September 29, 1899 – October 24, 1985
Long before you were born or we were born or even before Frank Lautenberg was born, the transfer of thoughts to paper was a fairly complicated process. Printing wasn't too bad, it just took a big, smelly press, but handwriting was just a royal pain in the ass. Of course, in those days they wouldn't say "royal pain in the ass." More like, "a distinct discomfort in the region of the posterior." But we (as always) digress.
Pens up to that point were leaky, unwieldy objects requiring constant refreshing and repeatedly drooling their toxic blue (or black) contents all over your clothing like a three-week-old baby minus the cuteness. In short, they sucked (though in those days people wouldn't have said "sucked." More like... oh, you get the point).
So hooray for Laszlo Biro who invented the all-new, all-different ballpoint pen. What made it so super-cool? It had a BALL at the POINT. Seriously, people, at least try to do some of the thinking for yourself, OK? Anyway, the ball held all the ink in the pen (no need for constant refilling) and rolled around spreading ink on the page (no more inky clothing. Most of the time, anyway). Neat, no?
More than neat, actually. It was just about the best thing to happen to writing since, like, ever. At least until 1995 or so when everybody just started typing and the whole pen thing went out the window(s). Oh well.
October 13, 2010