain pen. In 1889, he patented his first world famous invention. In 1892, the Parker Pen Company introduced pens that had a feed curved toward the side of the cylinder to prevent ink from spilling onto the paper and drying out after the pen was in a horizontal position.In 1911, the Lucky Curve appeared with an improved ink supply system. 1912 – Developed the Safety Cap, a new version of the safety cap that further minimized the chance of leaking Parker fountain pens.

Invention of the ballpoint pen

The ballpoint pen marks a turning point in the development of this writing device. Until 1888, no one even suspected that ballpoint pens would replace fountain pens and conquer the entire globe with their convenience and ease of use.

The first step towards this was taken in 1888, when the American inventor John Loud received a patent for an ink pen capable of writing “on rough surfaces such as wood, rough wrapping paper, and others” without clinging to the irregularities of the nib. The pen itself was absent – the ink was applied to the surface by a “marking sphere” supported by a series of smaller balls. The design of John Loud’s ballpoint pen is very reminiscent of modern roll-on deodorants.The thick ballpoint pen passed ink to the spinning ball, thereby leaving marks on the paper. A special ink was used for the ballpoint pen, it was more viscous than what was suitable for fountain pens.

This feature of the first ballpoint pens attracted the interest of many enterprising citizens, and soon a unique invention spread rapidly in America, gradually conquering more and more fans of comfortable ballpoint pens. More than 300 patents were issued, but they all had serious flaws: ink leaked out, balls clogged.As a result, John D. Low was able to become a pioneer in the creation of a ballpoint pen, and competitors did not bother him, thanks to some secrets known only to him. But Mr. D. Low’s invention still had its drawbacks. For example, a ballpoint pen started to leak in hot weather, due to the fact that the ink melted a little and became liquid, and in winter the ballpoint pens refused to write at all, because the ink in them simply froze.

The idea to create a ballpoint pen came from the Hungarian journalist Laszlo-Jozsef Biro in the mid-1930s.By the nature of his work, he often visited the printing house. One day, as he watched the rotary press release nearly dry newspaper sheets, he thought it would be great if the fountain pen ink dries as quickly as the ink. Laszlo conducted research and realized that it was not yet possible to develop such a comfortable fountain pen. For ink to dry quickly, it must be thick enough to clog the fountain pen capillary system quickly. But Laszlo didn’t stop there.

“If thick ink cannot be used in a regular pen, then some other writing instrument must be invented.” His brother Georg, a chemist, attracted Laszlo with his idea, and together they were able to develop a new pen design. So in 1938, Laszlo Biro and his brother George were the first to come to the conclusion that a completely special ink is required for a ball-point design: on the one hand, they must dry very quickly on paper, on the other, not to solidify on the ball itself, so as not to interfere with its rotation. …Laszlo, taking fast-drying ink as a sample, with the help of his brother developed a two-component ink, consisting of a pigment and glycerin, which was quickly absorbed by the paper. The thick ink was fed to the writing unit using a spring-loaded piston and capillary action.

Laszlo Biro was born in Budapest. His dad, Matiash Biro, was a dentist. And Laszlo, following in his fatherly footsteps, after school also entered the medical faculty, but did not graduate from the university. For some time he practiced as a hypnotist.Then he worked in a petroleum refining company, participated in auto races and even came up with a manual transmission. He sold the patent for this discovery to General Motors. In short, the young man’s head was in place! And so he was thrown from one extreme to another, until eventually he became a correspondent. To improve his working tool – a pen – Laszlo Biro called for help from his brother Georg, a chemist by profession, who decided on an experiment to create perfect and non-leaking ink.

The war broke out. Liberal journalist Laszlo Biro did not want to live in Hungary, which supported the Third Reich. And soon, having captured a prototype of a pen, he emigrated to Paris, then lived in Spain and, finally, settled in Argentina. In 1940, brother Georg also moved to Argentina, and in the same year, the Hungarian brothers and their Argentine friend Juan Mein, who became an investor in the project, began to prepare for the production of a ballpoint pen. The first pens went on sale in 1942 under the name Birome (a combination of the names Biro and Meyne).Curiously, in Argentina, ballpoint pens of various brands are still called “biom”.

