From humble beginnings in 1948, inventor Paul Fisher and his company, the Fisher Pen Co., have been pioneers in the ballpoint pen business. Now, Fisher Pen Co. is proud to be the pen that NASA astronauts have used on every manned space mission for the past 50 years.
The Fisher Space Pen
During the earliest NASA missions, the astronauts used pencils, which came at a considerable cost and brought a lot of controversy from the public.
At the same time, Paul Fisher was in the process of designing a ballpoint pen that would perform better in the weightless, extreme environment of space. It was quite a challenge, considering that the pen would need to function in a weightless environment, submerged in liquids and in extreme temperatures, ranging from below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and exceeding 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Without the aid of NASA funding, Fisher and his company invested over $1 million to the development of the space pen and succeeded with a pressurized ink cartridge. This outstanding achievement was then patented and quickly cornered the market.
Fisher’s space pens were offered to NASA in 1965, though the agency was unsure after the controversy over the cost of the pencils. After years of rigorous testing, NASA finally agreed to buy 400 space pens for the Apollo astronauts in 1967. The Soviet Union soon followed with a purchase of 100 Fisher Space Pens and a thousand ink cartridges in 1969 for the cosmonauts on the Soyuz flights.
Since then, the revolutionary Fisher Space Pens have been the exclusive pen for American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts alike, giving rise to a new corporation, the Fisher Space Pen Co.
Despite the important role Fisher Space Pens played in our space exploration history, the process to make them is quite simple.
Beginning with stainless steel cut into pen tips, every batch is inspected under a microscope to ensure quality control, then cleaned and moved through the next phase of the process. Then, they are joined to the patented pressurized ink cartridge and proceed to assembly, where each pen is completed by hand.
In addition to being hand-made, the inks, points and connectors are all made within the company, and the barrels are sourced from the East Coast.
Made in Boulder City, Nevada, about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas, the Fisher pen took years of development to reach its 100-year shelf life. Now, roughly a million pens are sold each year, and they are priced from $5 to $150. As always, Fisher pens are completely American made.
Fisher Space Pens, the Official Company Pen of Harris Insurance
When we first started Harris Insurance, we searched for just the right pen on which to place our company logo. Despite the many options available, we chose Fisher Space Pens for their high-quality, American-made craftsmanship.
Since then, the blue Fisher Space Pen, complete with our Harris Insurance company logo, has been our official company pen, a loyalty we share with the pioneers of space travel.