Who Invented Promotional Pens?

Did Abraham Singer of Amsterdam Printing & Litho invent promotional pens? An entrepreneur from the late 1800s and early 1900s, legend has it that Singer may have been the first person to print a company’s name on a pen for promotional purposes.

promotional pensOf course, today, many businesses have wised up to the fact that promotional pens are a good advertising technique. This is why it seems like every doctor’s office, bank and pharmacy offers promotional pens with their company logos and contact details imprinted on them. These promo pens, such as those found at Halo, range from inexpensive pens to high-quality writing instruments. Companies give them to their customers and clients as well as to their employees as free gifts that are much appreciated by recipients.

In fact, you might be surprised to know that promotional pens are still the most effective promotional product you can give to a current or prospective customer. These pens are ubiquitous in today’s marketplace because they serve several purposes. First and foremost, they are functional; they can be used to write notes, jot down notations and sign signatures. Secondly, of course, promotional pens garner a lot of marketing impressions along the way, due to their multiple exposures.

But I digress; let’s go back to their origins. Back in Singer’s day, printing hard copies of materials was the main way to achieve mass communication in the marketplace. As an entrepreneur, Singer began a printing business in his apartment in Amsterdam, New York. He started by printing companies’ ads on paper and then on writing pads. Pens were a natural next step, right?

Today, Amsterdam® Printing claims they invented laser-engraved pens, and since the company was founded by Singer back in the day, it makes sense. Singer’s willingness to push the envelope has resulted in Amsterdam Printing’s expansion into selling many other promotional products. But promo pens are still an integral part of their business.

Although it’s tempting to credit Singer with the invention of promotional pens, the truth is there may have been multiple inventors and innovators along the way. After all, someone invented the bone-shaped novelty pen for veterinary offices and someone else thought of producing house-shaped pens for real estate offices. But it is safe to say that Singer’s ideas most likely were the impetus for the big idea that evolved into promo pens.

Another school of thought is that the inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg, may have been the true “father” of the promotional pen. It would seem natural for him to leverage his engraving talent on more than just paper. Who’s to say that Gutenberg didn’t conceive of the idea of imprinting his company’s name on a pen? Both men were keenly aware of the power of the imprint.

As the forerunner of the printing press, Gutenberg may have been the first inventor to produce a promotional pen. But many people believe it was, in fact, Singer who arrived at the idea.

Author Bio: Riya Moore is a writer for HALO Branded Solutions, a leading Promotional Logo Pens products company. When he’s not working, he loves to travel and blog, so his tablet is his best friend.

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