Does a Ballpoint Pen Really Have a Ball in Its Point?

The very tip of a ballpoint pen’s point is really a tiny metal ball set in a socket, so that it’s free to spin as the pen point moves over the paper. You can’t feel the ball turning around when you write with the pen, but it does.

One half of the ball, the half that’s visible, forms the writing surface. The other half, the half that’s inside, is in contact with the reservoir, the cylinder that holds the ink. The spinning of the ball keeps the pen point continually supplied with ink.

India ink never came from India; it originally came from China!