Following World War II, many companies vied to commercially produce their own ballpoint pen design. American entrepreneur Milton Reynolds came across a Birome ballpoint pen during a business trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. (The brand was so successful that birome became the most common way to refer to the ballpoint pen in Argentina until this day).
Recognizing commercial potential, he purchased several samples, returned to the United States and, after some design alterations, obtained an American patent, beating his competitors.
First sold at Gimbels department store in New York City, they were US$12.50 each (1945 US dollar value, about $165 in today’s dollars).