Ballpoint Pen Development History

- Apr 01, 2018 -

The first appearance of the name of the ballpoint pen was in 1888. An American journalist named John Lauder had designed a pen that uses ball bearings as a pen tip, but he failed to make it into a product that is easy for people to use. [1] 

In 1895, a non-writable ballpoint pen was also sold on the British market. Because of its narrow use, it failed to become popular. In 1916, a new ballpoint pen was also designed and manufactured in Germany. Its structure is similar to today's ballpoint pen, but its performance is poor and has failed to attract widespread attention.

The Hungarian reporter Radisilo Biro was very aware of the problems with ordinary pens. Biro believes that when he visited a newspaper, he had the idea of replacing the traditional ink pen with a pen using fast-drying ink. The ink used in the newspaper is almost instantaneously dry, and it will not leave a smudge. Biro vowed to apply similar inks to a new type of writing instrument. In order to avoid sticky ink blocking his pen, he proposed to install a small metal ball that can rotate on the top of the tube containing this fast drying ink. The metal ball will have two functions: as a cap to prevent the ink from drying out. Allows ink to flow from 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 this patented ballpoint pen so that the ballpoint pens could be used by the Royal Air Force crew. In addition to being more sturdy than traditional pens, ballpoint pens can also be used at low altitudes (in high altitudes, ink from traditional fountain pens can overflow). This was well received by the Royal Air Force and made Biro Ballpoint acclaimed. In World War II, the ballpoint pen was widely used in the military because of its robustness and ability to adapt to the battlefield environment.

In the United States, Milton Reynolds introduced a new type of ballpoint pen in 1945, and successfully put into commercial production for the first time, replacing the fountain pen that was still popular at the time. The ballpoint pen uses a small ball to release the highly concentrated gelatin ink onto the paper. Renault ballpoint pen is a simple writing instrument and it is advertised in the "first pen that can write under water". Renault sold 10,000 when it first introduced a new ballpoint pen. These ball point pens that were first publicly sold are very expensive ($10 apiece), mainly because they use new technologies.

In 1945, the first cheap ballpoint pen was produced. At the time, the Frenchman Marcel Bisch developed an industrial process for manufacturing ballpoint pens, which resulted in a significant reduction in unit costs. In 1949, Bisch launched his ballpoint pen in Europe. He named these ballpoint pens "BIC", which is a simplified version of his name that is easy to remember. Ten years later, BIC sold its ballpoint pen to the US market for the first time. Consumers were initially reluctant to buy BIC ballpoint pens because other manufacturers have introduced many ballpoint pens in the US market. In order to discourage consumer hesitation, BIC launched an exciting nationwide television campaign to publicize this kind of ballpoint pen "One use, use it for once!" and sell it for only 29 cents. Ballpoint pen. The BIC also released television commercials depicting their pen shot from the rifle, tied to skates, and even mounted on a jackhammer. Within a year, competition forced the price of each pen to drop below 10 cents. BIC produces millions of ballpoint pens every day!

A ballpoint pen is a type of writing tool that uses the rotation of a ball to write ink onto paper. After the Second World War, ballpoint pens were introduced to China. The shrewd businessman made advertisements for "atomic pens" to open up the market through the remnants of the atomic bomb that exploded in Japan. In fact, the "ballpoint pen" has nothing to do with the atom, but it is similar in pronunciation. Ballpoint pens soon became popular in the world. Only Japan will consume 400 million ballpoint pens a year. Ballpoint pens are able to write because the steel balls in the writing head can transfer quick-drying ink to paper when they are rolling. It is said that Japan's ballpoint pen cartridge contains enough dry ink to write 20,000 words. However, after more than one word is written, the gap between the steel ball and the steel tube will gradually become larger, so that the ink will leak out from the gap, often contaminating the clothes, etc., which is very unpleasant.

Pharaoh's Ballpoint Pen

Pharaoh's Ballpoint Pen

A small business owner in Japan came up with a trick: put a little dry ink, so that the ink in the cartridge can only be used up to more than 10,000 words, and the problem of the leakage of the ball point pen cartridge will be solved. As a result, he applied for a patent and specialized in the production of a short-stemmed ball-point refill and ballpoint pen, which was welcomed by many customers. This method of solving problems seems to be a kind of cutting corners, but it is essentially an innovation that is an ideological and methodological innovation that solves problems that people cannot solve at the time.

Ballpoint pens were expensive in pens in the 1950s. After they were used up, they were not willing to be thrown away. They could continue to use them in special pen stores. It is said that Hungarian Bilo, a proofreader of a printing factory, because of the good printing sample, containing more water, with a pen change, the word easily blew and blurred, so he used the ball to put ink on the tube to write , it is not easy to have previous problems. Later, Bilo supplied his invention to the Royal Air Force and made the first ballpoint pens from a British aircraft manufacturer. Until World War II, Americans adopted Bilo's invention. In 1916, the new ballpoint pen designed by Lisbo in Germany was not promoted. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, the U.S. military industrial department proposed to create a pen that is suitable for writing in the air, does not leak water, is free from the influence of heat and cold, can store large amounts of ink, and does not need to be diligently fed, and offers rewards. In 1944, Renault, a Chicago businessman, saw this as an excellent opportunity to make a fortune. Due to his active mind, he invited many people to improve Lisbow's writing and achieved success in about a year. It was just then that the United States dropped the atomic bomb in Japan. He advertised it, coined his pen and the atomic bomb, and named it the ball pen. It quickly swept the world.

In 1948, China's first domestic ballpoint pen was born in Shanghai Fenghua Ballpoint Factory. After the reform and opening up, driven by huge export demand, pen-making plants have mushroomed.

In 2011, China’s relevant national authorities launched the project “R&D and industrialization of key materials and preparation technologies for the pen industry”. The state allocated nearly RMB 60 million to support research institutions and companies targeting neutral ink manufacturing, stainless steel wire, and processing equipment. Scientific and technological research. Through unremitting efforts, the project passed the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” national science and technology support plan acceptance in 2015 and achieved a series of technological breakthroughs. For a long time, the “import dependence” dilemma that has plagued the Chinese pen industry has begun to be gradually reversed. [2] 

In order to put "tens of billions of ballpoint pens" on "China's written documents," the country started this key project as early as 2011.

Wang Huimian, a senior engineer at TISCO's technology center, believes that steel must be manufactured with special trace elements to adjust the steel to the best performance. Minor changes in the ratio of trace elements will affect the quality of the steel. This ratio cannot be found. China's pen-making industry will always need to import nib steel.

In order to extract materials, Wang Huimian, a senior engineer of the Taigang Group Technology Center, said that since there is no information that can be used for the development of this product, it is based on the ratio of one component from the beginning of tens of kilograms. The number of components added cannot be counted. Now.

The production process of written products is the core secret of foreign companies. Wang Huimian must independently develop an unprecedented steelmaking process. Without any reference, you can only accumulate data, adjust parameters, and design process methods.

The inspiration for the breakthrough comes from home-made “co-existence”. If you want to live in a soft and hard mode, you need to add new “materials”. The corresponding “steel additives” should be added to the molten steel. Ordinary additives are all blocky. If you can make the block thinner and thinner, molten steel and additives will fuse more evenly, so you can enhance machinability.

After five years of unsuccessful failure, under the electron microscope, Taigang Group finally saw a nib steel with an evenly distributed “additive” and the test was successful in September 2016. After large-scale steelmaking more than ten times, the first steel with good machinability was finally released. This batch of stainless steel wire with a diameter of 2.3 mm can be proudly written on the "Made in China" logo. [3]






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