Zebra (pen manufacturer)

Zebra Co., Ltd. is a Japanese manufacturer of writing instruments. Zebra Pen Corporation (the US subsidiary) was founded in New York in 1982 as an independent wholly-owned company by Zebra Co. Ltd. The company sells a wide range of pens, pencils and highlighters in retail stores, wholesalers and mail order. The Zebra Pen Corporation offers a range of writing instruments including ballpoint pens, gel pens, rollerball pens, ink pens, mechanical pencils and highlighters.

The Zebra brand was adopted in 1914. Legend has it that Mr. Ishikawa, founder of Zebra Co. Ltd., wanted a company name that would be memorable and appropriate for (more…)


The Yard-O-Led Pencil Company was founded in London, England in 1934 by a Mr Brenner to produce his patent propelling pencils which contained twelve three inch leads (that is to say, 36 inches or a yard of lead). After the Second World War the company merged with Sampson Mordan Ltd whose founder had patented the first mechanical pencil in 1822.

They built a new factory in Birmingham and took over Edward Baker Ltd, another pencil maker. Until 2015, the company was part of the Letts Filofax Group, and has now re-established itself as Imperial Yard Ltd. Yard-O-Led continues to produce expensive fountain (more…)

Samuel D. Wonders

Samuel D. Wonders (1890-1980), a consulting engineer and ink manufacturer, was president of the Carter’s Ink Company in Cambridge, Mass., From 1949 to 1955.

Samuel Driscoll Wonders was born on July 30, 1890 in Bellefontaine, Ohio, son of James Crewe Wonders and Nancybelle (Spellman) Wonders. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received a B.S. in 1913.

From 1913 to 1929, Samuel D. Wonders worked as an industrial engineer for various companies in Ohio and Massachusetts, the best known being Firestone Tire and Rubber Company.

Samuel D. Wonders went to work for Carter’s Ink in 1929 as an industrial engineer and was elected to (more…)

Waterman pens

The Waterman pen company is a major manufacturer of luxury fountain pens. Established in 1884 in New York City by Lewis Edson Waterman, it is one of the few remaining first-generation fountain pen companies, as Waterman S.A.. Since 2000 it has been owned by the American group Newell Brands subsidiary Sanford L.P.

Lewis Edson Waterman’s entry into fountain pen manufacturing has only recently been properly researched. Waterman was working as a pen salesman in New York for a new company founded in the spring of 1883 by a volatile inventor named Frank Holland. Holland abandoned his company after only six weeks; Waterman (more…)

Visconti (company)

Visconti is an Italian manufacturing company of fine fountain pens, ballpoint pens, and rollerball pens. Other products are jewels, watches, and accessories. The company was founded in 1988 in Florence by Dante Del Vecchio and Luigi Poli, collectors of fountain pens for many years. Their products represented the rediscovery and relaunch of celluloid as the material for fountain pens. In 2009, Visconti reached a deal with Coles of London (actually based in North Carolina), whereby Coles became the official distributor of Visconti products in the United States. Together, they have recently launched a range of new products, including the Rembrandt Collection, (more…)


Tombow is a Japanese manufacturer of office supplies. The company was founded in 1913 as Messrs Tombow and has since grown into an international business. Based in Tokyo with 397 employees, Tombow also has two overseas production facilities in Thailand and Vietnam. Tombow Thailand is the first overseas factory of Tombow with 425 employees (December 2007) and 6,480 square meters building area.

Tombow’s range of products include:

Mono is one of Tombow’s most popular product lines. It comprises different types of pencils, erasers, and correction tapes. Some product examples include the Mono plastic eraser (see image), the Mono Graph pencil, and the Mono (more…)

Société Bic

Société BIC S.A., commonly referred to simply as BIC and stylized as BiC, is a corporation based in Clichy, France best known for making ballpoint pens. It was founded in 1945 by Baron Marcel Bich and has become known for making disposable consumer products such as lighters, razors, mechanical pencils, and printed paper products.