The Biro brothers’ pen, produced by their Argentine company Eterpen since 1943, turned out to be quite successful. In 1944, Great Britain bought a license for its production, where these pens under the Biro brand proved to be excellent in the RAF, since fountain pens constantly leaked out at height. Eterpen licensed the design to Eversharp and Eberhard Faber, who were preparing to enter the US market with the Eversharp CA (Capillary Action) handle when businessman Milton Reynolds intervened.

Chicago entrepreneur Milton Reynolds got acquainted with Biro pens in Argentina. Therefore, when he returned to America, he found out that earlier, exactly the same invention had been patented by another American, John Loud. By that time, Lauda’s patent had expired. Reynolds made his own ballpoint pens based on Biro’s design (and simply stole the idea) and filed a new patent in the United States, but in his own name. In just four months, with the help of engineer William Hurnergart, he redesigned the pen to circumvent Biro’s patents (instead of the capillary effect, he proposed a different solution: a thin reservoir, open on one side, from where the paste was fed to the ball by gravity), and released it on the market earlier than the official manufacturer did.The success of the Reynolds pens has been tremendous. When the first batch first went on sale, the authorities even set up a police cordon to contain the pressure of buyers. On the first day, 10 thousand new products were sold. In less than a year, 2 million Reynolds Rocket pens were sold. True, the buyers’ delight was short-lived. The pens were still leaking, staining and ruining clothes.

Then competitors entered the market, and the “War of ballpoint pens” began – advertising, patent and price.By the 1950s, sub-dollar pens had flooded the market, and their poor quality even briefly brought nibs back. However, in the 1960s, under the onslaught of technical progress, fountain pens nevertheless lost ground, this time finally.

A new era in ballpoint pen production began thanks to Marcel Bich, who later changed his last name to Bic. The owner of the stationery factory, Marcel Beek, followed closely the success of the Biro brothers. Having not yet acquired a patent, he was already an investor in the technology of fine metal processing, where he managed to develop a ball for a pen made of stainless steel (now tungsten carbide is used for its manufacture), the diameter of which was only a millimeter (at that time, this was inconceivable accuracy).He decided to make the pen disposable, thereby reducing its price to the cost of a rod – 29 cents instead of 10 bucks. Beek used the design of the Biro brothers as a prototype for his pen.

In 1950 Beek buys out Laszlo Biro’s patent and seriously modernizes his invention. He launches the production of “atomic pen”, this name, following the fashion, he gave to his product. For the production of his pens, he used a very precise Swiss metal processing method, as a result of which the balls in the pens became only 1 mm in diameter.This ballpoint pen wrote thinner, and the ink did not seep in it and did not leave grimy stains on the paper. In addition, Beek made his handles collapsible. In them it was possible to change the rod, which cost the same as the pen itself.

At the same time, he manages to organize a large-scale company. Within a couple of years, the company produced 40 million ballpoint pens annually. And since 1965, Bic Cristal could be bought in almost any country. In 1966, Paul Fisher improved the characteristics of the ballpoint pen.He was able to create a space pen, which took a special place in the history of ballpoint pens, since it could write with it even in zero gravity. Throughout the history of the production of ballpoint pens, Marcel Beek came up with many different designs of pens, but nevertheless, the initial, simplest one, has always remained the main source of income for the company.

Thanks to its highly practical design, the Big ballpoint pen is an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It has a transparent body, through which the ink level is visible, there are holes in it to equalize the pressure in the rod – the ball is evenly enveloped with paste, and a hole in the cap, which appeared in 1991, is made so that a child who accidentally swallows it cannot suffocate.

Today, the production of pens is diverse. There are pens with clocks, radios, dictaphones. Not so long ago, a pen-computer appeared, which writes with ordinary ink on special paper, and the built-in camera recognizes the written text and sends it directly to the computer. But, despite all these achievements, the most common ballpoint pen does not yield to its positions and continues to be one of the simplest and most purchased items in the world.

