Posted 05 April 2007 - 14:11
I just came across this thread. I know quite a bit about The Lang Pen Company - but not much about pens:
Samuel Wade was a stationer and fancy goods agent in the 1870s/80s in London, England. He started making steel pens in about 1880.
By the late 1890s he lived in Liverpool and had retired from day to day work. However, we do know that at about that time he made a trip to New York to pick up samples, including samples of new pens.
Some of his sons (including Samuel Frank) set up a limited company - The Lang Company - in 1899. Other sons included Osmond, Ernest and Leslie - they were also involved from time to time in the business.
From 1904, the company operated from 13 Hope Street in Liverpool.
It was put into liquidation in 1907.
In February of that year, a new company - The Lang Pen Company - was set up with several of the same managers and shareholders as in the previous company, and several new ones as well. This company also operated from the Hope Street address.
Several people from Germany (principally Munich) were involved in running the business as was an "an American workman" about whom I know nothing.
In 1915, that business was put into liquidation and a new company - with the same name - was established in the same year, and still operating from Hope Street.
From then on, things seem to have stabilised and the business continued until the 1940/50s. It seems that there was a sister company, Amalgamated Gold Pen Makers; this company seems to have traded in gold for nibs, supplying all the pen makers in the UK (except Parker apparently); it possibly helped keep The Lang Pen Company afloat during its troubled times.
During World War II, The Lang Pen Company made radiators (for tanks/aeroplanes?) in Ruthin, Denbighshire (actually in the former Ruthin jail) and Abergavenny, in south Wales. (I was not previously aware of the work that they did on rifles).
The advent of the ball point pen caused problems and, so I am lead to believe, lead to the ultimate demise of pen making by the company although some efforts were made to make ball point pens in the late 1940s.
I hope this bit of history is of interest.