Reynolds Pen

Topics: Pen / Pages: 7 (1505 words) / Published: Mar 15th, 2013
Milton Reynolds (1892–1976), an American entrepreneur, was born Milton Reinsberg in Albert Lea, Minnesota. He is most famously known for the manufacture and introduction of the first ballpoint pen to be sold in the U.S. market in October 1945. He was also inventor of the “talking sign” promotional placard for retail stores, sponsor and crewman on the twin-engine propeller flight that broke Howard Hughes’ round-the-world record,[1] and among the first investors in Syntex, which pioneered the combined oral contraceptive pill, or birth-control pill.[2]
Reynolds’ business fortunes and personal wealth rose and fell numerous times during his career. He changed his name because he believed that his customers, including major U.S. retailers, were reluctant to buy from Jews. Long before his success with the pen, he had tried several ventures that made and lost considerable sums, including trying to corner the market on used automobile tires and investing in prefabricated houses. A business he built around retail signmaking equipment, Reynolds Printasign,[3] was owned and operated by two generations of his heirs.[4]

[edit]Developing the Gravity-Feed Ballpoint
Reynolds never claimed to have invented the ballpoint. A rolling-ball mechanism for marking leather was conceived as early as 1888 by American inventor John Loud.[5][6] Then in 1938, newspaper editor Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian-émigré to Argentina, and business partner Henry G. Martin patented a device for marking printers’ galleys. The Biro pen used gelatinous ink combined with capillary action to draw the ink out as it was deposited on paper by the rolling-ball tip. Because the pen did not leak at high altitude, the Biro venture was able to sell a limited quantity of pens to the Royal Air Force for keeping flight logs, under a contract with Myles Aircraft. Subsequently, Biro's company Eterpen, S.A. licensed manufacturing rights in the U.S. to a joint venture

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