For John, BLUF: And a boon to aviation it was. No longer the need to carry wooden pencils and pocket knives. Nothing to see here; just move along.
From Instapundit, by Professor Gail Heriot, 29 September 2018.
Here is most of the Blog Post:
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY, LÁSZLÓ BÍRÓ, THE INVENTOR OF THE FIRST COMMERCIALLY SUCCESSFUL BALLPOINT PEN, WAS BORN: Journalists aren’t usually great inventors, but the Hungarian-born Bíró was an exception. He noticed that the ink used on newsprint dried quickly and smudge-free, so he started working on pen that could use that ink. He patented an early design for a ballpoint pen in Paris in 1938.There is the whole question of why the German Government thought that it would be better off with all those Jews dead or driven off? Did they not understand the wealth of creativity they were destroying? There is a lesson in there.
As Nazism enveloped Europe, Bíró, who was Jewish, made his way to Argentina. While there, he filed another patent, this time in the United States, in the name of Bíró Pens of Argentina. The invention caught the attention of F.G. Miles, who secured a license to manufacture the pens for the Royal Air Force. The pens were economical and, unlike fountain pens, could write upside down.
After the war, Marcel Bich bought the patent. For the purpose of marketing the pen, Bich shortened his name to “Bic” so that it wouldn’t be confused by English speakers with you-know-what.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff