The Ball Point Pen

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Ballpoint-Pen-Guide-845x321The first patent for ballpoint pens was issued on October 30, 1888, to a man named John Loud. Using a very small steel ball, held together by a socket, he tried, unsuccessfully, to create such a writing device. Unfortunately, his efforts failed miserably and without being able to foresee a commercial use for his invention, he let the patent lapse.  Later in the 1900s another attempt was made, the idea caught on and everyone was filing a patent.  Alas the attempts were futile, inventors were unable to keep the ink flowing or soaking through the paper.  In fact, it wasn’t until a Hungarian newspaper editor László Bíró became so frustrated with his fountain pen, that ballpoints took a successful turn. Bíró noticed that the ink used in his newspaper dried quickly which left the paper smudge free unlike the ink in his fountain pens. He decided that he would try to make a pen that used the same type of ink that they used in the printing of the newspaper. With the help of his brother, a chemist, he developed a viscous ink that he placed in a ballpoint pen.  László, who is most often credited with the invention, was a journalist who theorized that by using newspaper ink in pens he could eliminate the characteristic smudging of fountain pens. Starting in the 1930s, he began experimenting with using the ink in fountain pens, but found that it was too thick to flow readily. His chemist brother, György, helped him perfect the ball-and-socket technology, and in 1938, László Bíró signed a deal with his early backer and business partner, Andor Goy, to produce and sell the pens in Hungary.  But tensions were rising as World War II loomed on the horizon, and rather than stay in his home country and profit off an invention that would soon be omnipresent, Bíró was forced to flee with his family, even selling off his shares of the fledgling company to fund their travel.  After failing to find refuge around Europe, Bíró landed in Argentina, where he finally filed for a patent on his ballpoint pen. The patent was awarded on June 10, 1943, the anniversary of which is celebrated as National Ballpoint Pen Day—but the story didn’t end there.  It was this radical idea that successfully paired a well-suited ink to a ballpoint mechanism that not only prevented the ink from drying inside the ink reservoir, but also allowed an evenly controlled ink flow onto the paper. Bíró filed his patent in 1938 and history was made*.

I remember being directed to read the Diary of Ann Frank in Junior High School.  The book was a diary of the life and times of a little Jewish girl who had to go into hiding during World War Two to avoid the Nazis. Together with seven others, she hides in secret in Amsterdam. After 2 years in hiding, she and the other were discovered and sent to concentration camps. Anne’s father, Otto Frank, is the only one of the eight people to survive. After her death in 1954 she becomes world famous because of the diary she wrote while in hiding.   On August 4, 1944 the people in hiding along with some helpers were arrested.  The two helpers are sent to the Amersfoort camp. Johannes Kleiman is released shortly after his arrest and six months later Victor Kugler escapes. Immediately after the arrest Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl rescue Anne’s diary and papers that were left behind in the secret annex. Despite intensive investigations it has never been clear how the hiding place was discovered.  Anne wrote in her diary that she wanted to be a writer or a journalist and that she wanted her diary published as a novel.

Robert Faurisson, a French literature Professor at the University of Lyon in central France, and an eminent “Holocaust” historian, proves that almost all of the “diary” was written by Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank.  Documentation to support this truth includes the fact, among many others, that the manuscript was written with a ballpoint pen, the invention of which occurred after the war.  Ann Frank died of typhus in March, 1945, before the end of World War II.


Is it possible that the Diary of Ann Frank was a Hoax?




One response to “The Ball Point Pen”

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