Felt-tipped pen

Pentel

Sign Pen (1963), Yukio Horie

Founded in 1949 as the Japan Stationery Co., Pentel is a privately held Japanese manufacturer of stationery products, credited for inventing the world’s first felt-tipped pen. Instrumental in the development was Yukio Horie, the President of the company until his death in 2010. Originally, Pentel experimented with a bamboo tip, but this was soon replaced by an acrylic fibre tip.

Introduced in 1963, the Sign Pen was the world’s first felt tip pen and the biggest selling pen of its type worldwide. Today it has a cult status. President Lyndon Johnson used it to sign the State of the Union address to Congress and because the Sign Pen doesn’t leak, even under atmospheric pressure changes, it was used in space by Nasa in 1965.

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© Pentel Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan

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