In 1970, Gillette purchased S. T. Dupont Paris whose principal product was luxury cigarette lighters. During this time Dupont explored the possibilities of marketing a disposable lighter, developing an inexpensive disposable lighter called Cricket, which it introduced in the United States in 1972. Later that year Bic was (more…)


Sheaffer Pen Corporation (ʃeɪfɜː) is a manufacturer of writing instruments, particularly luxury fountain pens. The company was founded by Walter A. Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa, and incorporated in 1913 to exploit his invention of a lever-filling fountain pen. The brand was sold by French parent company Bic to A. T. Cross Company in August, 2014.

In 1912, Walter A. Sheaffer took his idea of a pen-filling apparatus that utilized a lever system and, with his life savings, founded the W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company in Fort Madison, Iowa. The company was established in the backroom of Mr. Sheaffer’s jewelry store with seven (more…)


Rotring (stylized rOtring) is a German company of writing and drafting instruments based in Hamburg.

The company was founded in 1928 as Tintenkuli Handels GmbH. The first product of the company was the Tintenkuli, a pen-pen with a narrow steel tube instead of a conventional pen. While stylistic pens were already prevalent in America and were in fact conventional fountain pens prior to these, they were not marketed in Europe and Rotring would become the name associated with these pens worldwide. “Rot Ring” translates directly to the red ring – which is still placed around the barrel of their pens today.

The name (more…)


Quink (a portmanteau word from ‘quick’ and ‘ink’) is a fountain pen ink developed by the Parker Pen Company. It was introduced in 1931 and has remained in production ever since.

In 1928, under the direction of Kenneth Parker, the Parker Pen Company set out to develop a new and improved fountain pen ink. Inferior inks had long been the main cause of clogged fountain pens, yet popular ink formulations had remained unchanged in decades. Research for the project was initially outsourced to Miner Laboratories of Chicago. In August 1930 one of the lead chemists, Galen Sayler, was hired directly and put (more…)


Pelikan is a German manufacturer of fountain pens and other writing, office and art equipment. Credited with the invention of the differential-piston filling method, the original company was founded in Hanover in 1832 before it went bankrupt and restarted. Pelikan A.G. is now a Swiss incorporated subsidiary of Pelikan International. The notable history of Pelikan began with the model “100” and the modified 100N (both fountain pens), which sparked the genesis of the company’s distinctive styling. Pelikan is notable for its lack of innovation in pen manufacturing, preserving the then innovative methods and styles of its founding company. Pelikan’s newer lines (more…)

Onoto pens

Onoto was a brand of fountain pen manufactured by De La Rue from 1905 until 1958. The brand was relaunched in 2005 by The Onoto Pen Company Limited.

In the autumn of 1905, Thomas De La Rue and Company Limited, printers of bank notes and stamps to the commonwealth, launched a self-filling fountain pen guaranteed not to leak – the Onoto Patent Self-filling Pen. It had a patented new “plunger filler” system that filled the pen using a vacuum on the down-stroke of a piston, and included a cut-off valve to prevent leakage. This design was to feature prominently in the many (more…)


OMAS was an Italian manufacturer of writing instruments, fountain pens, ink and related luxury goods, founded in 1925 and put in liquidation in January 2016. Their products were in the upper price range of writing instruments and had always been manufactured in their factory located in Bologna, Italy. OMAS stands for Officina Meccanica Armando Simoni. The company was founded by Armando Simoni, who also designed the tools and equipment needed to manufacturer the OMAS line of pens. OMAS manufactured a variety of pens, the top line being the faceted Arte Italiana range, as well as a variety of limited edition pens. (more…)


OHTO CO., LTD.(オート株式会社)is a Japanese pen manufacturing company selling the “OHTO” brand. The company was established in 1929 as a manufacturer of dyes and ink. In 1949, the company became famous as a pen manufacturer after they manufactured the world’s first ball point pen with chrome ball. This was also Japan’s first ballpoint pen.

