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Ballpoint Revolution: The Story Behind the Patent

Why was the ballpoint pen first patented?

Did you know?

John Loud, who is still recognised as the original creator of the ballpoint pen, was the driving force behind the landmark invention of the ballpoint patent in 1888.

Before the ballpoint pen, writing tools relied on a variety of mechanisms, such as brushes, quills and fountain pens. These tools  had their limitations, including the need for frequent refills, smudging, and the requirement of a flat surface for writing. The Ballpoint pen discovered by John Loud featured a small, rotating ball in the tip that transferred ink to the paper as it moved. 

This design was ideal for smoother writing. Not only this, it also reduced smudging, and it allowed the user to write on a variety of surfaces. The patent for Loud’s ballpoint pen was granted on October 30, 1888, marking a significant milestone in the history of writing instruments. However, after receiving the patent, ballpoint pens did not receive any major success. But in the early 20th century, the tables turned and ballpoint pens were in demand. It was due to  the manufacturing improvements. Another reason was its ability to write for an extended period without the need for refills. John Loud’s invention of the ballpoint pen in 1888 marked a significant advancement in the history of writing instruments.

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