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Pens of US Presidents

President Obama Demonstrates Readiness to Sign Bill

The first talk about which pens are used by US presidents began in the American press in 1995 with an article by Washington-based lawyer Philip Ross in Pen World.

In the same year, Time published an article about the Parker pens with which Bill Clinton signed legislation.

President Obama had to learn not to use the same pen twice

In his early days as President of the United States, Barack Obama made an interesting discovery for himself: the pens used to sign important government documents are not used twice.

Obama was extremely surprised and told his aides that “these are very good pens.”

The topic of presidential pens is quite complex and interesting to study. The so-called “presidential pens” themselves can be conditionally divided into several categories, of which we will be interested in only one – Bill Signing Pens.

Bill Signing Pens – special presidential pens

This is the name of a special category of pens with which US presidents sign official documents: laws and regulations, or veto bills.

Some researchers argue that such pens were first specially made by order of the administration of President Eisenhower in the late 50s of the last century.

We have information that in fact the first president to use specially made pens was Harry Truman. According to the staff of the Harry Truman Presidential Library and Museum, he used non-refillable Dip-Less Esterbrook pens with a model 2668 DuraCrome Firm Medium Points for general writing nib.

This is a sturdy budget nib with an Esterbrook pen feeder with a regular ball at the end formed by the nib punch, rather than the brazed osmium-iridium carbide ball found in the 9xxx series.

The inscription “The President – The White House” was engraved on the transparent part of the handle. This pen was used extensively as a pen for signing official documents by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson.

Under President Lyndon Johnson, pens began to be placed in gift boxes, which later became common practice.

Tradition of American Presidents

Donating pens after they signed legislation has become a tradition of US presidents.

Typically, these pens are given as appreciation and encouragement to those who have actively participated in the proposed bill and have made a significant contribution to making it appear and turn into law.

  • President Lyndon Johnson donates a signature pen to Senator Robert F. Kennedy
  • President Lyndon Johnson signs the National Institute of Technology for the Deaf bill at Rochester Institute of Technology

Signing procedure is meticulously orchestrated and usually followed by spectacular show in the media.This is a good informational occasion for PR and political advertising.

The pens themselves become a historical artifact and serve as a tool for motivation in the future.

Requests for pens that participated in the signing of legislative acts / Photocopies kindly provided to the Sergey Antonov Project by the Gerald Ford Library

In the left image, Mr. right – a letter from the Republican Party of Guam requesting one pen for sale at auction.

Pens are sometimes donated to political parties or charities. The fact is that due to the special situation, the president cannot make open donations directly to the addressees.

The donation of presidential pens, which have significant historical value, elegantly circumvents this limitation. These pens are then sold at auctions, and the proceeds go to the fund of the party or charitable organization.

Photocopy courtesy of the Gerald Ford Library

Occasionally, the Presidents’ office has received requests for as many pens as is beyond reason.

This memorandum expresses considerations about the inexpediency of the mass distribution of “presidential pens” as souvenirs, because this reduces their value and significance. It also contains the opinion that such requests should not be complied with.

Exposition of presidential pens in the Lyndon Johnson library

After the end of the presidential term, part of the used pens are transferred to the presidential libraries and museums, where they become part of the exposition.

Sometimes these pens appear again. During the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain used a pen given to him by Ronald Reagan.

Not all pens went through the signing ceremony. There are cases when they were presented as souvenirs from the White House reserves.

More pens needed

On January 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was sworn in, he joked to staff that he lacked pens and the government was getting stingy.

Unlike its predecessor, President Trump’s Century II pen in black lacquer with gold leaf and felt tip by A.T. Cross Co’s are slightly more expensive and have a suggested retail price of $ 110 per unit.

Replacement felt tip refill will cost taxpayers $ 6.50.

The Trump administration’s first order was 150 pens, which were shipped through a Washington distributor. The purchase price for the middleman was less than $ 50, but no information is available at what price the pens were sold to the White House.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on a directly raised question about the cost of pens.

The first president to use more than one pen to sign laws was the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Time magazine once observed that the more pens a president uses, the more times he can say “thank you” to those who helped create this piece of history.

