Did You Know? – The Ballpoint Pen, Part III

Did You Know? – The Fountain Pen, Part II
October 9, 2022
Did You Know? – The Typewriter, Part IV
October 11, 2022

Lewis Waterman’s fountain pen, The Fountain Pen, Part II, was not without its shortcomings.  Ink smudged.

Innovation followed.  Laszlo Biro noticed that newspaper ink dried quickly and did not smudge.  However, it was too thick for a fountain pen.  He patented the ballpoint pen in 1938.

“The British government bought the licensing rights to Biro’s patent during World War II. The British Royal Air Force needed a new pen that would not leak at higher altitudes in fighter planes the way fountain pens did. The ballpoint’s successful performance for the Air Force brought Biro’s pens into the limelight.”

Mary Bellis, How Laszlo Biro Changed the History of Ballpoint Pens (thoughtco.com)

Then, in 1954, Parker introduced “the Jotter.”  It worked well and sold well.

But it was soon eclipsed. “The French Baron Bich dropped the ‘H’ from his name and began selling pens called BICs in 1950.”  BIC soon dominated the market.  Id.[1]


[1] Bellis, Mary. “Inventor Laszlo Biro and the Battle of the Ballpoint Pens.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/ballpoint-pens-laszlo-biro-4078959.