Thursday, June 10, 2010

Happy Ballpoint Pen Day

Today, June 10th, is unofficially recognized as Ballpoint Pen Day. It was on this day in 1943 that the Biro brothers first patented the real ballpoint pen. If you've been a long time reader of Office Supplies Talk then you'll know that I'm not a fan of the conventional ball point pen. However I do recognize that it has it's own unique uses and flair.

Any time anybody talks about the history of the ballpoint pen they inevitably point to that fateful day in 1945 when they were first sold on American soil. A department store in New York, Gimbels, sold their entire stock of 10,000 ballpoint pens in one day for $12.50 each (that is $1495.45 adjusted for inflation). To put that in context, Apple was able to sell only 300,000 iPads on the day they were first released, at a lower price point (adjusted for inflation) and with 222 different retail locations (not just 1 in New York).

So in recognition of the ballpoint pen go ahead and put aside your felt-tipped pens and fountain pens for the day and take a moment to appreciate where we have come from. I know I get down on those ballpoint pens from time to time, but I am a real fan of the Pilot G2 pens. Technically they are "rolling ball" pens and not ballpoint pens, but there is really no difference. A smooth writing pen with the heavier gel ink. The Pilot G2 is a little on the light weight side, but the grip is fairly comfortable. Also, the G2s are made so replacing the ink with a new refill is completly painless. There are a slew of other products in the Pilot Gel Ink family but I do prefer the classic G2.

I Recommend Pilot G2 Pens

Sadly, another vital office supply was also patented on June 10th, but nobody takes any notice and I certainly haven't heard about it having a day declared for it. Unfortunately, the transparent envelope window lobby is not as far reaching as those in the pen industry. On this day in 1902 an envelope with windows was patented.

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