Presidents use a variety of tricks to use more pens to sign a single document.

It took Barack Obama 22 pens to sign the health care reform bill in March 2010. He used a new pen to write each letter or part of a letter in the signature.

“It will take a little time,” the president joked. Indeed, it took him 1 minute and 35 seconds to sign this law.

When President Kennedy realized he needed more pens for gifts, he began adding a middle name to his signature and decorating it with strokes.

  • President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while Martin Luther King Jr. and others watch closely the procedure
  • President Lyndon Johnson signs the Housing and Urban Planning Act, 1965

Record holder for most pens used the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, took over 75 pens to sign one document to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

One of the first pens he gave to Martin Luther King.

There were also exceptions to the rule. Not all presidents have used multiple pens. George W. Bush preferred to sign documents with one pen and donated unused ones as souvenirs.

The famous Homeland Security Act (November 2002) George W. Bush signed with one pen, which he kept as a keepsake.

How many pens did the White House order?

This is a very interesting topic for research and to date it has not been fully explored.We have only fragmentary information at our disposal, which makes it possible to estimate the volume of orders for presidential pens.

John Wilson, one of the employees of the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, searching for the number of pens to order at our request, found an audio note in the archives of Marvin Watson (adviser to President Johnson, and later the Chief Postmaster of the United States): “About pens. We need 600.200 to sign laws. 1,500 arrive at the White House today. About 2500 are on the way.I need another 5000. ”

Photocopies of documents from the Gerald Ford Library

As part of our research, President Gerald Ford’s Library provided us with a letter from a Parker employee to Mrs. Wicklein from the President’s Office on the current status of orders for presidential pens dated August 27, 1974. In particular, we are talking about several orders that are in progress and the timing of their execution.

With a difference of two days, the White House ordered 3 lots of presidential pens, two of 500 and one of 1000.Lots of 500 and 1000 should be packed in regular flat packing, and another lot of 500 in gift boxes.

For these pens, two additional lots of black refills were ordered, 1,000 each, with a medium line width and a soft (felt) tip. A total of 2,000 pens and 2,000 spare refills were ordered.

The author of the letter draws special attention to the fact that the dark blue gift boxes, which were initially agreed with the White House, are delayed in production for 4-5 weeks, as there were difficulties with the supply of the necessary materials, therefore the first batch of 500 boxes will be light blue, and the company will continue to adhere to the approved specifications.

Parker Presidential Pens Invoice / Photocopy from Gerald Ford Library

A copy of Parker’s invoice for 6,000 Parker Model 45 Felt Tipped Presidential Fountain Pens, of which 3,000 are in standard packaging and the remaining 3,000 are in Presidential Gift Boxes and 6000 spare rods for them.

The price per item is $ 1.32 (in 1975 prices), and the cost of the entire batch is $ 7920. If we recalculate this cost taking into account the inflation rate (1 USD 1975 is equal to 4.75 USD in 2018), the price of one set will be 6.27 USD, and the total order will be 37,620 Lollars.

Forgiveness to Richard Nixon

Presidential pens are not only famous after laws are signed. On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford signed Proclamation 4311, a presidential pardon for Richard Nixon.

Based on this document, his predecessor, President Nixon, received a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he may have committed against the United States during his presidency.

  • The Parker pen that signed the presidential pardon for Richard Nixon
  • The Parker pen that signed the presidential pardon for Richard Nixon

Critics ridiculed this act and said that a “corrupt deal” was made between the presidents: the forgiveness was to the resignation of Nixon, ascending Ford to the presidency.

Nixon’s pardon was a key event during Ford’s presidency and was one of the main reasons he lost the 1976 election, leading him to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on October 17, 1974.

What do presidents have in their pockets?

At the time of his death, President Truman had many pens on his desk from various manufacturers. The President has used fountain pens from Eversharp, Evenrite, Parker, Sheaffer, and Esterbrook. Ballpoint pens were represented by Unimatic, Eversharp, Reynolds, Rol-Rite, Everglide, Strong Point, Sheaffer, Scripto, Esco, Paper-Mate, Ritepoint, Remington and Fisher.

