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The History of Markers

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Hey, Camp Folks!

Winter months are a great time to break out the markers and add life to coloring books or art projects. As summer approaches you can put markers to good use for your summer camp preparation! After all, a clothing marker is the simplest and sometimes most reliable method of labeling your clothing and other items on your packing list. A blast of bold color, markers are just plain fun. And they’ve been around for well over a hundred years! Check out this colorful look at the history of markers.

Like I said, markers go back more than a hundred years to 1910. It was Lee W. Newman who patented the first marking pen. As it was the first of its kind, the design was a rather basic: a simple cylinder filled with ink that led to a felt tip.

About 15 years later, Benjamin Paskach patented his ‘Fountain Paintbrush’. He gave it a sponge for the tip which was more fun to use and he used different paint colors—the biggest selling point of the sponge-tipped marker. Despite the improvements it made, Paskach’s Fountain Paintbrush never became doable for a wide market and, thus, never actually took off.

It was nearly another 30 years before the first modern marker was created. In 1953, Sidney Rosenthal accidentally invented what he dubbed the Magic Marker when he placed a felt tip on the end of a small bottle of permanent ink to appease his curiosity and it took off big!

In 1964, the Sanford Manufacturing Company introduced the Sharpie—the world’s most popular permanent marker brand. About fifteen years after that in 1978, Crayola was founded and went on to become the world’s most popular washable marker brand. 

Markers continue to be incredibly fun and practical utensils that we can use artistically or for more practical applications such as labeling clothing and other summer camp gear. Visit all of our labeling options when you click right here and, as always, thanks for reading!


 - John


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