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Pens - Technology - Users - Engraving

fisher AG-7 space pen
In the 1950's there were dozens of ballpoint models, and nearly every one took a different cartridge. In 1953 Fisher invented the "Universal Refill" which could be used in most pens. It was a good seller, since stationary store owners could reduce their stock of assorted refills.

Not content, Fisher continued to work on making a better refill. After much experimentation he perfected a refill using thixotropic ink which remained semisolid until the shearing action of the rolling ball liquefied it so that it would flow only when needed. The cartridge was pressurized with nitrogen so that it didn't rely on gravity to make it work.

It was dependable in freezing cold and desert heat. It could also write under water and upside down. The trick was to have the ink flow when you wanted it to, and not to flow the rest of the time, a problem Fisher solved. Fisher's development couldn't have come at a more opportune time. The space race was on, and the astronauts involved in the Mercury and Gemini missions had been using pencils to take notes in space since standard ball point pens did not work in zero gravity. The Fisher cartridge did work in the weightlessness of outer space and the astronauts, beginning with the October, 1968 Apollo 7 mission began using the Fisher AG-7 Space Pen and cartridge developed in 1966.

Notable events in the history of Space Pens include:

1969 - Fisher Space Pens used on Apollo 7 after two years of testing by NASA.

1983 - Fisher Space Pen is used by Ronald Regan to sign the proclamation inaugurating the Air and Space Bicentennial Year to celebrate Man's first flight in a hot air balloon near Paris, France.

1985 - Fisher Space Pen Company produces the Stowaway pen line manufactured using genuine gold from the treasure recovered from the 1622 Spanish Galleon - Nuestra Senorna de Atocha.

1996 - Good Morning America names the Fisher Space Pen as a best stocking stuffer.

1996 - Fisher licenced to produce 150th Anniversary Pens for the Smithsonian Institute.

1997 - Space Pens are used during the Everest North Face Ski Expedition.

1998 - The Fisher Space Pen is used on the Russian Space Station Mir to write the letters QVV (QVC Shopping Network) - the first product sold in space.

Seinfeld builds an episode around the Fisher Space Pen where Seinfeld is berated by his parents for accepting the pen as a gift from a neighbour who offers it as a token of friendship.




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