It was in June 1943 that the two brothers, Laszlo and Gyorgy Biro, filed the patent for Ballpoint pens. And in the honour of this milestone, June 10th is celebrated as the Ballpoint Pen Day. Ballpoint pens had been one of the greatest inventions which reflected from the fact that these pens were quite in demand during their early years. These pens were considered expensive and rarely available to common people.
Chronicles of Ballpoint Pen
History says that Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian newspaper editor, was quite frustrated with the whole mechanism of filling ink in fountain pens and having ink smudged papers. He then noticed that the ink that was used in newspaper printing dried up at a comparatively faster rate. This lead Laszlo to think of using a type of ink similar to the one used for newspapers. He then along with his brother György, who was a chemist by profession came up with an ink formula that they used for their ballpoint pens.
The ink used in ballpoint pen is an oil-based ink that is thicker in nature. This ink usually contains up to 40 percent of dyes. The dyes are suspended in a solvent of oil. The most common oil solvents used here are benzyl alcohol or phenoxyethanol. [ 1]
While we can go deeper into the history of ballpoint pens, let us deviate and know some interesting facts about these amazing pens. But first of all, let’s know the different parts of a regular ballpoint pen.
Now that we know our ballpoint pens better, here are 6 interesting facts about ballpoint pens that you might not have known.
- In a ball pen, the ink is distributed over a metal ball at its point. That means over a “ball point”!
- In Argentina, the ballpoint pens are known as ‘birami’, honoring the inventor Laszlo Biro.
- The first batch of ballpoint pens for sale was in New York. Apparently, the queue for buyers was so long that people had to be controlled by police officers.
- Ballpoint pens were used in the World War II by the Air Force pilots. It was because the ink in these pens was less prone to leakage at high altitudes in comparison to fountain pens.
- Apparently, ballpoint pens don’t work well for “lefties”. This is because while writing the left-handers push instead of pulling the ball across the paper. And this inhibits the ink flow.
- The largest ballpoint pen was made by Acharya Makunuri Srinivasa (India) and was presented and measured in Hyderabad, India. It measures 18 ft 0.53 in long.
Note: Paul C Fisher invented the Anti Gravity pen for use in space missions.
That’s a powerful pen indeed! There you go, now you know ballpoint pens better. So this ballpoint pen day, ditch the keypads for some time and take the pleasure of writing on paper with your favourite ballpoint pen. In case you are looking for one, check us out here. Let’s ink our words with the finest pens!