When the subject of pens comes to mind, many companies regard these everyday essential items as one of the most reliable endorsement products. Pens are inexpensive, and during the course of their ‘lives’, changes hands many times.
One of the fantastic things about pens, especially promotional ones, is that they do their fair share of ‘traveling’, so to speak. Many of us think that pens that are given away will only be seen by the initial recipients who receives them, but this is almost never the case. Pens exchange owners at least 5 to 6 times on an average, and sometimes even more during their “lifetimes”. This is one of the main reasons many companies choose to give away pens as part of their branding and publicity strategy. The pens given away make their way around the globe, and exposure to the company’s imprint can quadruple.
Have you ever wondered, though, when pens were invented and where they find their roots? Do you know which one came first, the pen or the pencil? If you’ve watched any movie or TV series that’s set far enough in the past, you will probably realize that it was the pen that came first.
One of the astonishing facts that we uncovered is that pens have been in existence for about a millennium now. True! Of course, they were quite different from the pens we use today. This is evident from the old films in which you would have seen actors holding feathers or quills at ease between the fingers. The quills sported a pointed tip that was plunged into the ink and was used for writing.
Penna means feather in Latin. Since feathers were used to make pens in the early days, these objects were so named. The pens we find in the market today were invented only about a century back. Since the quills needed frequent replacement and also they were to be dipped every time a need was there to write, the pens of today were invented.
It was in 1884 that the fountain pen was invented and created a buzz. At the time, the nib was not only made from steel but also had its own supply of ink, making it a portable tool. Ball-points came next, but it took half a century before that happened. Those that we use today come with fiber tips and are only about half a century old as well.
Pencils do not have such a long history, though, with their invention just tracing back to about 600 years. In the beginning, pencils resembled a kind of painting brush that had a very pointed tip. Pencils got their name from the Latin word Penicillus that translated to “little tail”. With the invention of graphite, writing pencils came into existence in the middle of the 16th century. Graphien is a Greek word meaning ‘to write’.
Today, both pens and pencils come in many different forms such as designer, vintage and custom made.
Since pens have proven that they do get around, using them as promotional is always a great idea. As long as the designs are eye-catching and all important data intact, these humble pens may just prove to be mighty effective marketing tools.
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