László Bíró

László József Bíró [ la ː slo ː jo ː bi ː ro ː ʒɛf ] ( born September 29, 1899 in Budapest, Hungary, † November 24, 1985 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a Hungarian inventor. He is the inventor of the ballpoint pen.

His father worked as an inventor: The dentist Mátyás Bíró created so many resources and tools for his practice. Actually, his son should follow in his footsteps, but László Bíró broke off his medical studies.

Early invention

After various interests and activities, among other things, as an insurance broker and racer, he developed in 1932 with a friend an automatic transmission for passenger cars. The patent acquired General Motors - but only for the reason that no other company could use it. The car company built its cars continue only with hydraulic transmissions.

In the same year Bíró was commissioned as chief editor of the magazine " Ungarn -Magyarország - Hungary" in order to make the art of Hungary abroad popular. Then he came to the weekly " Előre ". In the local printing it was when viewing the idea of the rotating rollers of a pen to write in ink, but does not smear.

It took only a tube with a rotating sphere at its end as well as ink that does not dry out in the tube on paper but will dry immediately.

Bíró said that if he had an ink consisting of solid and liquid components, the liquid parts would be drawn from the paper, while the solid remained on the paper surface. With the help of his brother György, inventor of Andor Goy and the Brothers Kovalszky he succeeded in constructing such a pin. On April 25, 1938, he was awarded the patent for the pen. The first, still rather stuttering pins came under the name Go- Pen soon to the market.


Bíró was married and had a daughter. Since Hungary was an ally of Germany and there is also a nationalist party (Magyar Nemzeti Függetlenek Pártja ) in the government, was the living conditions for the Jewish family increasingly exacerbated. On December 31, 1938, one day before the entry into force of a new law, which forbade to take patents abroad, therefore he left with his family Hungary and went with her to France.

In Paris Bíró continued the research continues in our own laboratory, in the war -plagued France, the work had to be stopped but. After the invasion of the German troops Bíró fled with his family to Argentina. By a happy coincidence, he had in 1938 the then President of Argentina Agustín Pedro Justo know in Yugoslavia.

The success

In South America, Bíró researched further, received on 10 June 1943, a new patent, and right after we started the production of the pins under the name " Eterpen ". The inventor was director of the largest ballpoint pen factory in Argentina " Sylvapen ", which produced seven million annually coolies. The real breakthrough for the pen came with the British businessman Henry George Martin. He recognized it as an ideal writing tool for aircrew, Bíró bought from the patent rights and started a ballpoint pen production in Reading in England. After the Second World War several companies to produce pens began to partially own without the patent rights.

Bíró wanted more: He planned a perfume with the same ball principle, the precursor to the roll-on deodorant. The series production in the United States failed, however. The next Bíró - invention was a thermometer for the wrist and a sphygmomanometer similar format. He also developed a new method for the production of artificial resin and invented a new plastic that Birolit.


László József Bíró died on 24 November 1985 in Buenos Aires at the age of 86 years. His birthday, September 29 is celebrated ever since in his adopted home of Argentina as a day of inventor.

In his honor, the pens were named in some countries, according to him, Biro ( UK, Italy ), Biron (France), Birome (Argentina ).