Question from Douglas:
I use a ballpoint pen nearly everyday, who invented it?
The first ballpoint pen patent, 392,046, was issued to John Loud on October 30, 1888. Loud was a leather tanner and needed a writing device to assist him with marking leather and cloth. Regular fountain pens were unable to perform the tasks Loud needed. The new ballpoint pen worked well on tough surfaces, but was too rough for use of paper. The pen was never commercially produced.
View Loud’s patent here.
Irritated with how often he had to fill his fountain pen with ink, László Bíró, wanted to invent a better writing product. Bíró realized the ink used for newspaper printing dried quickly without smudging. He wanted to create a writing device that would dispense ink with the same qualities as the newspaper ink. László and Georg Bíró created the first commercial ballpoint pen. The brothers filed for a British patent on June 15, 1938. They also filed and received US patent 2,400,679 on May 21, 1946. The pen had a few kinks. However, thanks to a creative marketing strategy, the ballpoint pens were popular, especially among the British Royal Air Force.
View Bíró’s patent here.