It's been around a lot longer than you might imagine, certainly longer than I would have thought! Now I may have talked about this invention before, but even if I did, it's worth another look!
The first patent on a ballpoint pen was issued on 30 October 1888, to John J. Loud, a leather tanner, who was attempting to make a writing implement that would be able to write on the leather he tanned, which the then-common fountain pen couldn’t do. The pen had a rotating small steel ball, held in place by a socket. Then, fifty years later, with the help of his brother George, László Bíró, a chemist, began to work on designing new types of pens. Bíró fitted this pen with a tiny ball in its tip that was free to turn in a socket. As the pen moved along the paper, the ball rotated, picking up ink from the ink cartridge and leaving it on the paper. Bíró filed a British patent on 15 June 1938. Earlier pens leaked or clogged due to improper viscosity of the ink, and depended on gravity to deliver the ink to the ball. Depending on gravity caused difficulties with the flow and required that the pen be held nearly vertically. The Biro pen both pressurized the ink column and used capillary action for ink delivery, solving the flow problems.
I was thinking about just how many small things we use nearly every day that I don't really know anything about, and it dawned on me that I need to do a lot more reading up on them. Things like safety pins, paper clips, razor blades, even pencils! See what I mean? So many that we take for granted that had a start as a single idea in someone's imagination!
Coffee on the patio this morning! You can watch me take down the hummingbird feeder! Exciting, huh?