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The History of Pilot Pens

In 1915, Japanese professor Ryosuki Namiki left his job to found a small factory near Tokyo and began producing gold pen nibs. Just one year later, he expanded and began producing writing instruments. In 1918, Masao Wada joined Namiki and together they formed the Namiki Manufacturing Company Ltd. — the name "Pilot" was chosen as the trade name. In the 1920s, the company began making decorative maki-e pens and also expanded internationally. In 1938, the company changed its name from Namiki Manufacturing Company Ltd. to Pilot Fountain Pen Co., Ltd. In 1961, they began making ball point pens and in 1964, they invented the Capless, a retracting fountain pen. In 1972, the company established their American branch. In 1985, the American arm of the company introduced the Precise V line, which used an advanced liquid ink technology; the V5 and V7 quickly became the bestselling roller pens in the United States. The company’s name changed again in 1988, this time to the Pilot Corporation. Starting in the early 1990s, Pilot began producing limited edition luxury pens. They also released one of the world’s first ergonomic pens, known as Dr. Grip, in 1995. The well-known G2 gel ink pen line was released in 1997; it continues to be a fan favorite today. In 2008, Pilot released the FriXion Ball, the first pen to utilize thermo-sensitive ink, and in 2010, they introduced the B2P gel roller, the first pen made from recycled plastic bottles. Today, Pilot pens continue to be a favorite for many and are available all around the world.

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