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”)

Parker51.com

Parker51.com

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]

Penhero.com

Penhero.com

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    

Cartier Vendome Trinity Oval Silver Ballpoint Pen Excellent W/box & New Refill Cartier Silver Tone Metal Large Logo Ball Point Twist Pen Mhl Ac8671 In BoxMontblanc Solitaire Vermeil Barley Ballpoint Pen Rare 164v In Box Minty*new Old Stock* Cross Century 14kt Gold Filled Ball Pen & 0.9mm Pencil SetCartier Vendome Trinity Oval Gold Border Plated Ballpoint Pen Excellent W/boxVtg~mont Blanc~meisterstuck Classique 164~black & Gold Plated~ball Point Pen~Tiffany & Co Silver Tone Textured T Clip Ball Point Pen Mhl Ac8529Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique Ballpoint Pen 164 Black With Gold TrimParker Duofold De Luxe Orange Ballpoint Pen Twist Mechanism Gold Coated TrimsCross Century 14kt Gold Filled Ball Pen & 0.9mm Pencil SetBrand New Montblanc Starwalker Midnight Black Resin Ballpoint Pen 696383Montblanc Boheme Ballpoint Pen Green Stone Montblanc Boheme Lacquer Pearl Ballpoint Pen 36009New Montblanc Classique 163 Rollerball Pen Black With Platinum TrimVintage S.t. Dupont Blue Laque De Chine Ballpoint Pen J1bt52 "as Is"Montblanc Jfk Ballpoint Pen Special EditionCartier Vendome Trinity Oval Gold Plated Ballpoint Pen Auth FranceMontblanc Agatha Christie Limited Edition Fountain Pen + Original CaseCartier Must Blue W/ Gold Trim Ballpoint Pen Out Of Production VgcBurgundy Mont Blanc Meisterstuck Blue Ink Ballpoint Pen W/ Box & Service GuideTiffany & Co Sterling Silver "1837" .925 T&co. Roller Ball Pen WorksParker Classic Cicele Sterling Silver Ball PenNew Fellhoelter Tibolt Titanium Bolt Action Pen Decorated Monkey Edge Edition NrA 1995 The Art Of Writing Montblanc 163 Black With Gold Trim Rollerball PenParker Classic Cicele Sterling Silver Ball Pen & 0.9mm Pencil SetMontblanc 165 0.5mm PencilNew Brown Gold Checkered Stripes Montblanc Starwalker Fineliner Pen Mont BlancParker Sonnet Sterling Silver Ballpoint Pen In Box New Old StockBrand New Montblanc Platinum Meisterstuck Black Classique Ball Point Pen, 164 Montblanc PenParker Classic Cicele Sterling Silver Ball Pen & 0.5mm Pencil SetBrand New Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique M163 Rollerball Pen 12890Porsche Design Pen Tecflex Ballpoint With Porsche Boxster Model Car Set P 3100Authentic Montblanc Ball Point Pen In Black & GoldParker Sonnet Cicele Sterling Silver Ball PenCross Century Sterling Silver Ball PenCross Lot Of 25 Pens 6cross Pencils 3 Sheaffer 2 Bradley 2 Rotring.Montblanc Meisterstuck 164 Classique Ballpoint Pen, Black&gold, With BoxParker 75 Cicele Sterling Silver Ball Pen & 0.9mm Pencil SetMontblanc Meisterstuck 164 P Platinum Classique Ballpoint Pen Black Box & RefillNew Montblanc Meisterstuck Ballpoint Pen Mont BlancWaterman Exception Blue St Ball PenVintage Cross 14k Gold Filled Ball Pen And Pencil Set With Box - Euc - Works!✨montblanc~ Meisterstuck ~ Solitaire ~ 18k Solid Gold ~ Pinstripe ~ Pencil ~✨*sealed* Montegrappa Sophia Loren Limited Ed Ballpoint Pen 193/209 Msrp 1100.00Montblanc Meisterstuck Legrand 161 P Ballpoint Pen Black/platinum Plated TrimsMontblanc Ballpoint Pen Generation Blue Colored Gold Coated TrimsNew Montblanc Classique 163 Rollerball Pen Red With Gold TrimBrand New Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique Black Ballpoint Pen 164Vintage Ball Point Pen - Gold And Black With White Star On The Cap14k Gold Filled Cross Pen Tiffany & Co Vintage Pen & Pencil Set In Blue Tiff. Bag. Sold As Found See PhotoMontblanc Classique Bordeaux Ballpoint PenVintage 1960s Cross Sterling Silver Pen & Mechanical Pencil Box Set Writes Great Montblanc Meisterstuck 164r Burgundy Bordeaux & Gold Classique Ballpoint PenVintage Sterling Parker 75 Ball Point PenMontblanc 164 Ballpoint Pen Early 1990's New Refill Great Condition!Cross Ballpoint Pen Century Teal & Siver Ballpoint Pen New In Box At0082-89 Tech3+ Satin Black Multi-function PenCross Black Ballpoint Pen And Mechanical Pencil Set #2