Ten things you may not know about ballpens

Promotional Plastic Pens














My company, RT Promotions, sells thousands of printed and personalised ballpens to business’s every year. They’ve been in the top ten most popular promotional gifts lists for as long as I can remember, and there’s a really good reason for that – they’re EFFECTIVE. But thinking about the pen made me think about some other facts, some of which are not so obvious, and then it was but a small step to come up with this article, “Ten things you may not know about ballpens“………..

  1. Despite patents being filed as early as 30 October 1888 (John Loud), the first commercially viable ballpoint pen was registered by László Bíró, a Hungarian newspaper editor, on 15 June 1938.
  2. In 1941 the Bíró brothers fled Nazi Germany and moved to Argentina. On 10 June they filed another patent and formed Bíró Pens of Argentina.
    The pen was sold in Argentina under the Birome brand (portmanteau of Bíró and Meyne), which is how ballpoint pens are still known in that country.
    This new design was licensed by the British, who produced ball point pens for RAF aircrew as the Biro; they found they worked much better than fountain pens at high altitude.
  3. Eversharp, a maker of mechanical pencils, teamed up with Eberhard Faber in May 1945 to license the design for sales in the United States. However, around 1945 a U.S. businessman, Milton Reynolds, saw a Biro pen in a store in Buenos Aires. He purchased several samples and returned to the U.S. to found the Reynolds International Pen Company, producing the Biro design without license as the Reynolds Rocket. He managed to beat Eversharp to market in late 1945; the first ballpoint pens went on sale at Gimbels department store in New York City on 29 October 1945 for US$9.75 each. This pen was widely known as the rocket in the U.S. into the late 1950s.
  4. Most ball-point pens will draw a line 4,000 to 7,500 feet long, whereas a typical pencil can draw a line 35 miles long.
  5. Weird Fact: A mouse can fit through a hole the size of a ballpoint pen
  6. Weird Fact: On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.
  7. The average person uses up 4.3 ballpens a year.
  8.  In 95% of cases, if a person is given a new pen, the first word that he/she would write is his/her name.
  9. More than 2 billion pens are manufactured in the United States annually.
  10. Black ballpoint pens manufactured by Parker have a projected lifespan of five miles of writing before the ink dissipates.

Did you know all of them?


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