L. E. Waterman & Co., 1882-present American (only french owned post World
Nib sizes from 1-10, eye droppers 1882-1915 very valuable, especially in U.S.
Developed the mottled hard rubber finish into the woodgrain and ultimately the ripple
All filigrees valuable, as well as unusual filing systems.
British pens marked F.D.W, French pens marked Jif-Waterman.
Values decrease dramatically after 1941.
Parker, 1891-present American (only British owned post 1970s, now american
Early pens often elaborate and very valuable, up to 1920, with nib sizes from 2-12;
impenetrable numbering system (possibly chronological).
All red, mottled or green woodgrain eye droppers, filigrees and metal pens valuable,
-few made after introduction of Duofold range in 1922.
Most pens mass produced after teens. Large scale mass production after The Depression
( the Vacumatic) with few valuable pens until limited production sea-floor metal
or rare wood pens introduced after 1970s.
Montblanc 1910-present (German, known originally as Simplo Filler Pen Co or
Rouge et Noir),
Nib sizes range from 00-12, although after 1926 top level pens (known as Masterpiece,
Meisterstück, Chef d' oeuvre or Capolavoro) only had 4810 on nib.
Safeties in teens and twenties, unscrewing-blind cap button fillers in twenties and
thirties and piston fillers after early thirties.
All pens valuable, even post war, up till 1962 especially if coloured or metal.
Significant production of unusual or valuable pens outside Germany, e.g. Denmark,
Spain, Italy for elaborate 18KR safeties, -and (apparently) South America. Experimented
during teens and twenties with other filling mechanisms such as blow fillers and
idiosyncratic lever fillers mostly for export markets such as France.
Mabie Todd 1860s-1958, Anglo-American, also known as SWAN and (pre-1902) Mabie,
Todd & Bard
Nib sizes 2-10 although without uniformity in larger sizes. Major world wide manufacturer
originating in America but operating after early 1900s almost exclusively out of
England. Even made quality pens for a few years post World War Two. The only low-end
models were known as Blackbird, Swallow or Jackdaw. No connection with genuine Japanese
company of same name
Namiki, 1924-present Japanese, now known as PILOT
Nib sizes 1-6, 20, 50. Copied western products and made pen-related products until
1924 when they developed patented lacquering techniques to hand-paint (Maki'e) while
obviating discolouration and fading.
Exported pens world wide until 1930 when they signed a marketing agreement with Alfred
Dunhill of London. Known thereafter throughout thirties as Dunhill-Namiki
Note that the company name PILOT may be found on any model pen made from mid twenties
through thirties for pens not sold through areas on the world where the marketing
arrangement subsisted to the present. (Namiki name revived recently for high end
maki'e products, as has been the Dunhill Namiki name.
All pens valuable, with quality levels ranging from lowest (lacquered solid gold
band) up to highest (maki'e work on all plastic and metal parts of pen on gold dust
background with inset abalone speckles. Also made highest quality pens with artist's
signature on red shield and lacquering over and around silver filigree work.
Thomas De La Rue, 1881-1958, British, (pens known as Onoto, Pelican),
Nib sizes 2-8 Introduced stylographic pens and then mid-joint type eye-droppers (Pelicans)
until collaboration with transvestite roller-skating vaudeville artist(e)-cum-inventor
called George Sweetser who invented the piston filling technique at turn of the century.
Stuck with piston fill system throughout existence, although used lever fillers during
thirties. Very valuable if elaborate up till 20s, especially in metals or silver
LeBoeuf 1918-36, American
Nib sizes 2-8. Patented method for making barrels and caps out of tubing rather than
drilled out rod stock in 1919, thus were they able to use materials different from
(and usually more beautiful than) other manufacturers. also utilised a barrel liner
made of metal and claimed that the pens were therefore unbreakable.
All were lever fillers until 1930 thereafter used barrel liner to operate as full
or half length sleeve fillers. Company may have moved from Springfield Massachusetts
to West Springfield during depression after stock scandal and been taken over by
family member called Eugene LeBoeuf. Made mainly Holy Water Sprinklers thereafter.
Conklin, 1898-c.1940, American
Nib sizes 2-8, although often without much uniformity.
Introduced first practical self-filling mechanism in America in which crescent shaped
pressure bar protruded from barrel and was held in place by locking ring.
