18 Facts You Never Knew About Pens

By Nicole Tinkham

If there’s one office supply we guarantee everyone has sitting on their desk right now, it’s a pen. We use them everyday in the office, at home, in the car, at the sore, and pretty much EVERYWHERE else. But how much do we actually KNOW about this everyday item? Here are 18 things you probably never knew about the common pen.

1. Roller ball pens with a cap are water-based and can dry out.

2. Retractable ballpoint pens are oil-based and don’t dry out.

3. Retractable gel pens have wax on the tip that must be taken off before writing.

4. Pens are 5,000 years old. Ancient Egyptians used reed straws and ink made of soot or red ochre mixed with vegetable gum and beeswax.

5. In the 1850s, Birmingham became the top pen nib manufacturer, producing half of all the pens in the world.

6. The average Bic Cristal ballpoint can produce a line of around 2km. That means that one single pen could draw a line over four times longer than the height of the Empire State Building.

7. Modern ballpoint pens feature metal balls as the writing point. Often times these are made from tungsten carbide which is three times tougher than steel!

8. Gold-nibbed fountain pens slowly adjust to your writing style. As the pen is used, the nib flexes and softens.

9. World’s biggest ballpoint pen: 18 ft 0.53 in and weighing 82.08 lb 1.24 oz.

10. On average, a pen can write approximately 45,000 words.

11. Pen caps cause over 100 deaths a year by people playing with the cap in their mouth and swallowing it.

12. In 95% of cases, if a person is given a new pen, the first word they write is their name.

13. There are 5 main kinds of pens used worldwide: ballpoint, fountain, soft-tip. rolling-ball and specialty pens.

14. In World War II, pilots used ballpoint pens because they do not leak at high altitudes.

15. The most commonly owned promotional products among all consumers are writing instruments.

16. More than two billion pens are manufactured in the United States annually.

17. Ballpoint pens have quick-drying ink making them perfect for left handed writers.

18. Gel pens are a combination of qualities from both the ballpoint and roller ball pens.

Pens serve an important role in our lives. They help us remember important events, get our creative ideas on paper, expand our knowledge, and help us communicate with others. While these facts may be a bit random, at least we know a little more about the supply we use EVERY single day!

Find your perfect pen HERE!

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