I (John Loud) Claim:
1. A pen having a spheroidal marking point, substantially as described.
2. A pen having a marking sphere capable of revolving in all directions, substantially and for the purposed described.
3. In a fountain-pen, a marking sphere, in combination with a spring, and a tube having a contracted mouth, whereby the sphere projects from the tube, substantially as and for the purposes described.
4. In a fountain pen, a tube having a contracted mouth, in combination with spring, a marking-sphere, and one or more anti-friction balls...
Early versions of the pens all suffered from a common weakness, namely, the ink.
Unless the consistency of the ink remained the same under varying weather conditions the pens would either leak due to thinning of the fluid, or would clog due to thickening.
It wasn't until 1945 that major improvements to the design of the ink allowed the ball point pen to become a commercial success.
John Jacob Loud
A man of many interests and talents, John Jacob Loud was very well known in his hometown of Weymouth. Born 20 Nov,1844, he graduated from Weymouth High School and then moved on to Harvard University. He became a lawyer and worked as such until his father, the cashier of the Union National Bank asked him to become his assistant. Loud took the position in 1871. John married Emily Keith Vickery on 7 Nov., 1872. In 1874, his father passed and Loud was appointed as his replacement. He worked as cashier for over 20 years. Loud was a loyal member of the Union Congregational Church and one of the founders of the Weymouth Historical Society. Aside from being a civic leader and cultural contributor, John Jacob Loud was the inventor of the ballpoint pen . The invention was patented on October 30, 1889. and forever changed the art of writing. He died 10 Aug., 1916.
(Courtesy of Tufts Library and David Hurley.)