One of the first French words we learn in school is ‘bic’, for ballpoint pen. (Remember? Qu’est ce qu’il y a dans ta trousse?)

Origin of the Bic pen
In fact, the pen was not invented by Monsieur Bic, as many believe, but by Monsieur Bich!

Based upon an already existing ballpoint pen manufactured in Argentina by László Bírópen, Marcel Bich presented it to the American public – but took good advice and dropped the h off his name before marketing it! Can’t imagine why!


  1. The ballpoint pen was not invented by Bic but he was the one responsible for introducing it to the US public and making it famous. The original ballpoint pen was patented by Argentinian/Hungarian László Bíró and was manufactured by Bic under licence. Biró’s pen was itself based on an original invention by John J Loud 50 years earlier.

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