Happy Birthday, Ballpoint Pen!

Even as a baby boomer, I think I have used a fountain pen perhaps twice in my life - it was weird and scratchy and awkward. While the first patent was issued in 1888, the current ballpoint pen design came to life in 1938 (75 years ago this weekend) from the Biro brothers, with a ball and socket design and a thicker ink than was traditionally used used up to then. In fact, in the UK and some other countries, any ballpoint pen is generically referred to as a "Biro", much as "Kleenex" has become a popular name for any paper tissue.

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