Penspiration For National Stationery Week

National Stationery Week

To celebrate the start of National Stationery Week in the United Kingdom, we’re taking a close look at the superstar of the stationery world – the mighty pen! The pen is an everyday item that we simply don’t think about; we often just pick one up up and start using it.

But pens are often the workhorses of stationery, allowing people to put their thoughts to paper for centuries. To celebrate, we’ve taken a look at some facts about pens!

Pens Have Existed For Centuries

When you think of a pen, you may automatically think of the modern day varieties such as ballpoint pens or rollerball pens. But the reality is that pens have existed for a lot longer with certain varieties such as reed pens and quills seeing their history stretch back a long time.

In the case of reed pens, they have been discovered at Ancient Egyptian sites that date from over 2,000 years ago. Quill pens have been used for over a thousand years with Europe in particular being a prominent user of quills. The rise of metal pens in the 19th century saw the unfortunate decline of quills being used in writing.

Ink brushes are prominently used in East Asia and have been used for millennia in China for calligraphy purposes. The fountain pen, still a favourite for anyone who wants to bring a touch of elegance to their writing, has existed since the 17th century, though the first patent was not granted until 1827 to Romanian inventor Petrache Poenaru.

 Ballpoint Pens Are The Most Popular

We’ve all used a ballpoint pen at some point in our lives; in fact the incredibly popular Bic Crystal pens are often what people will first think of when asked. The Bic Cristal pen is able to write for more than 2 kilometres, making the disposable pens reliable. Take a look at the range on to see the different colours and styles you can find too!

1888 saw the first patent for a ballpoint pen issued to John J. Loud. The design was improved upon by László Bíró, a Hungarian newspaper editor, who with his brother worked to create a viscous ink formula. The result was so successful that the Royal Air Force licensed the designed for their pilots as the ballpoint pens were found to be more versatile and less prone to leakage than fountain pens at higher altitudes.

His name is often a common nickname for ballpoint pens, with many simply opting to call them ‘biros‘.

Marker Pens Are Over A Hundred Years Old

The first marker pen was patented in 1910 by Lee Newman, who patented a felt tipped marking pen. Japanese pen company Pentel created the modern fibre-tipped pen in 1962 with a smaller point than a marker. At the time, the company was called Tokyo Stationery Company.

Marker pens are incredibly versatile with popular variations being permanent marker pens such as the ubiquitous Sharpie pens that can be found on OPInfo. As well as this, highlighters are a staple marker pen for any student or office worker. There are also non-permanent marker pens that are often used on whiteboards, allowing people to write as many times as they’d like.

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Sarah Jubb

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