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L. E. Waterman & Co., 1882-present American (only french owned post World War Two)

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 again)

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 enamel.


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 COMPANY).

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.


Kaweco,1892-1970 German

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 war.


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