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Caran D'Ache Ecridor Ballpoint Pen
Ballpoint pens are so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget that they’re a technological marvel. It took fifty years of failed design experiments before they managed to make one that worked.
Some were overly reliant on gravity and had to be held exactly vertical at all times. Others needed so much pressure to get the ink flowing that they would pierce through paper and could only write on leather. It wasn’t until 1940 that an invention turned successful, and the dream of a smudgeless, long lasting pen was reached.
Poorly made ballpoint pens with ill-fitting sockets will leak, or clog, or refuse to lay down ink as you write. Others need too much pressure to get the ink to flow – fine if you’re filling out a form in triplicate – annoying any other time.
Caran d’Ache’s ballpoint cartridge is their specialty and broadly lauded by the cognoscenti of the pen world. It lasts a long, long time. There’s enough ink to fill up 600 pages of bond paper with fervent writing. The stainless steel tip and tungsten-carbide ball make a tough pair, and they deliver a clean, crisp line down to the very end. Each cartridge is laboratory tested before being approved for sale.
The opposite of disposable, the body of the pen can be refilled till the end of time. It is made entirely of metal, with a retractable tip. It has the fewest moving parts possible to make breaking even less likely. The pen is plated in silver and coated in rhodium, a rare noble metal that never tarnishes. The classic hexagonal shape and interlocking engraving give the pen a timeless look.
The pen doesn’t need to be polished and it doesn’t need to be coddled. Use it with complete abandon. When the ink runs out, buy a Caran d’Ache refill. Unscrew the base of the pen and drop in the new cartridge.
The Ecridor pen is named after the original pencil factory acquired by Caran d’Ache founder, Arnold Schweitzer in 1924. Variations on the design has been made by the company since they first came up with it in 1930.
So beloved is the design that in 1947, when very little was being made that wasn’t for the war effort, Caran d’Ache Ecridor pens were selected by the U.S. Army Headquarters in Germany as their official pen. Caran d’Ache made an initial run of a thousand pens, before finally going into series production in 1953. All pens are made entirely at the Caran d’Ache factory in Geneva, Switzerland.
What is Municipal Solid Waste?, The Environmental Protection Agency
The Pen Is Mightier Than the Lock, New York Times
The Ballpoint Pen, BBC
Bose Krishnamachari, 'MUMBAIYA.’ Signs Taken For Wonders, Saatchi Gallery
Silver/Rhodium Fountain Pen