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ballpoint pen

Ballpoint pen
Two Hungarian brothers, Ladislao J. Biro (1899-1985) and Georg Biro (1897-19??), invented the ballpoint pen in 1938. Ladislao was a sculptor, painter, and writer, while his brother was a chemist. The two brothers applied for patents in 1938, but during World War II they moved to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Argentina. There they formed a company to produce the pens, and they patented several improvements that allowed the ink to be fed by capillary action rather than by gravity, reducing leakage. A British financier, Henry Martin, manufactured Biro pens for use by Royal Air Force pilots, as the pen did not leak with the changes in pressure of high altitude. Biro pens were in use throughout Europe by the end of the war. In France, Baron Marcel Bich produced extremely cheap ballpoint pens in Clichy, outside Paris, achieving a production rate of 7 million pens a day in the late 1940s. Bich bought out the Waterman Company in the United States and imported the Bic. The Biro pen was licensed to Eversharp and to the Eberhard Faber Company in the United States. However, in 1945, an American businessman, Milton Reynolds, visited Buenos Aires and brought back several Biros to the United States. Consulting a patent attorney, he found that an earlier ballpoint system for a marker had been patented in 1888 by John J. Loud. Working from that expired patent and developing an improved flow system, Reynolds developed a gravity-feed pen. The ink remained a problem, with early inks skipping, clogging, or fading under sunlight. In 1949 Fran Seech, an Austrian chemist, developed improved ink that dried quickly, and Frawley Corporation introduced a system employing his ink as the Papermate pen. Other variations were introduced, with Pentel bringing out the felttipped ballpoint in 1973 and a ceramic nib in 1981. Gillette introduced an erasable ballpoint pen in 1979.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


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