At first glance, these simple black pens appear humble and unassuming. Only a silver imprint reading “Skilcraft U.S. Government” hints at their storied history.
For more than 40 years these infamous government-issue pens have served as the official writing instrument for government employees in every sector. They’ve been used everywhere from active war zones to post offices, yet most people aren’t aware they even exist!
These infamous Skilcraft ballpoint pens are manufactured by blind workers in accordance with 16 pages of rigorous government specifications, including demands such as the ability to write for a continuous mile without generating blobs, skipping, or losing color intensity. The ink itself can withstand 48 hours of exposure to water and will remain legible even after two applications of chemical bleach. The pen’s tungsten carbine-cobalt ball is corrosion resistant and the plastic barrel won’t warp or degrade even at temperatures ranging from 160 degrees to -40 degrees. This truly is the king of all pens.
The cost? Sixty cents each.
A pen rumored to double as a two-inch explosive fuse and an emergency tracheotomy scalpel may sound like part of the plot synopsis for a new spy comedy movie, but these pens are the real deal. About 4 million are manufactured every year, and demand remains consistent despite the fact that their design hasn’t been upgraded in 4 decades.
You may not be able to imprint your logo on an authentic Skilcraft government-issue pen, but there are plenty of durable custom ballpoint pens that serve as worthy substitutes. The next time you are tempted to think that writing instruments don’t have the staying power of other promotional products, remember the Skilcraft’s 40 year legacy!