Since then, the company have introduced writing instruments such as the Roller Pen, Ceramic Roller Pen, Single blocked strong needle tip, and Needle tipped soft ink roller pen, Ceramic Roller Pen, Ceramic refill (C-300 series), Soft Ink Roller Pen, Free Ink Roller Pen, and Promecha drafting pencil


Namiki is a Japanese brand of fountain pens and other writing equipment. Namiki is most famous for their maki-e (lacquer work) designs on urushi.

Namiki is the surname of Ryosuke Namiki, the founder of the Pilot, named Namiki Manufacturing Company until 1938 when it became Pilot Pen Co., Ltd.. The brand name Namiki came to fame in the early 20th Century when Dunhill retailed in the west the Maki-e pens produced by Pilot under the brand Dunhill-Namiki. This partnership has continued to the present day (occasionally Namiki makes a Limited Edition for Dunhill) although Namiki has always been owned by Pilot. Namiki’s (more…)


Montegrappa is an Italian company of luxury products. Its full name is Elmo & Montegrappa S.p.A.. It is the owner of the Tibaldi brand.

Montegrappa was founded under the slogan “Manifattura pennini d’oro e penne stilografiche” (“Maker of gold nibs and fountain pens”) in 1912. Its products are still manufactured in the original factory on the river Brenta, in Bassano del Grappa—near Vicenza, in the North-East of Italy. During the First World War Bassano was a centre of military operations. Among the many soldiers who used the company’s pens (Elmo at that time) for their correspondence were two celebrated 20th-century writers, Ernest (more…)


Meisterstück (German for masterpiece) is the flagship line of pens from luxury brand Montblanc. Although principally concerned with writing instruments, the brand has of late used the Meisterstück name in association with members of its diversified product range including watches, jewelry and leather goods.

The first Montblanc to be branded a Meisterstück was produced in 1924 to denote the then Simplo company’s top-line range of writing instruments. Beginning initially with Safety Filling pens, the Meisterstück name continued to denote the company’s top line of writing instruments bearing warranted nibs and offering higher grade features than other models, such as the incorporation of (more…)

Macniven and Cameron

Macniven and Cameron Ltd., later known as Waverley Cameron Ltd., was a printing and stationery company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company was best known for its feathers, the “Pickwick”, the “Owl” and the “Waverley”, which were sold under doggerel advertising:

In 1770, Nisbet MacNiven established a paper manufacturing business in Balerno, outside of Edinburgh. The company quickly diversified into stationery and moved to the premises of Blair Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town. In the 1840s, brothers John and Donald Cameron became involved and the company became Macniven and Cameron. The feather “Waverley” was invented by Duncan Cameron, another brother, and was (more…)


Lamy is a producer of writing instruments in Europe. The company is German-owned. Josef Lamy, who was a sales representative for The Parker Pen Company in Germany, founded the business in 1930 by purchasing the Orthos pen manufacturer. Lamy was a pioneer in the use of moulded synthetic plastics to make their product. Lamy was run by Josef Lamy’s son, Manfred Lamy, until his retirement in 2006. He was succeeded by Bernhard M. Rösner.

In 1984, newspapers reported that Lamy’s export share increased to 33 percent of turnover. In 1986, Lamy, Montblanc, and Parker held among them 70–80 percent of the West (more…)

Kores (company)

Kores is a leading international brand of school and office products best known for solid glue sticks, dry correction tapes and Kolores coloured pencils. Kores was founded in 1887 by Wilhelm Koreska, the great-grandfather of Clemens Koreska, the current president of Kores Group. The worldwide HQ of Kores is based in Vienna, Austria and its main offices are in Czech Republic (Prague), Germany (Rommerskirchen), Mexico (Mexico City), Colombia (Bogotá) and Venezuela (Caracas). Kores has 2 key production facilities in Mexico City and Strmilov (Czech Republic). The iconic Kores dactylo was also portrayed on the cover poster of the Pedro Almodóvar’s movie (more…)

S. T. Dupont

S.T. Dupont is a Paris-based brand name and manufacturer of lighters, collectible pens, handbags, perfumes (produced under license by Interparfums), cigarettes (made by Philip Morris International), and recently other gadgets using the trademark diamond-head pattern. The company has been producing luxury items since its founding in 1872. The founder of the brand, Simon Tissot-Dupont, was born in Savoy in 1847, and the company owes its initials to him.