President Kennedy used a Sheaffer fountain pen, Eisenhower used Parker and Paper-Mate, Lyndon Johnson used Parker, U.S. Pencil Co and Pentel.

Pentel Sign Pen with acrylic nib

This last item is worth highlighting. In 1963, the Japanese company Pentel introduced the Sign Pen, a pen with an acrylic nib. At one of the trade fairs in the United States, she was spotted by an employee of President Johnson’s staff, who purchased a batch of these writing instruments for him.

This is how the Sign Pen fell into the hands of President Johnson. It is worth noting that he liked her, as the model turned out to be successful.This event did not go unnoticed and the popularity of Pentel began to grow rapidly.

Sign Pen was even adopted as the official writing instrument by NASA and went into space on the Gemini mission in 1966. To date, more than 2 billion pens of this model have been sold worldwide.

Image: Bill Clinton Presidential Library

In this photo, we can see how President Bill Clinton signs documents with the official dark blue ball-ball Parker Insignia on May 24, 1998, while at the same time peeking out modestly from under the folder, judging by the size and characteristic cap, luxurious German Montblanc Meisterstuck 149.

Patriotism plays an important role in the life of American society, so it is logical that all the official presidential pens (Bill Signing Pens) come from America. But, as you can see, presidents did not always adhere to this rule in everyday life.

© Sergey Antonov Project, 2018.

Use of any materials from this publication (in whole or in part, including images) is possible only subject to the written consent of Sergey Antonov Project

Pocket Pen | Science and Life

The very first Birome ballpoint pen.

Science and Life // Illustrations

Science and Life // Illustrations

Laszlo-Jozsef Biro – inventor of the ballpoint pen.

A page from Laszlo Biro’s patent: from the drawings, you can easily understand how a ballpoint pen works.


Jotter is a high quality ballpoint pen introduced by Parker in 1954. The handle of this model is still produced.

Science and Life // Illustrations

It is very important to have writing utensils with you in many cases.There are tons of scales for measuring “progress.” Some measure it by the amount of soap consumed, others by the number of books spread out, etc. We disagree with these and all other definitions. King Henry IV of France wanted every peasant to have a chicken for dinner in his kingdom. In terms of material support, this is a very correct scale. As for mental prosperity, we offer our own – and, we hope, fairly correct – scale: in every house there should be a working pen and inkwell.This will most accurately determine the degree of civilization.

And – alas! – every practical figure has to be convinced by bitter experience that it is not always possible to find a pen and an inkwell. As a doctor, I have to see a lot of people. And how many complications, loss of time there is only because there is nothing to write a recipe with and on. Many other professions are the same; and in the wilderness, the search for an inkwell and a pen is almost a sacred rite.

The attached engraving depicts an interesting novelty released the other day by an American company (New York.73, Franklin street) “Eagle pencil Company” – pocket pen. We personally tried it and made sure that, for example, for every doctor, priest, etc. it is literally necessary. The pencil cannot replace it. When prescribing potent drugs, a pencil is not suitable at all, because it is enough to smear a dot or comma for the patient to be poisoned.

Where to find our recommended pen – indicated in the ads.

By the way, let us touch on one, somewhat delicate, point.What is the point of describing new inventions without specifying where they can be purchased and at what price? On the other hand, any indication is considered an advertisement. And many subscribers swear: what are you, they write, describing tambourines, glorious just around the corner?

This position is very difficult. But we dare to assure dear readers that we have nothing to do with it. If we provide a price, this does not mean that we are interested in that, since we recommend only what we approve of, what we find useful. After all, the public does not know how many inventions we reject …

Starting next year, we even intend to expand this business.We have already contacted our correspondents in various cities abroad, wishing to inform the readers of their addresses so that they could have direct communications, in addition to the editorial office. In any new business, improvements are achieved with difficulty and not suddenly. We hope for success and think that next year we will be able to give our readers the addresses of persons in the main cities, to whom subscribers can turn for advice and information on new inventions, and if possible, for others.


