Minor brands

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This page contains the names of a series of minor trademarks of which very little information is available, essentially the name and nationality and little else. The page is basically a collection point for references to these trademarks, and a notebook where you can note the few data relating to them. The information is therefore extremely limited and fragmented. Be aware that it contains references just for the pages with an english version, the full list for the original italian pages is mantained in this other page.


Alba

Alba is a Turin-based company whose origins are somewhat uncertain, but that seems to be born by the flight of some Aurora employees who started their own fountain pen production. There are many similarities with Aurora, starting with the name of the company, which also refers to the rising of the sun, and the oval logo with the words "Alba Torino". The company seems to have remained active in the '40s and' 50s.

Riferences: [1]

Material:

Argument

German company, based in Berlin. Known addresses: Kürassierstrasse 3 and Lichterfelde-West Kadettenweg 2. Full name Argument-Füllhalterfabrik, Georg Karasch, Berlin. The company was founded in the '20s and remained on the market until the '60s. Known models: Argument 33 (safety). Material:

Atena

The brand Athena is found on some pens of economic range for which the only documentary reference is the presence on a catalogue page of the Aurora of 1940 published in the book of Letizia Jacopini, for which it is generally considered a sub-brand of the Aurora. The pens, although cheap, are of good workmanship, and have, at least in some models, a clip that is practically identical to that found on some models of the series S. of the Summit, which opens all possible speculations about their origin. Available material:

Atlantica

According to Letizia Jacopini the brand was used by the Milan company "Fabbrica Italiana di Penne Stilografiche - La Italianissima di Giuseppe Olivieri". The trademark, however, was deposited in the 1931 (Reg. Gen. N. 43857) by Giacomo Capella, also in Milan, year that we assume, in the absence of more detailed results, as the beginning of the brand. The origins of the company are therefore somewhat uncertain, and the identification with the brand Italianissima far from obvious.

The production saw well made laminated safety models marked Atlantica, with hard rubber versions whose production is attributed to Montegrappa. The production of the '30s and '40s is characterized by the use of bright colors celluloid with the logo printed on the body. The initial '30s production seems to prefer the button filler while that of the 40's the lever filler.

Available material:

Aurea

Italian brand, on which there is very little historical information. Note for well-made laminated overlays in 18 carat gold (marked 18 KR), and later for low-end pens celluloid. Production often is attributed to Fratelli Cavaliere but in this guide the trademark is shown together with Eridano and Stilus. Available material:

Boralevi

Italian company, based in Milan, Via Pisacane 19. Known models: Fox 1368. Material:

Brause

German company, based in Iserlohn. Founded by Carl Bergfeld and brothers Friedrich, Wilhelm and Carl Brause in 1850 in Iserlohn as a nib manufacturer. Designations: Brause & Cie., Brause & Co., Brause & Co. Iserlohn, Brause & Co. Schreibfederfabrik. The company is still on the market today for the production of material and nibs for calligraphy.

The company had some success in the fountain pens production, which began with the reconstruction carried out after the Second World War, in the 50s, particularly for pens intended for the educational market. Its pens were characterized by a blue band placed over the cap ring. Fountain pens production was interrupted in 1970.

Known models: Brause Cito 3030, Brause Schüller 3050. Use of the Cito trademark for nibs, logo of a rooster in a circle.

References: [2]

Material:

Burnham

English small brand, founded by Harry Burnham around 1920, and active until around 1965/6. Denominated Burnham Pens based in Gloucester Road, London, SE25.

To be completed.

External references: [3], [4], [5] [6]

Material:

Böhler

The company was founded in 1935 or 1938 (conflicting versions), by Hermann Böhler, one of the two Osmia founders who left the company after its acquisition by Faber-Castell, which occurred in 1935.

External references: [7]

Material:

CISEA

Italian company. There are no known accurate data on the origins of this company, whose name, as reported by Letizia Jacopini in his book ("La storia della stilografica in Italia") would be an acronym for "Consorzio Italiano Stilografiche e Affini", a group of companies (presumably the district of Settimo Torinese) active in the late '30s and early to mid '40s. In fact the trademark is registered in Turin in 1944 (Reg. Gen. N. 90707) as "Casa Italiana Stilografiche e Affini di Carlo Caramello". He had previously (1939) also recorded the trademarks Amica (Reg. Gen. N. 61381) and Ariana (Reg. Gen. N. 61382). It is unclear whether this is a case of coincidence, but it does not seem likely.

