How Ballpoint Pens Killed Cursive

While many blame the downfall of handwriting on computers, tablets and smartphones, its decline actually began long ago—after a man named Marcel Bich released the first Bic Crystal ballpoint pen in 1946. Back then, fountain pens were the norm, and their inks were thin and bled at the first sign of applied pressure. But with the new ballpoint pens (and their thicker inks), connecting letters became difficult—and even unnecessary. Now, cursive is as obsolete as the fountain pens once used to create it, and electronics are looking to serve a similar fate to ballpoints.