Tag: pens

20 May is Fountain Pen Friday

A fountain pen is a type of pen that delivers water-based liquid ink through a nib. The ink flows from a reservoir through a “feed” to the nib, and then through it. The nib has no moving parts and delivers ink through a thin slit to the writing surface by means of gravity.
Fountain pen reservoirs can be refillable or disposable. A pen with a refillable reservoir uses a piston-like mechanism to draw ink from a bottle through the nib. Alternatively, it must be refilled with an eyedropper. Refill reservoirs, also known as cartridge converters, are available for some pens which use disposable ink cartridges.

Who invented the fountain pen?

  • Peregrin Williamson, a Baltimore shoemaker, received the first American patent for such a pen in 1809.
  • John Scheffer received a British patent in 1819 for a half-quill-half-metal pen that he attempted to mass manufacture.
  • John Jacob Parker patented the first self-filling fountain pen in 1831.

Ten facts about fountain pens:

  1. With a fountain pen, you can write upside-down. It may sound strange, but you can write in a very finely. The writing won’t be perfect (it will be scratchy), but it’s definitely possible. This is a cool trick to impress your stationery friends!
  2. The first records of a so-called fountain pen date back to around 950AD. The pen was created by request, as previous designs would leak over the user.
  3. Every fountain pen is unique! After using your fountain pen for a long time, the nib slowly personalises itself to your handwriting. The tip wears out exactly to your style, making it challenging to lend your pen out to other pen pals!
  4. This might come as a surprise, but left-handed people more often use fountain pens than right-handed people.
  5. Fountain pens come in all sizes, shapes, and colours; the largest dip pen ever produced measured over 7 feet and wrote surprisingly nicely on a gigantic piece of paper.
  6. More than 100-million fountain pens are sold annually. The biggest markets are China, India, Pakistan and the Middle East.
  7. In the last few decades, a fountain pen has shifted from a piece of necessary writing equipment to a luxury item. Even though people are using digital writing tools much more, the sales of ink pens have been on the rise for five consecutive years!
  8. Writing with a fountain pen reduces hand pain, cramps and hand fatigue. Because an ink pen writes more smoothly and flows over the paper, you have to use less pressure while writing. The pen writes by using its own weight, relieving your hand from doing the heavy work.
  9. When you give a unique fountain pen to someone, the first thing they will write is their own name. This is true for over 95% of the people!
  10. With a standard small ink cartridge, you can write around 2 500 words.

Source: Wooden Gifts and More 

 

18 May is World Stationery Day

World Stationery Day was created in 2012 to celebrate written media and to encourage people to take up theirs pens and spend time physically writing something.

Why not surprise a family member by sending them a handwritten note this May?

There are several fun ways people can celebrate World Stationery Day:

  • Visit your local stationery printers and support them
  • Handwritten letters, poems and greeting cards will surprise family and friends
  • Get some customised letterheads , journals, diaries or other items printed at your local printing company
  • From a business point of view, inform your clients and customers of the role that stationery plays in our lives

Writing is an art form; a fundamental aspect of communication.

Stationery deserves to maintain an active presence in people’s lives across South Africa.

17 May is pen and pencil day

Pens and pencils are used almost daily by most people. As we observe “pen and pencil day” during Stationery Week, here are some fun facts about these important home and office tools.

Pens

  • Pens are at least 5 000 years old. Ancient Egyptians used reed straws and ink made of soot or red ochre mixed with vegetable gum and beeswax.
  • The largest ballpoint pen ever was made by Acharya Makunuri Srinivasa from India. The pen is engraved with scenes from Indian mythology and is 5.5 m in length and weighs 37.23 kg.
  • Modern ballpoint pens have metal balls as the writing point. These are made from tungsten carbide which is three times tougher than steel!
  • Ballpoint pens were very popular among World War II pilots because they did not leak at high altitudes.
  • Gold-nibbed fountain pens slowly adjust to your writing style. As the pen is used, the nib flexes and softens.
  • The United States is the largest manufacturer of pens, producing 2-billion pens in a year.
  • In 95% of cases, the first word a person writes with a new pen is their name.
  • The oldest surviving fountain pen is from 1702 and was designed by M. Bion from France.
  • The most expensive fountain pen is “Fulgor Nocturnus”. It is made by Tibaldi of Italy and is decorated with 945 black diamonds and 123 rubies. Its price is $8-million dollars.
  • There are five main kinds of pens used worldwide: ballpoint, fountain, soft-tip, rolling-ball and specialty pens.

Pencils

  • Pencil leads contain no lead – just graphite and clay.
  • The longest pencil in the world is 323.51 m in length. It is made by Edward Douglas Miller from the UK.
  • In 2004, factories in China made over 10-billion pencils, enough to circle the earth more than 40 times.
  • Demetra Koutsouridou from Greece has a collection of 8 514 different pencils sharpeners – the largest collection of pencil sharpeners in the world.
  • The name “graphite” comes from Greek “graphein” which means “to write”.
  • The most expensive pencil is a limited edition of the Graf von Faber-Castell Perfect Pencil. It is made of 240 year-old olive wood and 18-carat white gold. Its price is $12 800.
  • Famed author John Steinbeck used as many as 60 pencils a day to write his novels.
  • Emilio Arenas of Uruguay has the largest collection of black pencils in the world. He has a total of 16 260 pencils from all over the world and holds a Guinness World Record for his collection.
  • Newspaper pencils have casing made from old newspaper. Each one is made from one sheet of newspaper.
  • The oldest surviving pencil dates from the 17th century. It was found on the roof of an old German house while it was being renovated.