There are similarities between the celluloid used for pens branded CISEA and some Olo and ASCO models, which has given rise to the possibility of some connection with the Aurora, but only for the low-end production, an hypothesis supported by the presence of fountain pen marked Amica Cisea, with the Amica trademark, believed to have been used by Aurora for the production of advertising pens, because of the identity of the finish and metal detailing found on these pens with those of Olo.

References: [8]

Material:

Conté

French company, founded in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté who invented and patented a new methods of construction of pencils mixing graphite and clay in response to the scarcity of graphite due to the wars against England who were blocking the imports. With his brother he created the Société Conté for the production of pencils and crayons for artists and the homonyms pastels (another Nicolas invention). The company (absorbed by Bic) is still known for the production of these two products. It's know a fountain pens production from the 20s at least until the war. Material:

Corona Co.

British company, not to be confused with other Corona brands. Based in Manchester, named Corona Co., founded during World War I, and partecipating to an exhibition in 1918. References: [9]

Ero

There is very little information about this company, and its date of foundation is not known, for which we can only indicate the upper limit of 1954, because in the same box in which it was found this leaflet there were also two heels of the monopoly of the free territory of Trieste ("Libero Territorio di Trieste"), established from 1947 to 1954.

The company was founded by Ernst Rodenhäuser, who had a small factory in Ober-Ramstadt and who in 1956, after the bankruptcy of Reform from Nieder-Ramstadt, bought its production facilities and buildings. There are also substantially identical pens produced under the brand Rodur, a brand which, like Ero, seems to derive from the name of the founder, and which is not clear whether it was earlier or contemporary. Since the instruction leaflets are identical, and since the packaging of a piston-shaped Hero bears the words Rodursal, there is no doubt that it is the same company.

External references: [10], [11]

Material:

Europa

Italian brand, on which there is very little historical information. It's known for the production of 18 carat gold overlays for safeties (marked 18 KR) of excellent workmanship, with beautiful decorations cantilevered or filigree. The Europa brand is listed on both in the pen and the nib. It is not known when production startd, we will arbitrarily assume the 1930s to manage the chronology.

It is not clear whether the brand was linked to an independent company or a third party production. The few available documentary sources originate from Cesare Marinai catalogs, where this brand appears along with other related to the Fratelli Cavaliere production. The production sold by Marinai reports explicitly the CM punch. Production continued also after the war, with hooded nib pens with laminated metal coating (as in this example).

Material:

Everest

The company, whose full name is Ditta Stilo-Everest, was based in Turin in Via Martiri Fascisti (as reflected by some catalogs) also if in this advertisement is reported Card. Maurizio 14 and in this advertisement is reported Via Superga 25. There is no known foundation date, and the trademark is registered (Reg. Gen. N. 80254) only after the war (1947).

In the Paravia guide for Turin of 1948, in the fountain pen section, the "F.A.V. Fabbricazione Accessori Vari" appears at the same address of Via Card. Maurizio 14, but it is not clear (given the appearance of another address in a previous advertisement) if there is still a relationship with Stilo Everest.

It is not known whether this is a direct manufacturer or just a retailer, but in the models shown in those catalogs seems evident a remarkable similarity with the productions of companies like Montegrappa and SAFIS, and it's also reported a production commissioned to Giacomazzi.

To be completed.

Material:

Evergood

French company, based in Paris. No known precise data on the origins of this company. Member of the group for the production of Visor Pen.

For Ever

The For Ever brand belongs to the Bolognese company "Ditta Ivo Germano", that registered it in 1954 (Reg. Gen. N. 115909). The production of pens marked "FOR EVER" and "FOUNTAIN-PEN" (on two lines) however was on the market at least from the 20s, with safety and overlays models. The activity of Ivo Germano is brought back, according to Letizia Jacopini, to the "La Stilografica" store in via degli Orefici, which he founded and then was carried on by his son Gianstefano Germano.

