National Ballpoint Pen Day Date in the current year: June 10, 2024

National Ballpoint Pen Day National Ballpoint Pen Day is a fun holiday celebrated annually on June 10. It commemorates the day when the Bíró brothers, who invented the modern ballpoint pen, filed a patent for their invention in Argentina.

A ballpoint pen is a pen that dispenses ink over a metal ball at its point, hence the name. It was created as a cleaner and more reliable alternative to fountain pens and dip pens, and has since become the most popular writing instrument in the world.

The concept of applying ink to paper using a “ball point” was first introduced in the late 19th century. The first ballpoint pen was designed by American inventor John J. Loud, who received a patent for his invention in 1888. Loud’s original intention was to design a product that would be able to write on leather. The resulting pen could write on rough surfaces such as leather or wood but it was too coarse for writing on paper. Since Loud’s pen was not commercially viable, it never went into mass production, and the patent eventually lapsed.

Other early attempts to create reliable, commercially viable ballpoint pens were unsuccessful; common issues including clogging or ink overflow, which resulted in smearing and leaks. The person who first thought of a way to prevent those issues was Hungarian newspaper editor László Bíró.

While working as a journalist, Bíró was frustrated by the amount of time it took to clean up smudged pages and fill up fountain pens. When he noticed that ink used to print newspapers dried quickly without leaving smudges, he tried to use it in a fountain pen. However, the printing ink was too viscous and therefore would not flow into the tip. It was then that Bíró decided to design a ballpoint pen that would work with viscous ink.

László teamed up with his brother György, a dentist with extensive knowledge of chemistry, who helped developed formulae for viscous writing ink to be coupled with the ball-and-socket pen design. The brothers first presented their invention at the Budapest International Fair in 1931 and received a patent in 1938.

During World War II, the Bíró brothers and their friend Juan Jorge Meyne fled Europe because of the Nazis and settled in Argentina. They filed a new patent for their ballpoint pen on June 10, 1943. The patent used the term “ball-point fountain pen”, but the commercial name of the product used in Argentina was “birome”, an amalgamation of the last names Bíró and Meyne.

The new ballpoint pen design was licensed by British aircraft designer and manufacturer Frederick George Miles, whose company Miles Aircraft Limited produced ballpoint pens under the name “Biro pens” for the Royal Air Force because they were easier to use in airplanes and did not leak. After the World War II, many companies recognized the commercial potential of ballpoint pens and started producing them.

Today, the ballpoint pen is the world’s most widely used writing instrument, so it is not surprising that there is a holiday dedicated to it. The exact origins of National Ballpoint Pen Day are unclear, but it shouldn’t stop you from celebrating!

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National Ballpoint Pen Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, ballpoint pen, Bíró brothers