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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

The “iconic American pen” has been to the top of the Earth, the bottom of the sea and to the moon.

It’s 1953 and Paul Fisher has just successfully created a universal ink refill that is compatible with most pens.

Yet Fisher was unsatisfied with his new product. So he set out to develop a pen refill that didn’t rely on gravity to flow and could be depended on under any condition, no matter how extreme.

And that’s how — at the height of the Space Race — the Fisher Space Pen was born.

The famed pen can write in freezing cold, desert heat, underwater, through grease and upside down. Since their debut, Fisher Space Pens have racked up extremely impressive credentials, as they have been used on Everest expeditions, they are currently on display at the Smithsonian Museums and they have been used by NASA on all manned space flights since the Apollo 7 Mission.

But despite their many travels, the pens are still manufactured at the company’s factory in Boulder City, Nevada, as they have been since 1976.

“If you compare us to Cross or Mont Blanc, we’re really a small company, but we’re all focused on one thing: making a great product,” said Cesar Reveles, the company’s plant manager, told This Built America. “Upholding the whole notion of ‘Made in America.’ I think, still counts.”

Most of the company’s assembly work is carried out by highly skilled craftsmen and women. Fisher Space Pen remains a family company in every sense. It’s currently owned by Paul Fisher’s son, Cary Fisher, many families work within the company, including a family of four, according to Gabriel Reyes, a company spokesperson.

The pens are made and packaged with recyclable materials. And while Fisher Space Pen is open about the process of making the pens, the company’s special ink recipe is kept under lock and key, and very few people know the secret.

The pens come in many different styles and colors, including a Star Spangled pattern, their ever popular Bullet style, and of course, Astronaut Space Pens. Prices of pens range from less than $25 to over $200.

Check out the Fisher Space Pen Co. here