A Brief History
On June 10, 1943, Hungarian-Jewish inventors Laszlo and György Biro were granted a patent in Britain for the successful modern ballpoint pen. Prior to their invention, attempts to make ballpoint pens failed to find the balance between ink that would be liquid in the pen and yet dry quickly on paper.
American John J. Loud had invented a ballpoint pen half a century before the Biro brothers, but his attempt, like others, was not successful.
Laszlo was the genius behind the mechanics of the workable pen, while György made the ink work properly. The brothers had fled persecution in Europe during World War II for safe haven in Argentina in 1943. A week after filing the British patent, the Biros also filed for an American patent for their pen.
The wartime use of the Biro pen was by RAF flight officers, and after the war ballpoint pens became the handwriting standard.
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For more information, please see…
Keck, Gecko. How to Draw with a Ballpoint Pen: Sketching Instruction, Creativity Starters, and Fantastic Things to Draw. Quarry Books, 2017.
Moldova, G. Ballpoint: A Tale of Genius and Grit, Perilous Times, and the Invention that Changed the Way We Write. New Europe Books, 2012.
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