Ballpoint pens were invented in the 1940s, although earlier efforts to design them dated back to the 1800s. By the 1950s they'd become standard technology, displacing the traditional fountain pen. Ballpoint pens dispense their ink via the rolling action of a small metal sphere or ball at the tip, rather than a nib.

At the end of World War Two, Eversharp produced one of the first commercial ballpoint pens, called the Eversharp CA for capillary action. Reynolds followed suit with a ballpoint pen called the Reynolds Rocket. These two pens were sold for the same price as high-end fountain pens, and both failed because they had problems with leaking.

Just when it seemed the prospects for ballpoint pens were dim, around 1950, Marcel Bich pioneered a very inexpensive ballpoint, the Bic Crystal. It was a self-contained disposable ballpoint pen that became the genesis of the Bic pen company.

Suddenly, every major pen company (Sheaffer, Parker, etc.) that wanted to survive had to come out with a ballpoint pen. Thereafter, ballpoints came in two varieties: inexpensive writing instruments and higher-end fashion statements and gift items (e.g. Cross and Parker ballpoints).

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ernesto Soler's extensive homage to one of the most popular pens ever produced, the Parker "51," introduced in 1941… [read review or visit site]

Jim Mamoulides' vintage and modern pen-cyclopedia. Start at the main gallery, featuring detailed articles (with pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Montblanc MeisterstÜck Solitaire 925 Silver & Gold Ballpoint Pen 164 ClassiqueMontblanc Special Ed. Princesse Grace De Monaco Ivory Coloured Ball Point Pen Montblanc Ballpoint Pen 161 Legrand Black Resin And Platinum In Box Montblanc Meisterstuck 164 Black Ball PenMontblanc Ball Point Pen Classique 164 Black Resin Gold Plated Trim MeisterstuckGraf Von Faber-castell Pernambuk Classic Propelling Pencil BoxedMontblanc Meisterstuck Pix Ballpoint Ballpoint Platinum TrimSet Of Montblanc Rollerball Pen Mechanical Pencil And Highlighter In Case Rare!Cartier “trinity” Black Composite Ball Point Montblanc Vintage Mechanical Pencil Pix 172 Green Striated Long Version Patek Philippe Ballpoint Pen - Madison Special Edition By Caran D’ache - Rare Montblanc Meistruck Ballpoint PenMontblanc Montblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen Black Gold Used No ReserveVintage Montblanc Meisterstuck Classic Black W/ Gold Trim Ball Point Pen GermanyKaras Kustoms Render K G2 Copper Pen + RefillsMontblanc Starwalker Marron Red Gold Metal Ballpoint Pen Diamond Cut!!Vintage Sheaffer Sterling Silver 0.925 Grape Vine Pen & Pencil SetVintage Cross 14kt Gold Filled Pen And Pencil SetLot 3 Sterling Silver Montblanc Pens Solitaire Meisterstuck Ballpoint FountainMontblanc 107482 Jonathan Swift Rollerball Pen Limited EditionVintage Tiffany & Co 14k Solid Yellow Gold Bamboo Pen With Original PouchSolid 14k Gold Tiffany & Co. Ballpoint Cross Pen W/original Felt Pouch & BoxMontblanc Ballpoint Pen Generation Blue Resin And Gold In Excellent ConditionAuthentic Tiffany & Co. Ballpoint Pen 59136Montblanc Meisterstuck Pix Ballpoint Pen Wit Box Black Gold Excellent Mont BlancMont Blanc Meisterstuck Classique Ball Point Pen 164 10883Montblanc M ArtfinelinerCirca 1980's Tiffany & Co Diamond Cut .925 Sterling Silver Ball Point Ink Pen Fantastic Waterman Edson “sapphire Blue”, Ballpoint Pen - DiscontinuedMont Blanc Pen Brand NewMontblanc Meisterstuck - Pix - Black/gold - Ballpoint PenParker 75 PerléMont Blanc Stainless Ballpoint Pen In BoxMontblanc Starwalker Ballpoint Pen, Midnight Black Montblanc Limited Edition 2005 Scented Love-letter Ink "je T'aime" RedVery Rare Montblanc Slimline Noblesse Ballpoint Pen Silver 1980´s Germany Montblanc Hemingway Limited Edition Ballpoint Montblanc Meisterstuck Sterling 925 Green Marble Stripe Stod Ballpoint Pen Montblanc Meisterstuck No. 161 Ballpoint Pen With Hard Burgundy CaseMontblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ball Point Pen #164/ident # 10883 Black/gold TrMontblanc Meisterstuck 164 Classique Ball Point Pen Black Gold-plated Post-1991Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ballpoint Pen 100% Original And AuthenticAuthentic Tiffany & Co. Ballpoint Pen Set Of 2 Pens 59138Parker 180 Fountain Pen Thuya Laque Green Made In France UsedVintage Cross Solid 14k Gold Executive Pen & Pencil Set With Leather BoxMontblanc Etoile Diamond Ballpoint Pen New With Box Limited Montblanc Starwalker Urban Speed Black Resin Ballpoint Pen # 112686 Great DealS.t. Dupont Defi Black Lacquer And Palladium Fountain PenVintage Cartier Fountain Pen Paris France Gold Plated Certifacate And CartridgesVery Rare Montblanc Pix-o-mat "4 -colours"ballpoint Pen 60's New Refills GermanyNew Montblanc MeisterstÜck 166 Document MarkerBrand New Fisher Chrome Bullet Space Pen: Medium Ball Point W/ Black InkMontblanc Meisterstuck No. 161 Ballpoint PenC.1955 Parker 51 Jotter Ball Point Pen W/ Original Box - Near Mint ConditionMontblanc Greta Garbo Rollerball PenMontblanc Meisterstuck Leonardo Sketch Pen With Pouch Montblanc Meisterstuck 164 Burgundy Red Ball Point PenMontblanc Montblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen Red & Gold Used No ReserveVintage 14k Gold Parker 24k Ball Point PenTwo (2) Montblanc Meisterstuck Pens For Parts