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Kaweco history part 1


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#1 Kaweco

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 12:35

Hi forum
Dillon asked me to tell something about the Kaweco history. Maybe there are some other buddies interested in the stuff:
The foundation of the -after Soennecken- oldest German factory for writing articles was in 1883. The "Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik" opened their doors in the backyard of a carpenter`s shop in Heidelberg. There is nearly nothing known and left about these very old time of writing equipment production, but I think, they made wooden penholders at the turnery machines and imported steel nibs from England. It is possible, that the founders, Luce & Ensslen had contact to Morton, who personally visited his clients in Europe since the 1870th and the old Morton pens were sold at the Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik. During the 1890th they began to produce their own eye droppers and propelling pencils and later the safetiess.
1899 the salesmen Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber took over the firm, the name from now on was "Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik Koch, Weber & Compagnie", later called KAWECO.
Since 1903 about 25 workers produced BCHR safeties but ten years later the firm made business in Europe, South America and Russia. Among lots of writing articles with many different filling systems the Kaweco produced gorgeous fountainpens with engraved and chased golden and silver overlays. 1913 the first Kaweco- Sport came on display, a round and very short BCHR safety for sportsmen and officers. Also possible for this fp was a golden or Tula- silver overlay.
1913 the Kaweco bought nib producing machines from Morton, since then they were able to make their own golden nibs with excellent quality.
1925 1200 people worked at Kaweco`s it was the highest number of employed workers. But in the next few years the firm dramatically went down, 800 workers, mostly girls and young women, who had mounted parts together or polished nibs, were send to unemployment. Until today it is not sure why, the world economy crisis and the great depression came later, 1930. One of the reasons could have been, that some of the best engineers and salesmen left the Kaweco and founded their own factories like Dimmler, Hebborn, Mutschler and the Böhler brothers. The competition in the area was gigantic.
Kaweco`s bancrupty came in 1929 and the "Badische Federhalterfabrik Knust, Grube & Woringen", which was a much smaller compenie from Wiesloch near Heidelberg, bought a part of the machines and the well reputated name Kaweco.
end of part 1
Thomas

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#2 Dillo

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 13:17

Hi,

Wow!

Dillon

Stolen: Aurora Optima Demonstrator Red ends Medium nib. Serial number 1216 and Aurora 98 Cartridge/Converter Black bark finish (Archivi Storici) with gold cap. Reward if found. Please contact me if you have seen these pens.

Please send vial orders and other messages to fpninkvials funny-round-mark-thing gmail strange-mark-thing com. My shop is open once again if you need help with your pen.

Dillon


#3 fountainbel

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 13:25

Hi Thomas,
Thank you very much for your interesting historical input on Kaweco.
Look forward to read more about it in part 2 !

Francis

#4 rhr

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 18:32

Here's some information about Kaweco that Thomas Neureither sent to me backchannel on Mar 28, 2005.

Thomas is trying to collect the history of fountain-pen production in his hometown, Heidelberg, Germany, and the most important firm there in the first quarter of the 1900s is Kaweco. They started importing A. Morton & Co. nibs and fountain pens from NY around 1899. In 1913, Kaweco bought the Morton factory and the rights to produce under their trademark. In March 1914, the engineers and representatives of Morton came to Heidelberg with production machines and taught the Kaweco workers how to produce their own gold nibs with Morton know-how, and Kaweco changed over to the Morton nib-producing system. When WW1 began, the Americans returned to NY, but Kaweco bought the machines and the rights to produce under Morton's well-reputed trademark for the next few years. By the time they left in 1915, they were enthusiastic that the quality of the Heidelberg gold nibs imprinted with Kaweco or Morton was as good as the American Morton nibs. The first nib craftsmen for Kaweco were Hermann Böhler and Peter Rupp. Hermann Böhler together with his brother Georg founded their own writing equipment factory, Osmia, in the same neighborhood, and after the first bankruptcy of Kaweco, Peter Rupp founded a gold nib factory, the nibs with the lion head. It all makes for a very nice story from the first times when they still had good co-operations across the big pond.

