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The short happy story of Biro & Bic

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The short happy story of Biro & Bic

This is the story of Bic & Biro. Just as I heard it the other day, on the stage of the auditorium of the Industrial Union of Turin, packed as if for special occasions. And the occasion was indeed great: the start of the celebrations of Turin as the capital of business culture, a recognition that Confindustria assigns every year to a city that knows how and wants to interpret the culture needed to be an entrepreneur; and the cultural repercussions on the territory of a venture done well. This is a fairly recent recognition, the first was Genoa, then Alba, then four cities in the Veneto and finally Pavia. Among these, Turin excels for various reasons, not least the fact that the Industrial League was born here in 1906, which later became Confindustria. Some beautiful stories took place on stage, in particular that of Lavazzawhich became a successful multinational starting from a grocery store opened in 1895. Lavazza is an example of how grow a lot and well without relocating, without exploiting Italy to have incentives to enjoy abroad, without forgetting the territory from which one comes, investing in people. Starting from the logo which throughout the world reads: “Turin, Italy, 1895”. But then a beautiful story from the past metaphorically took to the stage and resurfaces every now and then; the president of the Region Alberto Cirio told it. It is the story of Bic and Biro. Laszlo Josef Birò was a Hungarian inventor and in 1943 patented the ballpoint pen: it is said that he had the intuition while watching the trail that a ball left behind coming out of a puddle. The puddle was the ink. Thus was born the ballpoint pen, much more comfortable than the fountain pen. The invention was brilliant but not perfect and had a lot of commercial problems. After a thousand vicissitudes iThe patent passed into the hands of Baron Marcel Bich, born in Turin and for this reason we were talking about it on Monday, who made some small decisive changes: for example the pen would be transparent, to allow the remaining ink to be checked and the shape would be hexagonal and not round, so as not to rolling to the ground from the school desks which were on a slight slope. He added a small hole to make the internal and external atmospheric pressure identical and therefore prevent the ink from drying out.

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From Birò and Bich came the Biro and the Bic: innovation is a path, not a goal.


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