National Stationery Week

10 Stationery Facts to Celebrate National Stationery Week

National Stationery Week is an annual event that seeks to promote all things stationery-related and to encourage people to put pen to paper. This year it takes place on 23rd to 27th April. Check out our list of 10 fascinating stationery facts.

  1. Recycling one ton of paper saves approximately 17 trees, 26,000 litres of water and nearly 700 gallons of oil.
  2. The largest collection of pens was amassed by Angelika Unverhau in Germany. The pen enthusiast boasts over 220,000 unique pens collected from 146 countries.
  3. The world’s largest ballpoint pen weighs over 37kg and measures 5.5 metres long! The monster writing instrument was built in India and is engraved with scenes from Indian mythology.
  4. Paper was invented in China approximately 100 BC. The first industrial paper making was started by Ts’ai Lun, a government official in 105 AD during the Han Dynasty. It replaced papyrus and parchment which had been used for thousands of years.
  5. Scientists have developed a pen that can create lines just 40 nanometres wide. That’s 2,500 times thinner than a human hair!
  6. The word ‘pen’ comes from ‘penna’, the Latin word for ‘feather’. Penne pasta is so called because it resembles the tip of a quill.
  7. The ballpoint pen was patented by Laszlo Biro in 1938. The Hungarian journalist noticed that newspaper ink dried quickly without smudging so developed a pen with a rotating ball that could dispense similar ink.
  8. The first pencils were merely sticks of graphite wrapped in string. Bread was used as an eraser.
  9. The first inks were made more than 5,000 years ago with ingredients including soot and donkey skin gelatine.
  10. Scientists have observed chimpanzees in the wild sharpening sticks and then using them to scratch symbolic marks onto leaves, aping a simple form of writing.

Celebrate your love of pens, stationery and writing by getting involved in National Stationery Week. Visit to find out more.

To explore Europe’s widest range of printed and engraved pens, visit Launched

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