Tag Archives: Ballpoint pen

The Fountain Pen

The Fountain Pen

Prior to the refinement and mass-production of the fountain pen in the late 19th century, writing with ink had some serious drawbacks. The dip pen had to be continuously dipped in ink, while the quill—made from a feather plucked from a live bird—required frequent sharpening. By contrast, the fountain pen held liquid ink in a reservoir until needed, at which time the ink was fed to a nib via a combination of gravity and capillary action. How was ink inserted into the first fountain pens? More… Discuss

Today’s Birthday: László Bíró (1899)

László Bíró (1899)

Frustrated by the way his fountain pen‘s sharp tip would tear paper and by the amount of time he wasted filling the pen with ink and cleaning up smudges, László Bíró set to work developing a better pen. A Hungarian newspaper editor, he noticed that the ink used in newspaper printing dried quickly and without smudging, but it was too viscous for use with existing pens. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed the modern ballpoint pen. How long did it take him to build his pen? More… Discuss