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U.S Presidents and their Pens

U.S Presidents and their Pens

Ross Adams |

Over the years the Presidents of American have used a number of different pen brands but during the leadership of Bill Clinton in the 1990's A.T. Cross became the official supplier of pens to The White House. However, presidents as far back as Gerald Ford have been seen to use Cross pens. 

The Cross Townsend model even got the name 'Pen of the Presidents' and used by leaders the world over. The Cross Century II makes history by being the chosen pen by both political parties used to sign bills at the White House.

Donald Trump's administration ordered 150 Cross Century II pens in January 2017. Trump later broke with tradition and opted for a custom Sharpie marker pen, requesting to "make it look rich!"

Other popular brands to be used by Presidents have been Parker and Esterbrook. Truman and Eisenhower were big fans of the popular Parker 51 fountain pen.

Here is a list of Presidents and their pens: 

Joe Biden - Cross Century II, black lacquer with gold features fitted with a felt-tip refill 

Donald Trump - Custom Sharpie marker pen

Barack Obama - Cross Townsend rollerball then later swapped to a Cross Century II rollerball

George W. Bush - Cross Townsend rollerball

Bill Clinton - Cross Townsend rollerball

George H. W. Bush - Cross Classic Century ball pen

Ronald Reagan - Cross Classic Century ball pen

Jimmy Carter - Parker Eversharp fountain pen

Gerald Ford - Parker Eversharp and Cross fountain pens

Richard Nixon - Parker Eversharp fountain pen

Lyndon B. Johnson - Parker Eversharp and Esterbrook fountain pens

John F. Kennedy - Parker 45, Esterbrook and Meisterstuck 149 fountain pens

Dwight D. Eisenhower - Parker 51 fountain pen

Harry S. Truman - Parker 51 fountain pen

Franklin D. Roosevelt - Waterman fountain pen


Why do Presidents use so many pens?

Have you ever seen a President sign an official bill and noticed them using multiple pens? Well this is a tradition dating back decades, although it is unknown who started it. After the use of each pen it is gifted to those involved in helping pass the bill as a souvenir and thank you.

The record for the most pens used is 75! They were used to sign the Civil Rights Act in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson. It seems each letter was signed with a new pen, so lets just hope the signature was legible. One of these pens was given to Martin Luther King Jr.

A more recent example of this is Barack Obama using 22 pens to sign the Affordable Care Act in 2010.