BOULDER CITY (KTNV) — 25 miles outside the glitz, glam and gaming of the Las Vegas Strip, there's a local business making its mark on the world. Make that, the universe! It's the Fisher Space Pen Company, and you can count NASA as one of it's clients.
13 Action News anchor Todd Quinones is showcasing local businesses creating local jobs and opportunities. We call it, Made In Nevada. In this edition, we take you to Boulder City, and see why their creations are the write stuff.
VERSATILITY & INGENUITY
"It's got a little pizzazz to this one. If you've got one hand just throw it forward, the pen comes out," says company Vice President, Matt Fisher.
Versatility, creativity and ingenuity are out in full force at the Fisher Space Pen Company. Brothers Matt and Paul showed me around their Boulder City facility. Any pen coming out of this place has to be able to withstand conditions you might not imagine.
"We actually froze this one so you can see that it writes," says Paul, Assistant Plant Manager. "Can I feel it. Oh yah, ice cold," says Todd. "And of course it's still going strong. So negative 30 fahrenheit to 250 degrees fahrenheit it writes anywhere on the planet," says Paul.
USED IN SPACE
That's including under water as they showed us in this demonstration. But their pens are probably most famous for working even in the zero-gravity conditions of space, allowing you to write even while upside down.
"My grandfather developed and patented the Fisher Space Pen used on all manned space flights in 1966. After 18 months of rigorous testing by NASA it was approved for use on Apollo 7. The very first manned space flight," says Matt.
"Is it fair to say the majority of manned space flights from NASA has had one of your pens on board?" says Todd. "I wouldn't say the majority. I would say 100% of them," says Matt.
Fisher Space Pens are also used by Russian and Chinese space agencies.
"How is it you guys are able to make these pens that are so durable?" says Todd. "My grandfather developed an ink that allows it to sustain extreme conditions, also the pressurization of the refill, the ball point. Anything and everything about our writing instruments is top-notch. That's why NASA comes to us. They need top level products that they can rely on," says Matt.
The company went in a new direction during the pandemic, developing these raw brass pens. The unfinished brass provides a unique antimicrobial benefit for anyone concerned about cleanliness.
Then came my turn to try my hand a pen-making. It's amazing to see the intricate work that goes into what seems like such a simple instrument. A constant work in progress here in Boulder City since 1976.
"And you talk about this being a family business. Going through the pandemic, you guys had to furlough your employees. But you kept them on," says Todd. "Absolutely! We cultivate a family atmosphere here at Fisher Space Pen. A lot of the employees have been here 50 years. They held me as a baby, my brother Paul," says Matt. "Wait, some of the people who work here used to hold you as a baby?" says Todd.
"Yes. Absolutely. It really is a family atmosphere. We love all our employees. We know everyone on a first name basis. Treat everyone with respect and dignity... Without our people, without our family here, our lifeblood, we couldn't survive," says Matt.
A signature product and it's Made in Nevada.
In all The Fisher Space Pen Company has 60 employees, or they would say 60 family members. They do seem like a close group and brothers Matt and Paul really do appear to know everyone's name.