Ballpoint pen lovers everywhere had their day in the sun Monday, June 10.
To mark National Ballpoint Pen Day , U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal made an appearance at BIC headquarters in Shelton Monday morning to meet and greet employees and thank BIC for its efforts in sponsoring educational programs as well as creating the writing utensil people have come to know and love.
“Congratulations,” said Blumenthal to those in attendance, including Mary Fox, BIC North America general manager, who presented the senator with a box of BIC items in honor of his visit. “Thank you for all your hard work. This is a fun day. Nobody produces more ballpoint pens than BIC, so let’s celebrate National Ballpoint Pen Day.”
National Ballpoint Pen Day celebrates the 76th anniversary of the ballpoint pen patent filing. Before the invention of the ballpoint pen, fountain pens and pencils were the only writing instruments available to consumers.
“The ballpoint pen is something close to our hearts here at BIC,” said Fox. “It’s amazing to reflect on the impact that such a simple product has made on the lives of billions of people throughout the world.”
In December 1950, Marcel Bich, founder of BIC, launched the company’s first ballpoint pen, the BIC Cristal, in France under the BIC brand name, which gained popularity as an affordable, high-quality product. Since 1950, BIC has manufactured more than 140 billion BIC Cristal ballpoint pens.
BIC employs nearly 400 people in Connecticut between its Shelton and Milford locations.
“The ballpoint pen, what it means, is so important,” said Blumenthal. “And I am so glad that you are educating kids in how to write with their hands. You can’t do digital with a ballpoint pen, and that is a good thing. Learning by putting pen to paper and writing is just irreplaceable. For all reasons you know well as educators, writing skills are so important.”
“The ballpoint pen plays a particularly important role for students,” said Fox. “As a company, we at BIC are dedicated to improving the learning conditions of 250 million children globally by 2025.”
Fox said the company’s focus on supporting education on a national level through organizations such as the Kids in Need Foundation and City Year, as well as in Connecticut through product donations and volunteer opportunities for BIC team members.
“So, for us at BIC, cheers to the ballpoint pen,” said Fox. “May it impact the lives of billions more in its next 70-plus years.”