Simon Tissot-Dupont founded a carriage company which was destroyed in a fire in 1872. The same year, he bought a workshop which made leather briefcases for diplomats and businessmen. In 1884, Dupont became the (more…)


KaWeCo (Federhalter-Fabrik Koch, Weber & Co) is a manufacturer of writing instruments based in Heidelberg, Germany. The company was founded in 1883 as Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik. After the First World War, the company began producing its own gold spikes to reduce their reliance on imported American components. The economic crisis of 1928 put the company in danger and it declared bankruptcy in 1929. In 1929, the company was bought by Badischen Füllfederfabrik Worringen und Grube.

He became one of the first German manufacturers to use injection molding. In the early 1930s, the company began producing piston-filled fountain pens, and continued production on a (more…)

Charles Henry Ingersoll

Charles Henry Ingersoll (October 29, 1865 – September 21, 1948), co-founded the Ingersoll Watch Company in 1892.

He was born on October 29, 1865 in Delta, Michigan to Orville Boudinot Ingersoll and Mary Elizabeth Beers. His brother was Robert Hawley Ingersoll (1859-1928). He married Eleanor Ramsey Bond (1869-1928). He co-founded the Ingersoll Watch Company in 1892. The company went bankrupt in 1921. He switched to manufacturing fountain pens. In 1926 he converted his home in Montclair, New Jersey into a hotel. He died on September 21, 1948 in West Orange, New Jersey. He was buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery in Upper Montclair, (more…)


Faber-Castell is one of the world’s largest and oldest manufacturers of pens, pencils, other office supplies (e.g., staplers, slide rules, erasers, rulers) and art supplies, as well as high-end writing instruments and luxury leather goods. Headquartered in Stein, Germany, it operates 14 factories and 20 sales units throughout the globe. The Faber-Castell Group employs a staff of approximately 7,000 and does business in more than 100 countries. The House of Faber-Castell is the family which founded and continues to exercise leadership within the corporation.

There are about 14 manufacturing plants (in 10 countries) which mainly manufacture writing instruments.

Founded in 1761 at Stein (more…)

Deli (company)

Deli Company (Chinese:得力; pinyin: dé lì, anglicized /dәˈliː/) is an office supplies and stationery manufacturer based in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Deli is a well-known brand in China, thanks to its national advertisement campaign that is broadcast on CCTV, inviting Yang Lan to participate as the brand ambassador. The company claims to be the leader in China’s stationery market, selling its products to more than 45,000 stores nationwide. Deli also leads the industry’s e-commerce business through a strong presence on Tmall and JD.com.

The company was established as a private enterprise in 1988 in Ninghai, China. In 1988, Deli began manufacturing pen stands, (more…)

Conway Stewart

Conway Stewart & Company Ltd was a British manufacturer of writing instruments, founded in 1905 by Frank Jarvis and Thomas Garner in London.

Jarvis and Garner had previously worked for the De La Rue Company, the leading British fountain pen manufacturer of the time. Drawing on the experience they had gained at De La Rue, the two started their own business, initially reselling fountain pens manufactured by other companies. The name “Conway Stewart” was apparently derived from a popular music hall act of the time. The fountain pen market in Britain at that time was dominated by De La Rue and it (more…)

Cartier (jeweler)

Société Cartier (; ) is a French luxury goods conglomerate company which designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells jewellery and watches. Founded in Paris, France, in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, the company remained under family control until 1964. The company maintains its headquarters in Paris, although it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Compagnie Financière Richemont SA in Switzerland. Cartier is known for its jewelry and wristwatches. Cartier has a long history of sales to royalty. For example, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has been seen wearing the Cartier Ballon Bleu watch. King Edward VII of England referred to Cartier (more…)

Carter’s Ink Company

” Carter’s Ink Company ” ‘was a manufacturer of ink and related products, in Boston and later in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. It used to be the largest ink manufacturer in the world.

