F – Marcel Bich would have celebrated his 100th birthday on July 29, 2014. Born in Turin in 1914, Bich was not only the founder of the global corporation, BIC, he also invented one of the best-selling ballpoint pens of all time: the “BIC Crystal”. The Frenchman initially founded a factory for fountain pens in Paris after the Second World War. However, he soon started concentrating on the ballpoint pen invented by Laszlo Biro several years earlier. Bich further developed the technology – among others with the help of a novel, non-smearing ink – and designed an unmistakable plastic barrel that was suitable for mass-production. In 1950, the disposable ballpoint “BIC Crystal” was ready for the global market, three years later Bich founded the company BIC. The “BIC Crystal” is delivered with a transparent barrel and a coloured lid to this very day. According to estimates, around 100 billion copies of the writing instrument have been sold in total. Marcel Bich died in Paris in 1994.


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