Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Ball Point Pen

For this weeks discussion post, I wanted to take something we all use as students almost everyday. Let's say you are creating this news post on a piece of paper before typing it to the blog. Now, with this set in your mind, take a closer look at your writing utensil. If you are anything like myself, you would be using a ballpoint pen. The initial design of the ball point pen was to avoid many of the problems that derived from using a fountain pen. This helped with the constant need to refresh the ink of the pen by dipping it in an ink container.

The ball, which is located towards the end of the pen serves many purposes. The ball helps prevent the ink from bleeding out of the pen when not being used. this is done by a capillary action to keep the ink inside the pen. To add to the ball point, the creation of the cap came about to insure additional protection and leakage. The cap itself serves many purposes beside being a protection barrier. I dug a little deeper and found that the caps design was created to serve as a protection to the user as well. Being a small and detachable object, it becomes a chewable device we as adults sometimes find in our mouths as well as small infants. To insure the safety of the cap, a small end hole can be seen at the tip of the cap. This allows airflow through the cap if it were to get enlarge in someones throat. 
Now my attention was brought to the clip section of the cap. This is a nice and handy design created for simply what it's name derives from, a clip. Many use this to either clip the pen to the inside of your pocket, or to ones notebook. 

I wanted to take a look at the material the cap is created out of. This material is made of plastic, and being so, flexes under pressure. With this being said, if someone simply stepped on it, it would initially bend back into shape. It allows insures light weight, so the cap would float in water. 

Believe it or not, The ball point pen's first major jump into the 
world was during World War 2. This was during the years of 1939
through 1945, when pilots struggled with leaky pens at high altitudes.
Thus the creation of the ball point pen came about by Milton Reynalds.

That is a brief history/criminal mind view of the ball point pen.

Much of this knowledge I had received from a coworker who used to work at a pen production company, I also found some information at:

1 comment:

  1. Long post, but excellent! I was unaware of the reason for the hole in the end of the cap, thinking it was to equalize air pressure when removing the cap. Seems hard to believe such a small opening can allow enough air through. Doing my own research, I found that the BIC company added their cap-hole in 1991 and, digging deeper into Bic History, I discovered that they attempted to create a Universal Font from a crowdfunded typeface project. Using their Bic Crystal Stylus, visitors could handwrite the alphabetic letterforms, which would be combined and converted into a "Universal Typeface." You can download the first version of this font here:


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