Jürgen Kuhse added the following information on Aug 31, 2005. Kaweco started in 1883 as Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik, but in 1921 they changed the name to Koch, Weber & Co, Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik. Around 1925 a company with the name Knust, Woringen & Grube with the logo KWG also existed in Heidelberg, and they produced models like Aurumia and Colleg. In the year 1929, these two companies joined together under the name Kaweco Badische Füllhalterfabrik, Worringen & Grube. Joseph Knust built his own factory and named the company IKA, but he was not successful.

Here's a bit of info on A. Morton & Co., but please allow the dates a little leeway. Wherever there is a tilde [~] sign, please read "about", or "approximately". A little more research still needs to be done to fine-tune the time frames.

A. Morton & Co., gold pens, gold and silver pencil & pen cases, in business since ~1848, listed at 25 Maiden Lane, New York, N. Y. since 1859, Alexander Morton, ~1848-90, Persons P. Allen, 1860-61, James Morton, ~1890-1910, successor to Alexander Morton, Victorine C. Morton, ~1910-22, inherited the company from her deceased husband James Morton, the 1910 trademark that was listed under her name was said to have been in use since 1848, she sold the company trademark and machines and nibmaking know-how to Kaweco in 1913-15, and the company was out of business by ~1920.

George Kovalenko.

:ph34r:

Edited by rhr, 07 August 2006 - 18:38.

rhrpen(at)gmail.com


#5 MYU

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 23:51

I see Kaweco made pens in recent times, especially the Sport line having rather common availability. Is this essentially the same pen company or was it resurrected by a different firm?


Edited by MYU, 10 November 2008 - 23:51.

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#6 simp

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 23:37

QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 12:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I see Kaweco made pens in recent times, especially the Sport line having rather common availability. Is this essentially the same pen company or was it resurrected by a different firm?



The brand was bought by H&M Gutberlet Gmbh in 1995, and they started producing some replicas of old model (mainly the Sport).

Their site was full of very interesting and detailed historical info, with scan of catalogs and ADs, until some time ago, now I can find only a german version, and the info seems to be reduced to a short overview.

Regards
Simone
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#7 Legrosbisson

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 01:07

I think I happened upon the rather good English language Kaweco history material you mention, parked in a kind of holding page at:

http://www.kaweco-pen.com/en/History/



<!--quoteo(post=801107:date=Nov 11 2008, 12:51 AM:name=MYU)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (MYU @ Nov 11 2008, 12:51 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=801107"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I see Kaweco made pens in recent times, especially the Sport line having rather common availability. Is this essentially the same pen company or was it resurrected by a different firm?

<img src="http://www.fountainp...weco/open2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The brand was bought by H&M Gutberlet Gmbh in 1995, and they started producing some replicas of old model (mainly the Sport).

Their site was full of very interesting and detailed historical info, with scan of catalogs and ADs, until some time ago, now I can find only a german version, and the info seems to be reduced to a short overview.

Regards
Simone



#8 simp

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 15:05

I think I happened upon the rather good English language Kaweco history material you mention, parked in a kind of holding page at:

http://www.kaweco-pen.com/en/History/

Hi,

I looked there, but unfortunately that's not the same.

In the old website there were much more material than in that gallery.

There were a lot of PDF files with some full scans for catalogs and advertizements, documents and letters about the selling to KWG and more info on the company history, some high resolutions photos of very old models and advertizing material.

I downloaded all the files but I don't think that they can be legally shared now.

Regards
Simone
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#9 newlife

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 15:21

Hello!

 

I believe that Kaweco partly discontinued the webpage because they released a CD containing those files. Some of the material though can befound here some way down the page:

 

http://www.kaweco-pe...wnload-service/

 

Klaus



#10 Maelstrom

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 16:36

Thank you all for your research - I really enjoyed finding out the history of the Kaweco Sport, and had no idea that it went back that far.  To hear of cooperation between competitors of that stature is virtually unheard of these days. 



#11 prometheus13

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Posted 22 September 2018 - 20:15

Thanks for the hard work on the early history of Kaweco.  Does anybody have any further history to share, or information on the value of vintage Kaweco pens from the 50's/60's.  I can't find really any information on the differences between, say the 37G, the 802 etc.  Are vintage Kaweco pens even worth pursuing (vs, say, Geha or other German makers)?








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