Ballpoint Pen Development History

- Jan 15, 2019-

The earliest name of the ballpoint pen was in 1888. An American journalist named John Lloyd designed a pen that used a ball as a nib, but he could not make it into a product that people could use.

In 1895, commercial non-writing ballpoint pens were also sold on the British market, and because of their narrow use, they were not popular. In 1916, a new type of ballpoint pen was designed and manufactured in Germany. Its structure is close to today's ballpoint pen, but its performance is poor, which has not attracted much attention.


Hungarian journalist Radislo Biro is very aware of the problems with ordinary pens. Biro believes that when he visited a newspaper, he came up with the idea of replacing the traditional ink pen with a pen that uses quick-drying ink. The ink used in newspapers is almost dry in an instant and does not leave any stains. Biro vowed to apply similar inks to a new type of writing instrument. In order to prevent the viscous ink from clogging his pen, he proposed to install a small metal ball that can rotate on the top of the tube containing the quick-drying ink. The metal ball will have two functions: as a cap to prevent the ink from drying out. The ink is allowed to flow out of the pen at a controlled rate. In June 1943, Biro and his brother Georg (a chemist) applied for a new patent to the European Patent Office and produced the first commercial ballpoint pen, the Biro ballpoint pen. Later, the British government purchased the right to use the patent ballpoint pen, making these ballpoint pens available to the Royal Air Force crew. In addition to being stronger than traditional pens, ballpoint pens can also be used at low pressures (in the sky, traditional fountain pen inks can overflow). This received good results in the Royal Air Force, making the Biro ballpoint pen highly acclaimed. In the Second World War, this ballpoint pen was widely used in the military due to its ruggedness and ability to adapt to the battlefield environment.