About Fisher Space Pen
One of first products for Fisher was the iconic Bullet Pen, named for its sleek rounded ends. This particular Space Pen is in The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection as a symbol of American industrial design. This mid-century modern pen is still available today in 16 colors and finishes and remains one of Fisher's most popular gift items.
In the 1950's there were dozens of ballpoint models, and nearly every one took a different cartridge. In 1953 Fisher invented the "Universal Refill" which could be used in most pens. It was a good seller, since stationery store owners could reduce their stock of assorted refills. Not content, Fisher continued to work on making a better refill. After much experimentation he perfected a refill using thixotropic ink-semisolid until the shearing action of the rolling ball liquefied it-that would flow only when needed. The cartridge was pressurized with nitrogen so that it didn't rely on gravity to make it work. It was dependable in freezing cold and desert heat. It could also write through water and upside down. The trick was to have the ink flow when you wanted it to, and not to flow the rest of the time, a problem Fisher solved. Fisher's development couldn't have come at a more opportune time.
The moon race was on and the astronauts involved in the Mercury and Gemini missions had been using pencils to take notes in outerspace since standard ball points did not work in zero gravity. After the fire on Apollo 1 all combustable objects were not permitted on board spacecraft. The Fisher cartridge did work in the weightlessness of outer space and the astronauts, beginning with the October, 1968 Apollo 7 mission began using the Fisher AG-7 Astronaut Space Pen and cartridge developed in 1966. Fisher Space Pen rose to prominence when founder Paul Fisher invented a retractable, pressurized pen called the Anti-Gravity 7 (#AG7) that worked flawlessly in zero gravity aboard the first manned Apollo mission in 1968. Seventy years later the company continues to thrive with pens still flown aboard every manned space flight.