The Invention of the Ballpoint Pen: Background information when reading Code Name Verity

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Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
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  • First Published:
    May 2012, 352 pages
    May 2013, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Beyond the Book:
The Invention of the Ballpoint Pen

It's called an Eterpen, a truly wonderful thing, no messy ink to refill and it dries instantly. He said they have ordered 30,000 of them for the RAF to use in the air (for navigation calculations) and a grateful RAF officer recently smuggled out of France had given one of the samples to Peter, who'd given it to the sergeant, who gave it to Maddie. ...Maddie was ridiculously pleased with her pen.

Laszlo BiroThe gift that Maddie was so pleased to receive was, of course, the new and exciting ballpoint pen. László Bíró invented the first commercially viable ballpoint pen in 1938. Other attempts had been made before, but with little success because of issues with the viscosity of the ink and the need to rely on gravity. American tanner John Loud is, perhaps, the rightful inventor of the ballpoint pen, with his 1888 invention to mark leather products - a pen with a rotating ball held in place by a socket that used standard ink. Loud patented this invention, but ...

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