Biographies of things



The founder of the pre-revolutionary “Science and Life” Matvey Nikanorovich Glubokovsky combined publishing with the profession of a doctor. He lamented that “it is not always possible to find a pen and an inkwell,” and the pencil was not suitable for writing out prescriptions. Therefore, when the Fontaine Pen began to be sold in Moscow, Glubokovsky happily greeted this “new American invention” and published a note entitled “Pocket Pen” in Science and Life No. 49 for 1890.

With the invention of the fountain pen, the “ink revolution” began, the next stage of which was the invention of the ballpoint pen.

It all started before the war, in the mid-1930s. The Hungarian journalist Laszlo-József Biro at that time, due to the nature of his work, often visited the printing house. The work of the printing technique fascinated the inquisitive journalist. One day, standing in front of a rotary press, which was producing almost dry newspaper sheets, Laszlo wondered: why not fill the reservoir of a fountain pen with special ink that would dry as quickly as printing ink? If you create such an ink, then the fountain pen would be much more convenient to use.Soon the journalist realized why no one had invented special ink until now. The difficulty was that in order to dry quickly, the “special” ink had to be thick, and such ink, of course, would quickly clog the fountain pen’s capillary system. An ordinary person, having learned about such a contradiction, would quickly realize everything and move on. But not so stubborn Laszlo-József was. “If thick ink cannot be used in a regular pen,” he decided, “then some other writing instrument must be invented.”

With his idea Laszlo carried his brother Georg, a graduate chemist, and together they began to develop a new pen design. At some point, the Biro brothers came up with the idea of ​​replacing the sharp tip of the pen with a rod filled with ink, with a freely rotating ball at the end. They probably came up with this idea on their own, although the design of a ball-point device, similar to a pen, was patented back in 1888 by the American John Loud, and during the first third of the twentieth century, several enthusiasts tried to establish the production of a ballpoint pen.But commercial success bypassed them: the designers did not manage to cope with the childhood illnesses of the ball design. Prototypes of ballpoint pens either flowed strongly or did not supply ink well – technologically they were far from perfect.

Before returning to the story of the Biro brothers, let’s briefly explain how a ballpoint pen works. The principle of its operation is that a freely rotating ball is located at the end of the rod tip of such a handle, which quite tightly adheres to the walls of the rod tip.One side of the ball is “bathed” in ink, so when it turns under the pressure of the writer, the ink side is on the surface and leaves a mark on the paper. To see everything for yourself, you can look at the tip of the rod through a magnifying glass or watch the roll-on deodorant work.

The Biro brothers developed the first prototype of a ballpoint pen in 1938, but they failed to glorify their homeland with a revolutionary pen. The Second World War began, and the liberal journalist Laszlo Biro did not want to live in Hungary, which supported the Third Reich.He emigrated to Paris, where he filed a patent for his invention, then moved to Spain and, finally, to Argentina. Brother Georg also moved to Argentina in 1940. Their Argentine friend Juan Mein got carried away with the idea of ​​releasing a new type of pen and became an investor in the project. Already in 1942, a small factory built in Argentina began producing ballpoint pens under the Birome brand (a combination of the names of partners Biro and Meyne). Just as we call copiers “copiers” and diapers “diapers”, in Argentina ballpoint pens are still called “biroms”.

The first ballpoint pens of the Biro brothers to hit the market were more expensive than good fountain pens. But they were bought. Pilots appreciated the handle earlier than others. Unlike a fountain pen, a ballpoint pen did not flow when raised to an altitude where the atmospheric pressure was lower. Soon, the Royal Air Force of Great Britain acquired a license to produce ballpoint pens for their pilots. Information about the “aviation pen” reached the United States, where in 1944 Biro defended his invention with a patent.Soon, Laszlo Biro’s company sold licenses to two large American companies, but they were not expecting huge commercial success in the US market.

In 1943, an American salesman Milton Reynolds, while traveling in Argentina, accidentally bought a “birom”. Intuition told the enterprising businessman that a ballpoint pen would make him rich. Returning to his homeland, Reynolds immediately inquired about the pen, patented Biro’s invention under his own name (before the inventor himself did it) and, without a license, mastered the mass production of a ballpoint pen in the United States.When, after a massive advertising campaign, on October 19, 1945, the first batch of Reynolds Rocket pens went on sale at the major New York department store Gimbels for $ 12.5, 50 police officers had to be called in to keep order. Ten thousand pens were sold out in a few hours!

