"rusty" asked me, to tell a little bit more about Osmia, and here is the story. Alas, I am not able to refer to complete product lines and I must confess, I`m not interested. I try to collect "oral history".
Some years ago, I could talk to Gregor Miltner. He worked at Osmia`s since the firm had been founted in 1919. He was 12 or 13 years old and had seen the whole history of the Osmia and was their CEO in the latest times.
When I talked to Mr. Miltner, he was about 92 and I think he suffered a little bit from Alzheimer`s disease, but he was able to talk about the 20th and 30th as it has been yesterday.
In the early 20th Georg and Hermann Böhler thought to place an emblem to their writing equipment and they constructed a convex cross at the cap tops. They also experimented with names for trademarks like Star, Comet or Saturn.
Immediately Montblanc joined in and went to court, because the new Böhler`s captop design looked a little bit like the Montblanc symbol. MB claimed a high sum and demanded to destroy the whole produced pen stock. In each case this would have been ruined the young firm but the court case ended with a settlement. Böhler had to change his symbol and sharpened the edges of the cross to a diamond shaped charakter.
The name of the trademark was fixed after the Böhlers decided to use Osmiumalloy, an invention of Heraeus in Hanau, for their nib tips: "OSMIA, ever lasting quality".
Osmia produced gorgeous fountainpens and magnificent nibs but they also made a lot of technical improvements. Miltener described the invention of an asymetric feed, a capillarsystem and the calculationes of ink capacities by using Gay- Lussac`s law.
(Miltner`s patents can be found at the homepage of the European Patent Office. Alas, there is no patent before 1930. It may be that Parker collected them after they left the joint venture)
"Did you study physics or engineering ?", I asked Gregor Miltner,"No", he answered, "I had only learned for a salesman". Isn`t that astonishing?
The most amazing pen he gave me among a bundle of others was an engraved set with fountainpen and propelling pencil, which he got for 25 years faithfullness from his firm. Today it seems to be ridiculous to make a pen gift to a man who had thousands of them held in his hands. But it seems, that Osmia had nothing else. It was 1944 and the shortage during this last year of the war was so dramatically, that they had neither a feed, nor a nib for the pen- gift.
Gregor Miltner died about 2 years ago.
Thanks for looking and Kind Regards
Edited by Kaweco, 28 August 2006 - 12:51.