Who invented the ballpoint pen?




Who now know the name of John D. Lauda? And yet this is the first inventor of the ballpoint pen. This American "Kulibin" from Massachusetts back in 1888 received a patent for "pen with a rotating tip" -small ball on the end of a hollow rod filled with ink. Over the next thirty years, the US Patent Office has issued 350 patents for similar pens, but none of them has become a commodity ... The main obstacle was black! Too liquid left blot on paper and soiled pocket, and too thick froze on the ball. Sometimes it was possible to create a suitable controlled conditions, and then the ink acted as it should ... until you change the temperature of the air. The best thing that managed to create - a pen that wrote, usually with an air temperature of 21 ° C, 18 ° C, it clogged, and above + 25 ° C - leaking and leave blots. So on the tablets of history were in addition to the author's first ballpoint pen are the people who have spent more than a decade, so it's a great invention to bring to mind. For each of them to establish a mechanism and handle design was extremely important and very personal matter. No accident that all the labels on the legendary brand and quality pens - someone's surname. Each of them has its own saga, a fascinating novel century long.


Laszlo Biro & lt; / p & gt; Something like this was the case, for when this issue came from the brothers Biro (Biro). After the First World War, 18-year-old Ladislav Biro (Laszlo Biro, László József Bíró) (1899 - 1985) He was born in Budapest into a Jewish family. His father, Matyas Biro, was a dentist. Son, it would seem to follow the footsteps of its parent. And, indeed, after school Laszlo entered the Medical Faculty, but the diploma did not get. For some time he practiced as a hypnotist, he worked in the company for the production of petroleum products. Then he took part in the then fashionable craze - racing, and even came up with together with other automatic transmission. The patent for this invention has bought US company General Motors to not allow anyone to implement the invention. A kind of recognition that the inventor had a head on his shoulders! In the end, the young man became a journalist. Budapest journalist! At the beginning of the 20th century Budapest, which was the second capital of Austria-Hungary, joined the race as beautiful as it is hopeless. Second capital struggled to become more beautiful capital first, lovely Vienna. And I must say that although the second Vienna from Budapest did not work, this race still went in his favor. And it happened: in Vienna more stiffness and imperial splendor, in Budapest - more provincial heat. In Vienna - Opera in Budapest - operetta. In the Viennese café came ceremoniously eat sweet in Budapest - communicate and even work. Editions of many newspapers to settle in Budapest next cafe. W here, for not prepared Viennese coffee with a fine, but not Viennese, treats, editors typeset in the next issue. Here journalists discussed the burning topics and scribbled topical articles. Here resorted reporters and brought "tail" latest news - in the room. Laszlo Biro first headed the newspaper «Hongrie-Magyarország», which in French and Hungarian meaning "Hungary", and after its closure began working in the newspaper «Elôtte». Naturally, it was a working tool handle.


 Ink flowed from the pen on a sheet of newspaper, which absorb liquid like a sponge, and the end of the pen tore the paper in this place. In general, it turns no inscription, and purple swamp. Even on the first-class paper remained blots, and on fingers and clothes Biro constantly adorned with ink stains. Then Ladislav called his brother George, a chemist by profession, and the brothers began to develop new Biro pen. After testing dozens of models brothers Ladislav and George, not knowing what to them has already been made 351 attempts, invented his pen. Somehow during the holidays, while on the Mediterranean Sea, the brothers began to talk about his invention with some older gentleman. They showed fine writing pen, which he liked. It turned out that this gentleman was then president of Argentina, Augusto Yusto. He invited the brothers Biro build a factory in his country ballpoint pens. A few years later, World War II began, and the brothers decided to leave Hungary. They remembered his old friend and fixing his eyes in the direction of South America. Brothers landed in Buenos Aires with ten dollars for two. Yusto found them, and soon with the help of the president they were able to enlist the support of several investors. In 1943, the city opened a new factory. The effect was tremendous, ie there was a grand failure. Biro brothers made the same mistake as all their predecessors - they relied on the force of gravity, which is under the influence of ink fell on the ball. This meant that it was necessary to handle all means keep vertically. But even then the flow of ink has been intermittent, and remained on paper clots. Ladislav and George returned to the lab, and soon came up with a new design, the capillary. Siphon swapping ink forced to move to the ball regardless of the position of the handle. June 10, 1943 is considered the birthday of a ballpoint pen A year later the brothers Biro released for sale in the Argentine stores the new model. However, the costs handle sluggishly. Eventually, the brothers ran out of money and had to stop production. But they came to the aid of US military pilots. Air Force pilots are often in Argentina during the war, made a discovery that Argentine pens can write up at any altitude and do not need frequent charging.


 Stay in Paris was short-lived. After the invasion of German troops Biro family move out of the ocean, in Argentina. June 10, 1943 Argentine László Bíró got a patent for his invention. And soon, he organized a factory for the production of ballpoint pens «Eterpen». Annual Sales Biro pens reached 7 million. But a grand commercial success was local. When Laszlo Biro planned to start production of their pens in the United States, it became clear that one of the American businessmen visited Argentina and evaluate the commercial potential of a ballpoint pen.


