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Sign Here: The Omnipresence of Pens

Posted on 05/09/14
quill penPens are the perfect way to take notes, sign contracts, or create a simple reminder. No wonder they're used by virtually everyone and can be found all over - from offices and homes to restaurants and stores. It's hard to think of many office supplies that are more important than the pen. When looking for ways to market or advertise your business, put your company's name or logo directly on a pen and hand them out to employees or customers. Handcrafted pens also make a great luxury gift idea.

The History of the Pen

In the early 1800s, pens were designed to hold their own ink. This was a major advancement because it greatly improved writing efficiency and convenience. People no longer had to dip their utensil in ink every few minutes, so it became easier to write letters, books, and notes. The first patent on the ballpoint pen was filed in the 1880s by John Loud, a leather tanner who wanted an instrument that could write on leather. By the late 1940s, the ballpoint pen had become a fad. This was partially due to wild claims made by some manufacturers, such as that they could be used under water, never smeared, and only needed the ink replaced every two years.

By the early 1950s, pen manufacturers were competing fiercely in the market to see who could come out ahead. In the late 1950s, BIC established itself as a leader in Europe and the United States. They succeeded by making acquisitions and selling their pens for 29 to 69 cents apiece. Ballpoint pens are still extremely popular around the world - over 14 million are purchased each and every year. Almost every country in the world makes some brand of ballpoint pen.

Major Design Innovations

Early pens had various problems, such as the ink drying up or spilling out too rapidly. The design of the ballpoint pen fixed this problem as the ball acted like a cap inside the pen, which prevented the ink from drying up. Similarly, the pen would only dispense ink when the user applied pressure to the tip of the pen, which eliminated the problem of ink spilling out too rapidly. These innovations are still one of the major selling points of the ballpoint pen today, and largely responsible for their market dominance. Another reason for their popularity is that they're easily portable and cost effective to manufacture and buy.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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