C. Howard Hunt was an American company that manufactured tempered pens, now marketed under the Speedball brand.
In 1899, C. Howard Hunt established a company in Camden, New Jersey. The company C. Howard Hunt Pen invented the smooth round pen, which required about 15 operations in the manufacturing. Expert cutters have used cutting presses to produce nearly 45,000 pens per day from rolled steel sheets. Workers printed, crushed and shipped 25 pens per minute.
The Speedball Pen was developed and patented by Ross F. George of Seattle. His square-tip pen could make fine, broad lines. George took the patent from the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company in 1915. They made the pens in six sizes and published the textbook Speedball, written by George. In 1925, the company C. Howard Hunt Pen bought the Boston Specialty Company, manufacturer of Boston Pencil Pointers. In 1936, Hunt became America’s first major manufacturer of cheap accessories for the printing of linoleum blocks, a popular school craft. Henry Frankenfield, engraver and art educator, has developed this line.
Throughout the Great Depression, Hunt reduced its operations, recovering with the development of the gold-plated stainless steel pen, which was stimulated by the company’s invention of a special patented tip. In 1942, the regulation on stainless steel stopped the production of pencil sharpeners and special metal products. The sale of silver alloy feathers allowed the company to survive during the Second World War. Over the years, Hunt has expanded its product line and markets through acquisitions such as Bienfang, Lit-Ning, Bevis and Data Products. Although some of these acquisitions are no longer part of the business, they represent an important chapter in Hunt’s history. George Bartol, III, joined the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company in 1946. He was apprenticed in the company’s manufacturing department, and succeeded his father as president in 1956. In 1969 he was also became chairman of the board. Bartol’s leadership has transformed the small family-owned C. Howard Hunt Pen into a public company, Hunt Manufacturing Company.
A new chapter in Hunt’s story began on November 14, 1997, when CEO Walt Glazer led the buyout of the Speedball division during the company’s restructuring. Subsequently, Hunt pens are currently marketed under the brand name “Speedball”.
Feathers manufactured by Howard C. Hunt, currently produced under the name Speedball:
Hunting pens have been widely used by a legion of comic artists to ink their pages. Some of them are Walt Simonson, Dale Keown, Bob McLeod, Kevin Nowlan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Joe Sinnott and Andy Lanning (pen users # 102), George Perez (# 100) and Joe Rubinstein (# 100, 103).