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Burnham pens


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#1 Walter's daughter

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 12:50

I have just ordered a very nice looking 1950's Burnham in a pale blue, olive and silver marl from Andy's Pens. It has a flexible medium nib.
It is the flexible nib which I am excited about, having read about the variation in line width they produce.
As is my wont, I have bought this pen on instinct (No--I didn't say impulse!), and would now like to learn more about it!

Angela
"Procrastination is the thief of time" - Edward Young

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#2 Nimrud

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 14:38

I was eyeing that! smile.gif

Oh well, I just ordered a Waterman 52 with a very flexible nib, so ...

#3 Oxonian

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 15:29

Hi Walter's daughter,

Burnham were a family firm making pens in London from the 1920's until the 1950's.

They were well made, with the more expensive having very nice nibs that were as good as any in the industry the cheaper pens were as good as others in their price range.

The firm made pens for retailers to sell under the sellers name, some were made for Boots, I think these were marketed as the Pelham.

Many Burnham pens are made in well patterned plastics although a few models were made in plastics that were not as stable as they could be and suffer from shrinkage, particularly to the caps.

I am sure that there are others who cna add a lot more to the story and there is, if only I could remember where, on line a full history of the company.

I hope this helps and adds a little enlightenment rather than muddying the waters.

Cheers, John

#4 Walter's daughter

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 15:57

Whoops! Sorry Nimrud!

Thank you, Oxonian, for the information.

I have now had a browse on the internet and come across some personal recollections fom former Burnham employees, which is really interesting. They were on www.dreampens.co.uk (Sorry I don't know how to do a link)

Angela
"Procrastination is the thief of time" - Edward Young

#5 Oxonian

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 16:03

Hi Angela,

That is the thing that I was trying to remember, there is another history somewhere I'll have a look and see if I can find it again.

Cheers, John

#6 Nimrud

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 16:26

It's OK. smile.gif Enjoy!

#7 Maja

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 20:47

I don't know much about the company other than it's English...but they made some vintage pens in colours and designs that I haven't seen elsewhere. Lovely! smile.gif
Vancouver (B.C) Pen Club (our website)

#8 akiva

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 17:23

Burnham pens wer made up to the 1960's. They started in the beginning of the 1920,s and made black hard rubber, red mottled hard rubber, safety pens etc like theit competitor Conway Stewart. The older pens in the duofold style wer made with lovely plastics and also casein. The advent of the ballpoint was their downfall as was with many pen manufacturers. If any one is interested I have a collection comprising several hundred burnham pens and would be only too pleased to share pics and info with anyone interested. My email is akiva.gordon at gmail dot com

#9 Walter's daughter

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 17:28

That's quite a collection!
Would it be possible to post some photographs on here?

Angela
"Procrastination is the thief of time" - Edward Young

#10 mmoncur

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 17:41

I'd love to see pictures too. I love hearing more about the unsung pen manufacturers, and I've seen some very nice Burnhams.
Michael Moncur

#11 Arkanabar

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 03:44

Akiva,
if your pics are already digital, you can easily put them all on the web -- a Photobucket account to host the pictures, and a tripod or other free webhosting account to host html to put them in neat arrays.

#12 rustynib

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 00:20

Photos , please ...

rusty

#13 petboo

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 13:18

Hi all. I am the grandaughter of Harry Burnham. I'm ashamed to admit that I only know a few bits and pieces about the Burnham Pen company. However, Harry's daughter (my Mum) is still very much with us and has some great memories of him and the business. So if I can be of help, just shout.

#14 Oxonian

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 14:11

Hello Petboo,

Welcome to FPN, It is good to know that there is still a possible source of nearly first hand information around in the shape of your mother and her memories and possible company documents.
Burnham is one of the makes of pens that figure in my memory from my all to distant school days, it is also one of the companies, that whilst there is a fair bit of general information about, there seems to be a distinct lack of precise information, the minutiae for the collector as well as the anecdotes that add colour to the histories of some of the other companies. I am sure that there will be several people here who will be very happy to know that they may be able to get answers to or pointers on some of their long term puzzles and questions about the brand.

Cheers, John

#15 woolley

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 16:38

QUOTE (petboo @ May 26 2007, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi all. I am the grandaughter of Harry Burnham. I'm ashamed to admit that I only know a few bits and pieces about the Burnham Pen company. However, Harry's daughter (my Mum) is still very much with us and has some great memories of him and the business. So if I can be of help, just shout.


Hi. My name is dave brown and I am in some way related to the Burnham familly. As a child I would receive a fountain pen as a Christmas present. We lived in Leopold Road Chatham Kent. Some familly surnames you may recall are ;
my Grans - Roberts
an Aunt - Miller (Jim and Win, lived in Worcester Park, Surrey)
my mother - Jessie
my gran - Kate Roberts
another Aunt - Ann Barty ( Lived in Rochester Kent and ran a small shop)
other relatives from Gravesend and Swansconbe kent - woolley (Walter, Mary and Amie)

Hope you do not mind me writting but some of us are trying to find out more about our familly tree. I am unsure as to where and how the Burnham familly are related to the Roberts / Woolley / Miller/Barty famillies. If you can shed any light on this I would be most grateful

David Brown
e-mail ; doreenhighflyer@aol.com




#16 Hugh200au

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 02:05

Generally concidered a second tier manufacturer (behind Conway, Mabie Todd, Parker) . The colour and variation of their plastics was very good (and very collectible to boot) as well as being pretty durable, also their gold nibs seem to be of a high standard. Their products ranged from screw in steel nibed pens (which take Esterbrook and Osmiroid nibs) like the B48 to the high quality B60s and B65s. Just to confuse you there are various models with the same number but completely different pens...the B65 being one. As well near the end the pens where poor and cheap. I've had a few Burnhams and the B65s my personal pick.
Regards
Hugh

#17 simalone

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:09

Hi all. I am the grandaughter of Harry Burnham. I'm ashamed to admit that I only know a few bits and pieces about the Burnham Pen company. However, Harry's daughter (my Mum) is still very much with us and has some great memories of him and the business. So if I can be of help, just shout.

Hi Petboo

As a boy growing up in the early 50's I remember my late Mother, Elsie Merrett, telling me were were related to the Burnham family. This was because we had a beautiful red marble Burnham pen in the house at the time. Now years later my family history research seems to confirm this to be the case. My gt gt grandmother was a Martha O'Brien, (nee Quartermain) She had a large family which include my gt grandmother Emily Amelia and her sister Henrietta. Henrietta married a William Burnham 12/9/1865 and they had 4 sons and a daughter. Among these sons was one Harry Frederick Charles ( born c 1875)who I believe to be the connection to the Burnham pen family. I would appreciate it if you or your mother could confirm this and add "meat to the bones" as they say. Simon Malone

#18 sumgaikid

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 20:31

I have just ordered a very nice looking 1950's Burnham in a pale blue, olive and silver marl from Andy's Pens. It has a flexible medium nib.
It is the flexible nib which I am excited about, having read about the variation in line width they produce.
As is my wont, I have bought this pen on instinct (No--I didn't say impulse!), and would now like to learn more about it!

Angela



I have (somewhere) a black & grey Burnham pen--no.49 I think--but I have both a glass
and plastic plaque bearing the "Burnham" name. A pic of both can be seen in my post on
"fountain pen signage" in the Pen & Paraphrenalia Review section.



John
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