Trivia

Hard

The Ubiquitous Black Pens Found At Post Office Buildings Are Manufactured By?

Midwestern School Children
Federal Prisoners
Visually Impaired Workers
Disabled Veterans

Answer: Visually Impaired Workers

If you live in the U.S., there’s a very good chance that you’ve handled one of these pens without ever realizing there was an interesting backstory attached to them. Found in thousands of Post Offices, various Federal offices, and military bases across the country, the Skilcraft pen is an ubiquitous fixture in government institutions of all sizes.

The pens are produced, as the stamp on the barrel implies, by the Skilcraft corporation which also makes many other products such as office supplies, janitorial equipment, uniforms, and hospital supplies. The company (originally known as the National Industries for the Blind, or NIB for short) was founded in 1938 as a result of the Wagner-O’Day Act that directed the government to purchase products manufactured by blind Americans. To this day, Skilcraft pens are still made by blind and visually impaired Americans at factories in Wisconsin and North Carolina.

The design of the pen reflects the requirements the government set for standard issue pens to serve civilian and military workers. The pen has to withstand extreme temperatures, provide approximately a linear mile of written ink before needing a refill, the ink has to resist water exposure for up to 48 hours, and—perhaps the most immediately distinct feature, the pen can only be 5 1/8″ long. The last feature was a military requirement so that the pen was short enough to completely fit inside the breast pockets of military uniforms to prevent sunlight from reflecting off the metallic components of the pen and giving away the positions of soldiers.

To date, the company still produces millions of pens per year and there’s a good chance that the next time you sign for a package at your local Post Office or fill out some Social Security paperwork, you’ll do so with a Skilcraft pen.

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Originally Included A Scratch And Sniff Disc?

Trivia

Easy

Despite Their Massive Size, Which Of These Animals Only Lives A Few Years?

Trivia

Easy

What Was The First YouTube Video To Reach One Billion Views?

Trivia

Very Hard

In The Early 20th Century What Heavily Polluting Substance Was Used For Mosquito Control?

Trivia

Hard

The Inventor Of Which Technology Thought Very Poorly Of His Invention?

Trivia

Hard

Apollo Astronauts Saw Streaks Of Light Caused By What?

Trivia

Easy

Japanese Citizens Typically Find Which Popular American Soda Flavor Revolting?

Trivia

Easy

The Longest Running Scientific Experiment Centers Around What?

Trivia

Easy

The Only Vertebrate That Can Move Its Eyes Independently Is The?

Trivia

Hard

The Introduction Of What Arcade Game Caused a Massive Coin Shortage?