The working principle of the ballpoint pen was discovered by a Hungarian journalist named Joseph Ladislav Biro (1899-1985). He devised the use of a fast-drying ink, similar to that used for printing newspapers. After watching children playing marbles in a puddle, he had the idea of using a tiny ball to take up ink from a reservoir and deposit it on the paper. Biro sold his patent to Marcel Bich, a Frenchman. In 1952, the latter started industrial production of pens with a transparent reservoir and a colourfed cap. The Bic pen was born. It was not until 1965 that the Bic pen entered the class-room, which made ink stained fingers no more than a bad memory.
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