February 23, 2022 3 min read
The History of Kaweco Pen: A One-of-a-Kind Fountain Pen
There’s nothing like a fountain pen when it comes to writing. The soft sound of the pen scratching on paper adds a cadence to your thoughts, opinions, and beliefs – all of which are a part of your history – essentially and completely you. What if we told you that your Kaweco pen has its own story to tell dating back more than a hundred years?
Kaweco’s story begins in Heidelberg near the University city of Bonn in Germany in 1883. Carl Luce and Friedrich Enßlen manufactured wooden dip pens out of a carpenter’s shop. These pens were sold under the name “Heidelberger Federhalter Fabrik" which translates to the Heidelberg Dip Pen Factory. They also started importing (and selling) nibs and fountain pens from A. Morton & Co. from across the pond in New York.
Circa 1899, Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber took over the firm and set up a production facility just outside Heidelberg and started manufacturing their own products under the brand names Perkeo, Omega, and Kaweco. The name Kaweco was derived from the name “Koch, Weber & Compagnie" with the earlier pens still stamped with the initials HF (for Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik). What was initially just the name of one series of pens later became the company name.
In 1908, the company received its first patent for an innovative screw thread that prevented ink from leaking. The pen was known as the Kaweco safety pen. By 1913, Kaweco bought out its American partners A. Morton & Co and had representatives from New York teach their German workers how to produce their own gold nibs. The company also bought the nib-producing machines by the time WW1 began.
What’s interesting is that the company grew at a time when fountain pens were still not the most popular writing instrument and the workers in the manufacturing facility still did most of the work by hand. In fact, their advertising campaigns were mainly directed at convincing people that fountain pens gave them an advantage over the traditional dip pens.
1911 earmarked the birth of the Kaweco Sport, a version of which is still available on the market today. It was advertised as a packet fountain pen for officers and sportsmen as well as for ladies as its compact size was ideal for smaller hands! 1921 saw Kaweco producing around 130,000 fountain pens annually with 600 employees.
The company saw its share of ups and downs through the World Wars with the company being purchased by Knust, Woringen & Grube in 1929 merging the Aurumia brand of pens with Kaweco to create the logo we are so familiar with today. The Kaweco Sport continued to be one of its bestsellers.
Financial difficulties meant that Kaweco was forced to close doors in 1980… but not for long. When Michael Gutberlet added the Kaweco Sport to his fountain pen collection, he was fascinated by its innovative design and size. He felt that the pen needed to be reproduced and the Kaweco brand restored. In 1994, Gutberlet GmbH purchased the rights to the Kaweco name and launched a brand new Sports series inspired by the original 1935s edition of the pen. This was complemented by a line of rollerballs and ballpoint pens, with matching push and clutch pencils. Check out the Kaweco Classic Fountain Pen here.
Another iconic pen was launched in 2012 – the Lilliput series which was an instant hit. Kaweco pens came to be known for their modern technology and historically sensitive designs and there has been no looking back since.
The Kaweco Brass and Steel editions allow connoisseurs (and amateurs) to truly appreciate the variety and beauty of Kaweco sport series:
Kaweco Brass Pens:
The Kaweco Brass is a heavy model of the Sport series made of high-quality brass with an individual touch. The high-quality brass develops a natural, individual patina over time.
Kaweco Stainless Steel
Kaweco Steel Sport corresponds to the joy of the material in its raw form. The stainless-steel changes little in use, unlike brass, copper or bronze.
Blesket Canada is proud to be associated with Kaweco pens. You can browse the entire range of Kaweco pens, pencils, and accessories available here.
If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call, reach out on social media, or send us an email!
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