 Around the same time Chicago resident named Milton Reynolds also faced with handles Biro in Argentina. He returned to the US and found that such pens were already patented by John D. Lauda and other Americans, but the validity of their patents by the time expired. So he decided that he could, without fear, to copy the design Biro. Yes, American issued documents in his name. The invention Biro was simply stolen. Litigation ended not in his favor. The largest market in the US Joseph Biro lacking. Once Biro managed to make a million, but tens and hundreds of millions of other earned as is often the case with inventors. Reynolds pens sold for 12 dollars 50 cents through the New York department store Gimbelsa. When in 1945 the first batch of ballpoint pens went on sale in New York, the authorities had put a cordon of several hundred police officers to keep a little pressure of people wanting to buy a new pen. On the first day managed to sell 10,000 new products, although they cost cheap. New attracted attention, and the whole party Gimbels sold on the first day, all 10,000 pens! A lot of industrialists wanted to cling to the glory of a successful entrepreneur. Reynolds hired a swimming champion Esther Williams, who demonstrated that the ballpoint pen can write even under water. Others have shown that the pen writes a ball up or through a stack of copy paper. But one problem still remains: despite the hype started around new items, pens worked matter. They leaking, killing a number of important documents and non-shirts. In addition, these inks dry out. Volume sales began to slowly creep down. Price - too. Ballpoint pens, recently considered the subject • luxury, were sold in just nineteen cents. But once bought a pen, even for those pennies and trying to write, buyers swore was worth and vowed not to buy pens until the end of his life ...

 The person who made the buyers to renounce such oaths, called Marcel Bish (Marcel Bich) (1914 - 1994). He lived in France and was a manufacturer of fountain pens and writing instruments. Marseille with professional interest reacted to a ballpoint pen. At first he just watched as their popularity takes off, and then the stone fell to the ground and crumbled into dust ... The primary reason for this, of course, was the second world war - after it in either the US or in Europe, people could not afford expensive things. All that was done at the time, was subordinated to the idea of ​​maximum simplicity and utility. Against this background, the idea of ​​Bichat came to the court. He decided to make a one-time pen and cut its price to the price of the bar - 29 cents instead of $ 10. The task was not easy - in addition to low prices, and it was necessary to ensure reliability at the then fountain pens (reached by the time of perfection). Otherwise the handle is unlikely to be found buyers. Bish built under the Paris factory producing writing instruments. The prototype handles Marseille Bisha served not too successful design Hungarian brothers Biro. Especially popular are not used because of the many flaws, but overall - it was ballpoint pens in the modern sense, on the brothers agreed to sell the patent. Looking ahead to say that Argentina has become a second home for Laszlo Biro. In Spanish-speaking countries it became a Hungarian name Ladislav. And his birthday, September 29, became a national holiday, the Day of the inventor. So, in 1950, Marcel Bish bought the patent L. Biro and seriously perfected his invention. M. Bish utilize the invention in Switzerland, a method of treating metal to within a few hundredths of a millimeter, and began to produce steel balls diameter of only 1 mm. With this ballpoint pen Biro began writing thinner, and the ink does not seep through writing unit and did not leave smudges on the paper. Within two years, Marcel Bish bought all appear on the market model of ballpoint pens and meticulously tested them, identifying positive and negative aspects. In 1952 he achieved the triumph Bish cheap hex handle made of transparent plastic wrote gently, without smudges or zasyhaya. Later Beek recalled: "I thought it would be perfect to throw out the old thing in one place and buy a new one in another. I sank into dreams: Here I had become so much money to not have anything to throw a pity. Then I realized: you just have to make very cheap things themselves. " Then enterprising Marseille makes its collapsible handle BIC (you want, buy a rod and me, but it was worth as much as the pen itself), and starts advertising promotion of the product. Handle new design Bish called "Crystal" and in 1950 began production of these pens in France. In 1953, Bish began mass production, and two years later in the day sold for two hundred and fifty thousand of his pen. And in 1958, Bish defended his invention patent of the United States and came to the US market, founded the company BiC. BiC began mass production of cheap disposable ballpoint pens made of light plastic. These pens, hexagonal, like a pencil, almost ousted from the US market other writing instrument. After studying the international market, Marcel Bish realized that with his name he does not get in America. Then he changed the spelling of the name so that it can properly and easy to pronounce everywhere will sell its new handle - Beek. Model "Bik" immediately gained worldwide recognition. It is also worth mentioning that soon Marcel Bish could purchase his own firm "Waterman", specializing in stylish fountain pen. Marcel Bich invent new models, devised a variety of handles designs, but the old, reliable "Bick" never ceased to be the main source of income of the firm.

 The famous Bic Crystal is still the most popular among handles -to day produced 14 million units (a fake one count under it are not able to). Its casing is made transparent, as if to say: "The main thing - the content, the shell - nothing." However, the pens still find a buyer - people who are important to the content, and the image, or just rich people. Billions of pens whose style hardly changed, sold, used, lost, disassemble, disappeared no one knows where, but again bought ... After all, without them, as without hands! Today, the production of pens significantly improved: pens are available with clock radios, digital recorders. Latest invention in this field - pen-computer. She writes regular ink, but on special paper, built-in camera "translates" doodle in plain text and sends images to a computer. Despite the development of high technology, an ordinary ballpoint pen in no hurry to give up their positions. Similarly, so far successfully applied and a wooden pencil, created in 1790.
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