The throwaway BIC™ Crystal ballpoint pen has become a ubiquitous everyday item with sales of more than 15 million per day, although by the later 20th century the BIC company had diversified into a wide range of products, including disposable razors. Capitalizing on the technology of the Biro pen that had been developed commercially by in the 1940s, Marcel Bich established a pen factory in Clichy, France, where he introduced the first of his BIC ballpoint biros in 1953. Having captured an increasing share of the European market, Bich purchased the Waterman Pens Company of New York in 1958 and introduced the first of his disposable, transparent Crystal biros in the United States. Promoted through a television advertising campaign under the banner ‘Writes First Time Every Time—and for only 29 cents’ this cheap, yet simple, transparent design has been a huge commercial success worldwide for almost 50 years.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.