Sourced from www.lincpen.com

Weak pen, lighter sales knock Bic

By Myles McCormick for Financial Times

Flagging sales of pens in India and lighters in North America knocked revenues at French stationery maker Bic at the beginning of 2019.

The company, known for its ubiquitous biros and razors, said sales had fallen 2 per cent on a comparative basis to €415m in the first quarter of the year as its overall trading environment remained “challenging”.

Pre tax income dropped 18 per cent to €55m as South American exchange rates and rising raw material costs weighed on its margins.

Shares in Bic fell as much as 10 per cent in early Thursday trading, making it one of the worst performers on the Stoxx 600 index — second only to Finnish electronics group Nokia, whose shares plunged after an unexpected first-quarter loss.

“After a strong 2018 fourth quarter, and while the overall trading environment remains challenging, 2019 started with soft results impacted by stationery in India and lighters in the US,” said Gonzalve Bich, Bic chief executive.

“However, we maintained or grew market share in our three categories, and regained momentum in shavers,” he added.

In India, Cello Pens, which Bic bought in 2015, saw a double digit drop off in sales as it sought to reduce shipments to so-called “superstockists”. Global stationery sales fell 6 per cent on a comparative basis, stripping out the impact of acquisitions and divestments.

Lighter sales fell 10 per cent in North America on the back of inventory adjustments by wholesalers and a declining market. Globally, lighter sales were down 6 per cent on a comparative basis.

Its shaver business did better, with strong eastern European and Russian performance driving a 10 per cent rise on a comparative basis.

The company expects first quarter “headwinds” to lessen over the year and retained its full year financial outlook of a slight growth in sales.

By Nico Gous for TimesLive

OMFG! This abbreviation‚ used in a cheeky advertisement for “sparkle pens” that could appeal to children‚ was not a mistake.

In fact it was used intentionally by stationary and gift shop Typo‚ in an advertisement emailed to customers that was regarded‚ by some people‚ as vulgar and insensitive.

The advert was the subject of a recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Katharine Marsden and Sally Cruickshanks argued that OMFG (which stands for “Oh my f**king God” – an expression of surprise) was vulgar‚ insensitive‚ inappropriate and offensive to all religions. They added that children liked Typo stores and should not be exposed to this language.

But Typo disagreed and told the ASA: “It is definitely not its intention to offend. It is intended to be fun‚ in jest and perhaps a little cheeky.”

The advertisement stated‚ among other things: “Spend R400 and receive a free sparkle ballpoint pen.” It also featured a model who appeared to be astonished by the offer‚ accompanied by a speech bubble containing the offending acronym.

In its ruling the ASA noted that “the product in question is one that appeals to children – a sparkle pen – and the execution is one that would be attractive to children‚ the material is in an email that is sent to Typo customers‚ who are identified as aged 18 to 35. A child who could be harmed by expletives should not have unchecked access to email and should not be subscribed to a retail mailing list.”

The ASA was unanimous that the use of “f**k” or “f**king” would have been offensive and inappropriate for children‚ but has previously dismissed complaints about use of “OMG” (Oh My God).

A minority in the ASA felt that OMFG was offensive because it was different to euphemisms for the four-letter expletive such as “effing” or “frecking” and the religious connotation made it worse.

The majority ruled “by a narrow margin” that it was similar to euphemisms and inoffensive to adults.

The complaint was dismissed.

Despite the growing popularity of electronic devices among school-aged children, writing instruments are still a force to be reckoned with in the classroom, at least in the US.

According to research firm NPD Group, the American office and school supplies industry grew 3% in 2015 to $12-billion, with $1,2-billion stemming from online sales.

The bulk of the industry’s revenue came from the writing instruments category, which represented 20% of total industry sales, and was the thrust behind its growth in 2015; the category experienced dollar and unit growth of eight%, and seven%, respectively.

“From writing to adult colouring, a number of exciting trends emerged and re-emerged in 2015 which helped grow dollar sales for key players in the office supplies industry. These trends continue to have a positive impact on sales,” says Neen Nsouli, office supplies industry analyst at the NPD Group.

Amidst the digital migration being seen across industries, the traditional writing category has managed to grow and, at the same time, evolve with the times, as new products on the market show.

Traditional pen sales grew 5% during the year, and specialty pens by 11%.

In line with the adult colouring book trend, dollar sales of porous, gel, and multi-coloured pens were up by 28%, 9% and 8%, respectively.

Coloured pencils were also popular items, with sales up 40% for the full year.

Consumers are also spending on fine writing instruments, and increased their spending by nearly $2,5-million on fountain, gel, and ballpoint pens compared to what they spent on these products in 2014.

Source: www.stationerynews.com.au

A small device made from household materials such as paper, pencil and a teflon tape can generate enough electricity to operate a remote control.

A team from EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne) in Switzerland, working with researchers from the University of Tokyo, used these everyday materials to make a tiny device that can generate more than three volts of power.

The simple, eco-friendly and inexpensive system can produce the same current as two AA batteries.

This is enough to power micro- or nano-sensors, which need only a little electricity to run.

“The one that we developed in the framework of this European project is the first one to use natural, everyday and environmentally friendly materials,” says  Jurgen Brugger, a professor at the Microsystems Laboratory.

This could have applications in the medical field, for example. Ultra low-cost sensors made of paper for various diagnostic purposes, which would be especially practical for developing countries, are already being tested.

This paper system could represent the next step, since it would remove the need for conventional batteries. Another advantage is that it does not generate waste, as it can simply be incinerated or left to decompose naturally.

Source: www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

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