Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Lazlo Biro invented the Ballpoint Pen, and it's still referred to as a "Biro" in a number of countries around the World.

Our British friend Liz was talking the other evening about the "Biro."

Huh?  The "Biro"?  Had we ever heard of it -- a nickname for the ball point pen.  Not, I, at least, so onto the laptop I went to check it all out.

The image here is from 1943.  It's an ad running (in Spanish) in a magazine in Argentina -- where inventor Biro lived at the time.  

What else I learned: Lazlo worked in the printing business in the 1930's. He noticed that printer's ink was quick-drying, did not smudge, might work better in a fountain pen than whatever else was used at the time. But printer's ink was too viscous, wouldn't flow through to the nib.  No go on this bright idea.

So, as the story goes, Biro and his brother go back to the drawing board, came up with the idea of a rolling ball inside the point where the nib might ordinarily be.  After a few attempts (inventors always try things a few times before they nail it) they succeeded and - voila! - our came the ball-point pen. The Biro.

This post has nothing to do with bicycles, nor my velo adventures.  But I am a writer, love pens, have a ton of fountain pens, and am excited to have learned the lore and legend of the late Biro Lazlo.

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