László Bíró, the Hungarian inventor of ballpoint pen

by | August 4, 2022 | Past

László Bíró was a Hungarian journalist and inventor who is best known for his creation of the modern ballpoint pen. Born on September 29, 1899, in Budapest, Hungary, Bíró began his career as a journalist and editor, working for several newspapers in his home country.

Ballpoint pen / Biro
Ballpoint pen – photo: oszk.hu

In the early 1930s, Bíró and his brother, Georg, began experimenting with ways to improve the writing instruments of the time. They noticed that fountain pens tended to leak and smudge, and they were looking for a way to create a pen that would write smoothly and without any mess.

After years of experimentation, Bíró developed the first ballpoint pen in 1938. The pen used a tiny ball bearing to dispense ink as it rolled over the paper, creating a smooth and consistent line. Bíró filed for a patent on his invention in 1938, and the first ballpoint pens went on sale in Hungary in 1940.

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