I was surprised to learn that my BIC ballpoint pen has an official name – BIC Cristal. I was even more surprised to learn that due to its ubiquity, it has become a permanent part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s collection. Its sleek, hexagonal design promises a sturdiness which it certainly delivers – a given pen has lasted me months before I need to replace it. The pen was first launched in 1950 as an adapted version of the ballpoint invented by László Biró. Since then, the design has undergone minimal changes. The pen’s popularity accelerated the replacement of fountain pens with ballpoint pens and the 100 billionth BIC Cristal pen was sold back in 2005. It is estimated that there are 57 sold per second.