Who invented a ball-point pen?
pass Very often own name of the inventor to his invention and becomes nominal. Examples of that set: “Porsche“ and “Citroen“, revolver and colt, Parker and bi ́ ro. However, stop! Words “bi ́ ro“ in Russian is not present. But there is it in English.
In Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand the word “biro“ call a ball pen probably the most widespread writing device of our time. And the Hungarian inventor Laszlo Biro thought up it (L á szl ó J ó zsef B í r ó) (1899 - 1985) .
He was born in Budapest in the Jewish family. His father, Matiash Biro, was a stomatologist. To the son, apparently, to follow in the footsteps of the parent. And, really, after Laszlo`s school arrived on medical faculty, but did not gain the diploma. He practiced some time as the hypnotist, worked in the company on production of oil products. Then participated in fashionable craze of that time - an auto racing, and even thought up an automatic transmission together with the friend. The patent for this invention was bought by the American company General Motors not to allow anybody to realize this invention. A peculiar recognition that the inventor had a head on shoulders! Eventually, the young man became a journalist. Budapest journalist!
At the beginning of 20 - go centuries Budapest which was the second capital of Avstro - Hungary joined in race as fine as also hopeless. The second capital very much tried to become more more beautiful than the capital of the first, beautiful Vienna. And, it is necessary to tell that though the second Vienna from Budapest did not turn out, this race nevertheless did it good. Also it turned out: in Vienna there is more stiffness and imperial gloss, in Budapest - there is more provincial heat. In Vienna - the opera, in Budapest - the operetta. In the Vienna cafes came grandly to eat sweet, in Budapest - to communicate and even to work. Editorial offices of many Budapest newspapers rendered habitable the nearest cafes. Here, for not so not on - Vienna the made coffee with fine, but nevertheless not Vienna, delicacies, editors imposed an ocherednoynomer. Here journalists discussed burning topics and scribbled actual articles. Here reporters resorted and brought “on a tail“ the latest news - directly in number.
Laszlo Biro at first headed the newspaper “Hongrie - Magyarorsz á g“ that in French and on - Hungarian meant “Hungary“, and after its closing began to work in the newspaper “with El ô tte“. Naturally, the handle was its working tool.
And here - that turned out that this tool is very far from perfect. The advanced journalists as whom themselves was considered, undoubtedly, also by journalists of Budapest already got capillary fountain pens, parker. It were the most perfect and the most expensive writing devices of those time. And still at the most inappropriate moment they either proceeded, or refused to leave a mark on paper.
“Ink too liquid, because they also pour out from the handle. For the same reason they also dry long, - Laszlo prompted it the brother Dyyord, the chemist by training. - Here if to charge the handle with typographical paint...“
But typographical paint was too dense to get on paper spontaneously. So there was an idea of the handle which main knot was the capillary tube filled with dense paint. Through the open end of a tube paint from - for the viscosity did not follow. In other end of a capillary the writing knot in the form of a steel ball was pressed. At the movement on paper the ball rotated and transferred a thin paint coat to paper. The handle left a mark, the handle wrote! On April 25, 1938 Laszlo Biro took out the Hungarian patent for a ball pen. And the same year he left Hungary as the fascist government of Horti pursued policy of “expression“ of Jews from the country. Laszlo Biro with a family settled in Paris. And here he sold the first license for production of ball pens.
As it will seem strange, the first mass production of cheap ball pens was organized by the enterprises of the British aviation industry. It was impossible to use fountain pens in flight at the big height therefore navigators were given indelible pencils that was somehow unpresentable. And mass production as it appeared, made a ball pen cheaper than a pencil.
Stay in Paris was short. After invasion of the German troops Biro`s family moved across the ocean, to Argentina. On June 10, 1943 Laszlo Biro took out the Argentina patent for the invention. And soon he organized factory on production of the Eterpen ball pens. Annual sale of handles of Biro reached 7 million pieces.
But the grandiose commercial success was local. When Laszlo Biro conceived to begin production of the pens in the USA, it became clear that one of the American businessmen visited Argentina and estimated the commercial potential of a ball pen. Having returned home, he right there patented someone else`s invention on the name. The American market, apparently, was lost forever.
As if not so! After World War II Laszlo Biro`s pen fell into hands of the French businessman of the Italian origin Marcel Bish (Marcel Bich) (1914 - 1994) which constructed near Paris factory on production of the writing devices. In 1950 he bought L. Biro`s patent and seriously improved his invention. M. Bish used the way of processing of metal invented in Switzerland to within the 100-th shares of millimeter and began to make steel balls diameter of everything in 1 mm. Thanks to it the ball pen of Biro began to write more thinly, and ink did not filter through the writing knot at all and did not leave dirty spots on paper.
The handle of a new design Bish called “Crystal“ and in 1950 began release of these handles in France. And in 1958 Bish protected the invention the patent of the USA and entered the American market, having founded the BiC company. BiC began mass production of the cheapest disposable ball pens from light plastic. These handles, six-sided as a pencil, other writing devices practically drove out of the American market. The BiC company also until now is “world champion“ in the field of production and sales of ball pens.
Argentina became the second homeland for Laszlo Biro. In the Spanish-speaking country his Hungarian name turned into Ladislav. And its birthday, on September 29, became a national holiday, Day of the inventor.