The For Ever fountain pens are considered, according to the Emilio Dolcini analysis in his Omas book, mostly a production commissioned to Omas although Letizia Jacopini points out the possibility, especially for safety and overlay pens, whose style and processing does not correspond to the Omas one, that productions could have be done by others. But some sample of Omas and Minerva rebranded Germano pens have been found, as also, less common, some rebranded Ivo or La Stilografica Bologna confirming without possibility of denial the Omas production in favor of Germano.

The link with Omas is further confirmed by the registration in 1941, two years before the similar recording made by Armando Simoni, of the Permanio brand (Reg. Gen. N. 64310), just for "a metal alloy particularly suitable for the construction of nibs for fountain pens". It is unclear whether the trademark has been sold, although this seems to be the most likely hypothesis, considering the relationship between the two companies.

References: "La storia della Stilografica in Italia" by Letizia Jacopini

Material:

Giacomazzi

Company history began in 1921 in Settimo Torinese, when the brothers Pietro and Girolamo Giacomazzi, who had worked for Pagliero, began to work on their own to start a company together with Felice Favetta.[1] Initial activities were related to the turning of materials such as ivory, galalith and bone. The attention to fountain pens production seems to be derived from the Pietro son, Dino, that at dissolution of the partnership with Felice Favetta focused the company on this kind of activities.

Giacomazzi worked mainly in manufacturing for third parties, and branded pens in his name are unknown at least until the '50s. The only brand they definitely own is the Olimpica for which there is a record in 1944 by Dino Giacomazzi (Reg. Gen. N. 90736), other brands with quality production attributed to Giacomazzi are Point red (which, however, was an Ubaldo Massari of Mastilo trademark), Sirium and Sirium Extra.[2]

But as testified by Pier Luigi Giacomazzi, other productions have been made on commission by the company, for Everest, Aster, Silpa, Omer, Morans and Aviostil.

Availaible material:

Imperial

German company. Brand name used by "Füllhalter-Fabrik Gerlach & Bezner" based in Leipzig (LEIPZIG und Pardubitz). Active since at least the 40s (by letter of 12.10.1940 on Ebay). After the expropriation of J.Brod by the Nazi it took their production facilities. The activity ended with the transition to the nationalization of the company made in 1945, after the Soviet occupation when the adopted brand was Penco, but the brand "Imperial" survived until 1950 when it was completely eliminated from catalogs.

References: [12]

Material:

Littoria

Italian company, brand clearly inspired by fascist regime, on which little information is known. The brand seems to have been also used by Columbus for an economic but good quality production. Letizia Jacopini reports of good quality fountain pens branded "Littoria - Stilografica Automatica" with gold nibs stamped "E. V. M.", short for Eugenio Verga - Milan.

It's also known a production of second-tier economic pens simply marked "Littoria", identified by the name followed by a number. Currently little is known about these ones, the reported numbers are: 6, 12, 16, 24, 30, 38.

External references: [13], [14]

Material:

Mastilo

The Mastilo brand is brought back the production carried out on behalf of a major stationery (but in this guide Massari is indicated as a tobacconist) ship in Turin registered to Ubaldo Massari, via Roma 16, Turin. It's known under this brand a production of Ancora fountain pens, some Maxima rebranded as Mastilo Fountain Pen. On behalf of the same owner there are also the registered trademarks: Stylokopia (Reg. Gen. N. 45108), Red Dot (Reg. Gen. N. 57199) and Three Star (Reg. Gen. N. 64847). In particular Red Dot refers to a model produced in 1934 by Settimo Torinese company Dino Giacomazzi, to which is also attributed the Three Stars production.

References: [15]

Material:

Mengoni

Although the Mengoni name is found on some Minerva models, it is not related to a brand as such but related to the production done for Virginio Mengoni, owner of one of the most important pens and writing materials shop of Milan, placed first in Corso Vittorio Emanuele and then in Via Cantu, whose activities began in 1934.[3]

In the 30s Mengoni joined Edward Russo Webber for the production of Saratoga, for which it is co-holder of the first registration trademark (Reg. Gen. N. 63047), the trademark on the shape of the arrow clip (Reg. Gen. N. 63465) used in earlier models, and the Inco brand (Reg. Gen. N. 63398) used for the Standard version of 40s and for inkwells.