Laszlo Biro and his American partners, of course, were outraged by Reynolds’ insolence. The management of the company “Eversharp”, which officially bought the license from Biro, filed a lawsuit against the now millionaire Reynolds, but failed to defend their right to the American patent.Milton Reynolds prepared in advance for this turn of events. In court, he referred to an American patent by John Loud dated 1888. The Lauda marker was intended for applying numbers and marks on the surface of burlap, cardboard and boards. Reynolds stated that his pen was a miniature copy of Lauda’s invention, and that Biro’s system had nothing to do with it.

Over the next several years, Eversharp and Reynolds International Pen Company were bitter competitors. In their quest to dominate the American market, both companies have embarked on a reckless price war.Thanks to her, the price of a ballpoint pen fell from $ 12.5 to 50 cents in two years. But its quality also fell. In the end, justice prevailed – the company of the cunning businessman Reynolds was ousted from the market. But her opponent, Eversharp, was also in trouble. The poor quality of cheap ballpoint pens has made buyers revert to fountain pens again. In 1951, fountain pens were again among the top sellers. Consumers came to believe in the ball again with the introduction of a high-quality but expensive ballpoint pen from Parker-Jotter, which could write five times longer than Eversharp and retired Reynolds.In less than a year, 3.5 million of these pens were sold at prices ranging from $ 2.95 to $ 8.75.

And in the early 1950s, another new player entered the ballpoint pen market – BIC. Marcel Beek, one of the founders of the French company “BIC”, bought a patent for the production of a ballpoint pen from a company founded by the brothers Biro and Maine in 1950 and soon became the leader in the sale of ballpoint pens in the world, including the American market. A distinctive feature of the BIC pens was that, with acceptable quality, they were sold at a really low price.For example, in 1960, BIC pens cost between 29 and 69 cents in America. If in the early 1950s fountain pens and ballpoint pens fought each other with varying success in the market, then in the middle of this decade it became clear that the ballpoint pen is the leader, and for a long time.

As for the inventor Laszlo Biro, thanks to whom the world switched from a fountain pen to a ballpoint one, he retired in 1947: he changed a ballpoint pen to a brush and devoted himself to painting.


Anecdote and reality

After the first launch of astronauts into space, it became clear that conventional ballpoint pens did not work in zero gravity.NASA had to spend five million dollars, six years and 200,000 man-hours on research, and finally a unique zero-gravity pen was created.

Russian cosmonauts used a pencil.

Some people continue to believe that this is not an anecdote, but a true story. But this is certainly not the case. Until the second half of the 1960s, astronauts used felt-tip pens or mechanical pencils to write down, while astronauts used ordinary pencils.However, in the late 1960s, astronauts actually began to use a special zero-gravity pen. The unreliability of the anecdote is that NASA has nothing to do with this invention.

The pen, writing in zero gravity, in the upside down position and at temperatures from minus 45 to plus 200 degrees Celsius, was invented by the American inventor and entrepreneur Paul Fisher. His firm, the Fisher Space Pen Company, invested about a million dollars in the creation of the Fisher Space Pen.

In 1968, Fischer invited NASA to try his invention. After that, the pen was accepted by the American and Russian (then Soviet) space agencies for further use.

The secret of the Fischer pen is that its tungsten carbide nib is precisely positioned in the tip of the nib to prevent leakage. Ink is thixotropic – solid in its normal state, it liquefies when writing. The ink itself is in a special cartridge under pressure of compressed nitrogen, which is separated from the ink by a sliding float.

It is undesirable to use pencils in zero gravity: they often break, and chips can get into the eye. In addition, there is a small danger of wood fires in an oxygen atmosphere.

By the way, ordinary ballpoint pens can also write in zero gravity, just their work will not be perfect.

American Walnut Wood Fountain Pen – Order at the Crafts Fair – JXNGWRU


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