See vintage ballpoint pens, from Sheaffer, Parker, Bic, Paper-Mate, Scripto & more

1950s woman holding vintage ballpoint pens

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While it’s considered common now, the basic ballpoint pen is a relatively new invention. In fact, they were invented by Laszlo Biro in 1938. Biro, a journalist from Hungary, was looking for a way to write for long periods of time without the ink smudging or drying up.

He came up with the idea of using a tiny ball bearing in the pen that would roll as the pen was moved across paper, allowing the ink to flow out smoothly and evenly.

This invention revolutionized the way people wrote — and largely marked the end of the era of fountain pens.

Old Eversharp presentation pens (1945)


Vintage BB pens (1948)

Vintage BB pens (1948)


Waterman’s Ball Pointer pen (1950)

Waterman's Ball Pointer pen (1950)


Vintage Flo-Ball pens (1950)

Vintage Flo-Ball pens (1950)


Paper Mate pens with George Burns and Gracie Allen (1953)

Paper Mate pens with George Burns and Gracie Allen (1953)


Scripto ball pens (1953)

Scripto ball pens (1953)


Parker ball point pens (1955)
Parker ball point pens (1955)

Vintage Wearever pens (1956)

Vintage Wearever pens (1956)


Scripto ball pens (1956)

Scripto ball pens (1956)


Vintage 1950s Sheaffer’s Skipriter ballpoint pens (1958)

Vintage 1950s Sheaffer's Skipriter ballpoint pens (2)


Sheaffer’s Skipriter ballpoint pens

Vintage 1950s Sheaffer's Skipriter ballpoint pens (1)


Parker pens (1963)

Parker pens (1963)


Parker pens from 1963

Parker pens from 1963


Sheaffer ballpoint pens (1966)

Sheaffer ballpoint pens (1966)


Parker pens for a girl-size hand (1966)

“A girl-size hand needs a girl-size pen (…and it’s time the men who make pens did something about it!)”

Parker’s got the message. You can now get the new Compact Jotter ball pen for girl-size hands. It writes as long as our man-size Jotter.

Girls — and girl-size hands — delight in the new Compact Jotter. It’s smaller, daintier, a joy to write with. Yet the Compact Jotter has the same giant ink supply as our man-size Jotter!

Stainless steel in Parker’s new writing point gives you a clean, clear line up to 80,000 words without refilling. Choice of four point sizes, too. And it sells at the same famous-value price: $1.98 at your Parker dealer’s. That’s little enough for a pen as ladylike as you are.

Parker pens for a girl-size hand (1966)

Sheaffer ballpoint pens (1967)


Trippy Ops’n Pops retro ballpoint pens from PaperMate (1968)

Wow! Papermate Ops ‘n Pops are here (Featuring groovy op art)

Trippy Ops'n Pops retro ballpoint pens from PaperMate (1968)


Sheaffer ballpoint pens for guys ‘n dolls (1970)

For the guy: The 1920-style White Dot pen that put Sheaffer on the scene. Slip it on in colors like — Lime Alive, Tumed-on Orange, Fired-up Red. Dress up your writing … and your wardrobe. A fun thing just to own.

For the doll who relates: We’ve turned on Sheeffee’s White Dot pen from the 20s with a version just for dolls. Let it hang free and swing with your “mod”-est fashions. For the “doll.”

Sheaffer ballpoint pens for guys n dolls (1970)


Parker ball point pens (1971)


Vintage NoNonsense ballpoint pens from Scheaffer (1974)

Why would a practical, back-to-basics product from Fort Madison, Iowa, suddenly go color crazy?

Vintage NoNonsense ballpoint pens from Scheaffer (1974)

Retro NoNonsense ballpoint pens from Scheaffer (1975)


Vintage ad for BIC 4-Color Pens (1974)

The Bic 4-color pen. It puts a drawerful of pens in your hand.

If you’re so busy that you don’t have time to think, you probably don’t have time to change pens either. So what you need is a Bic 4-color pen.

With the Bic 4-color pen, you don’t have to waste time rummaging through your drawers, looking for an appropriate pen. With the click of a button, it lets you write red, blue, black or green.

You can get the Bic 4-color pen in medium or fine points for just $1.19. Or for 69¢ there’s a Bic 2-color pen. For people who want a slightly smaller drawerful of pens in their hand.

Vintage ad for BIC 4-Color Pens (1974)

Retro-style BIC 4 Color Ballpoint Pen
$5.29

Before we had smart phones and other Information Age wizardry, kids were totally impressed with the voodoo of these all-in-one 4-color pens. Turns out you can still capture that nostalgic magic today.

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01/29/2023 12:45 am GMT

Hank Ketcham (Dennis The Menace) signs it with a Sheaffer (1976)

When your pen looks like it was designed for a space flight, it’s hard to come up with a tired, old idea. And how can you be dull when you’re using the shiniest pen you ever saw?

The Sheaffer 2002. It promotes bright, new ideas for only $5. You can have it as a refillable ballpoint or marker with a Tektor tip. And either way, as the ink flows, so will your creative juices.

Hank Ketcham (Dennis The Menace) signs it with a Sheaffer pen


(Baseball player) Willie Mays signs it with a Sheaffer (1976)

Willie Mays Sheaffer


(Playwright) Tennessee Williams signs it with a Sheaffer (1976)

Tennessee Williams signs it with a Sheaffer

ALSO SEE
A pen you can erase? Yes: The Scripto Erasable Pen (1984)

Bic Wavelengths pen designs from the 1990s

Bic Wavelengths pen designs (1991)

Bic Wavelengths pen designs (1994)

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