The Saratoga partnership did not last long, at least judging by the subsequent re-registration of the trademark (Reg. Gen. N. 64297) by Webber exclusively in his name. After the war Mengoni still continued his pens production, though branded Saratoga's (Reg. Gen. N. 78484). It is a of low quality production geared towards the market low end, produced presumably in the Settimo Torinese district, with desk pens and piston filler models.

In addition to the Saratoga's, is attributable to Mengoni the F.O.R.T. trademark found on some Minerva models, being the owner (Reg. Gen. N. 63662) of it. Are also attributable to Mengoni the brands: Fonteblu (Reg. Gen. N. 63376), Inch (Reg. Gen. N. 63413) and Coloniale (Reg. Gen. N. 67310). The activity continued until 1957, year of the Mengoni company business end.

Material:

Merz & Krell

German company, the parent company was born in 1908 from the activities of Friedrich Merz, a pharmacist, and is still active in this field as Merz Pharma. The fountain pens production instead began in 1920, when the two brothers Friedrich and Georg Merz associated themselves to the turner Justus Krell to found Merz & Krell in Bieberau, active immediately with a dozen workers. The Melbi brand was initially adopted (as an abbreviation of Merz & Krell, Bieberau). Later were adopted also the brands Senator and Diplomat. Initial production was fountain pens, holders and celluloid mechanical pencils.

In 1929 the company moved the headquarters at Bahnhofstrasse, in a new building that would accommodate the increased work force of about 150 people. In 1936 it was one of the first German companies to experiment with the use of plastic resin injection purchasing a special machine to produce parts with this technique. In the '60s it began the ballpoint pens production. Active in the production of economic fountain pens, ballpoint pens, in the 80s was one of the main producers of advertising pens, still on the market with the brand Senator which remains one of the leading manufacturers of advertising pens.

References: [16], [17], [18], [19]

Material:

National

German company, head in Monaco. Known addresses: Hoffmannstr. 43 Fernruf 72077 e 71213. Full name:

Deutsche Füllhalter Werke Gmbh. According to this article the company was born from name change of the previuos "Anglo-Americanische-Füllfeder-Gesellschaft" who used the Angloamer trademark, that is know to be related to the Lang english company.

References: [20]

Material:

Perop

The company was founded in Prague in 1939 by four people, including Emil Kroutl, one of the three founding brothers of the Ripet and František Zeman who worked for the same company as an accountant. The company remained active up to the entrance of Czechoslovakia in the communist regime in 1948.

Esternal references:

[21]

Plexor

The brand Plexor was used to market in France the Parker production of at the time of World War II, when the use of an American brand became highly problematic in a situation of open conflict. It is not clear how long the brand has been maintained, nor if the production was really done by the parent company or independently conducted by the French branch. But it's reported by a French advertising with this brand were produced by the agent on behalf of the French Parker.

References: [22]

Material:

Standard

Italian brand, on which very little historical information is known.[4] It's known for the production of safety pens with rolled medium quality overlays. There are no known trademarks, or other data related to the origins of the company, and the characteristics of the pens do not show obvious similarities with other products that can provide information on a possible origin of production on commission, although it has been suggested in a production by Uhlmann's Eterno.

There are also some medium quality celluloid models, with button filling system characterized by the Standard Fountain Pen imprint. Again we do know almost nothing (even if they may be or not related to safety models above), although the use of a full english name could favor the hypothesis of a production made before the promulgation of the fascist laws on forced Italianisation of names.

Rereferences: [23]

Material:

Note

  1. the Giacomazzi data come from the Silvio Bertotto book "Settimo Torinese - Una città in punta di penna".
  2. but for the latter there is an evidence, on a pen this branded was found (see discussion) a reference to the utility model N. 22111 registered by the "Fratelli Giacomazzi".
  3. reference for these data are from Letizia Jacopini book "La storia della stilografica in Italia".
  4. the few reported data derived from the Letizia Jacopini book La Storia della Stilografica in Italia and from the referenced discussion.