The William Carter Company, a forerunner of Carter’s Ink, was founded in 1858 by the bookseller William Carter of Boston who, to complete his paper sales, began repackaging the inks of other companies and selling them under his own name. In 1860, William Carter’s brother, Edward Carter, joined the company and the company became known as “William Carter and Bro”. The civil war has turned Carter’s main ink supplier (more…)

Richard B. Carter

Ink manufacturer Richard B. Carter (1877-1949) was president of the Carter’s Ink Company in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1903 to 1949.

Richard Burrage Carter was born on April 8, 1877 in West Newton, Massachusetts, son of John W. Carter, the head of Careter’s Ink, and Helen (Burrage) Carter, his wife. He attended Harvard, where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa and received an A.B. in 1898 and a master’s degree in 1899.

Richard B. Carter was still in college when his father died and was not ready to take over Carter’s Ink. He completed his studies at Harvard and went (more…)

John W. Carter

John W. Carter was a partner in Carter’s Ink Company in Boston and later Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1865 until his death by drowning in 1895. The firm was founded by his cousin, William Carter. His son, Richard B. Carter ran the company from 1905 until his death in 1949. The company was sold in 1975 to Dennison Manufacturing Company, now Avery Dennison Corporation. The Carter’s brand name survives on some of its products.

Caran d’Ache (company)

” ‘Caran d’Ache’ ” is a Swiss manufacturer of school, office, art and luxury writing instruments.

The Geneva Fabrique  crayons was founded in Geneva in 1915 when Arnold Schweitzer bought the Ecridor pencil factory. In 1924, Arnold Schweitzer named his new company after Caran d’Ache, nickname of the French satirical political cartoonist Emmanuel Poiré (which in turn takes its name from karandash (karandash), the Russian word for pencil).

In 1929, Carl Schmid invented the Fixpencil, one of the first Caran d’Ache mechanical pencils. Caran d’Ache launches his watercolor pen Prismalo in 1931 and his wax pastel Neocolor in 1952. In 1969, he creates (more…)


Ballograf AB is a Swedish manufacturer of ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils. Ballograf manufactures its products from raw materials to the finished product at its Gothenburg factory.

Ballograf produces more than 4 million writing instruments a year, with only 30 employees. Fifty percent of its production is consumed in the Scandinavian countries, while the other half is exported worldwide, mainly to Western Europe.

In 1945, two Austrians, Eugen Spitzer and Victor Reich, founded a company in Göteborg to sell office supplies with the help of Friedrich Schaechter, a young Austrian inventor. The manufacture of ballpoint pens began with Schaechter’s small-scale experiments in a (more…)

Aurora (pen manufacturer)

Aurora is an Italian manufacturer of fine writing instruments, fountain pens, paper and leather goods, founded in 1919 by a rich textile merchant. Their products represent the first true Italian fountain pens and are still manufactured in their original factory in Turin, northern Italy. It has made the Aurora diamanté limited edition diamond embedded pen priced at around 1.46 million US Dollars. It is embedded with 2000 diamonds.

Alfred Dunhill Ltd.

Alfred Dunhill Limited (known and stylised as dunhill) is a British luxury goods brand, specialising in ready-to-wear, custom and bespoke menswear, leather goods, and accessories. The company is based in London, where it also owns and operates a leather workshop. The company is currently owned by Richemont and managed by CEO Andrew Maag.

The business was developed by Alfred Dunhill after he inherited his father’s saddlery business on London’s Euston Road at the age of 21 in 1893. Alfred Dunhill, responding to the growing demand for automobiles at this time, developed a line of accessories called “Dunhill’s Motorities”. This first collection included (more…)