Toyed with green woodgrain hard rubber in about 1903 (as did Parker). Overtaken by
development of lever filler by Sheaffer, obviating need for protruding crescent in
early-mid teens, and by development of pocket clip by Parker.
Became smallish regional American manufacturer after they went over to lever fillers
in late teens with square shaped Endura range, followed by Nozak and Symmetrik plunger
fillers in 30s.
Early filigreed overlay pens often elaborate, very rare and valuable.
Plastic pens of medium value and rarely found outside U.S after mid 20s.
No value whatsoever after wartime production dictated plumbing more profound depths
of junk-production than almost any other manufacturer.
Moore 1898-1950 American.
Often (originally) with "American Fountain Pen Company" on nib Usually
no size visible on nib.
Produced valuable safeties in metal or elaborate filigree patterns until mid teens.
Thereafter they became a small Boston based regional producer making very low value
pens in poor-quality hard rubber and then completely undistinguished pens in plastic.
They tried to stage a come-back with the Fingerpoint pen in the fifties which purported
to copy the success of both the Sheaffer Snorkel and the Parker 51. This finished
the company off completely. Sometimes referred to as the Boston Fountain Pen Co
Omas Italian 1919-present (Also, for a time Zerolo and a huge number
of other names)
Originally produced parts for other pen companies, then initiated complete fountain
pen production with pens with built-in thermometers for doctors. Later models
had arrow-clips. Also very valuable "Bayer celluloid" or "Platinum-lined"
Extra Lucens pens during thirties.
The Zerolo and Itala model is very sought-after, having two separate nibs
spiralling out of the barrel safety-like but with two integral containers for the
sacks; These were matchstick fillers and were called Unic in France and
John Dunhill in England. Also produced Europa pens for a Worlds Fair in
Italy in 1936
Whitworth, English made by The City Pen Manufacturing Company,
Produced very large, often sterling silver safeties in England with huge nibs until
the mid-teens, when they linked up with Valentine (later taken over by Parker
when Parker wanted to launch their products to the English market). Couldn't spel
their own name; often found as Whytwarth.
Fendograph, German (?) Nobody knows anything whatsoever about this company,
which produced some exceptionally beautiful rolled gold safeties, often with enameling.
Arthur A. Waterman & Co. 1895-c.1920. American
Also originally called the Modern Fountain Pen Co. unfathomable numbering system.
Commenced business making a middle-joint eye-dropper system to obviate ink leakage
over the fingers. Then tried to compete with L.E. Waterman Company by utilising the
Waterman name and having a similar range of high quality metal overlaid pens based
on a twist-filling system using, curiously, a rubber sack open at both ends.
Early metal overlaid examples are very elaborate and valuable, but in 1902 fell within
the wrath of the other Waterman and were forced to mark all pens with disclaimer
(A. A. WATERMAN MODERN PEN COMPANY, NOT RELATED TO THE L. E. WATERMAN
Seem to have been forced into financial difficulties by the lawsuit, the company
went rapidly downhill thereafter. Later pens indistinguishable from low calibre Good
Service Pen Company models, so petered out in the 20s.
Dunn 1921-1924 American
The fame of this company lies solely in that they produced two piston filling pens
(the Super Dreadnaught and the Super Giant) which are so huge that they dwarf almost
all other pens. Otherwise all this companies' pens were average quality and made
of average quality hard rubber. The nibs, most of which have split in numerous places
in the ensuing seventy years, were made of particularly thin gold.
Produced many different models of silver and gold-plated pens, often inlaid with
precious stones during the first quarter of the century.
Usually safety models with threads on the barrel-end for screwing into special cap
threads, the company also produced a plethora of other filling systems utilising
both pistons and sacks.
Aurora, Italian 1919-present
Started out manufacturing parts for other pen companies, so utilised hard rubber, followed by celluloid
in the mid twenties; commenced pen production in the early twenties. Based their designs on the
Duofold styles and colours, often with a filigree cap crown. Also made elegant safeties in rolled gold.
Developed a clip during the thirties with a locking mechanism which had to be disengaged prior to
taking the pen out of the pocket. Used button fillers, similar designs without a blind cap in which a
small exposed lever (which was raised to engage the pressure bar) replaced the button; also lever
fillers. Standardised production around the model 88, designed to resemble the Parker 51, after the
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