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Polák & Lukesle Fountain Pen


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Khufu

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 22:23

Hello,

recently i have found this nice and very rare pen. It was made in circa 1947/8 by Polák and Lukesle Co in Pardubice town in Bohemia where i live. Today i have cleaned the pen. I´d like to show how a P&L pen look inside. It is setted with the original gold plated Sagitta nib. Sagitta was one of various brands Polák & Lukesle were using. Inner mechanism parts are made of quality brass. The original rubber seal perfectly tight. Hard rubber section and feed. Yellow celluloid used for the ink window part is 1,5mm thick. Robust and elegant pen is made of high quality celluloid made by the UMA company.
It is composed of 20 different parts + jeweler cap band :rolleyes:


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Edited by Khufu, 27 December 2012 - 00:47.


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#2 markiv

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 22:59

Thank you for sharing this here as this is a new brand to me. It does indeed look like a nice quality pen.
The clip reminds me of an English brand which I don't seem to recall.
I would like to see a picture of the pen assembled. Also how big is it when capped and is there a particular model name/number?
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#3 Khufu

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 23:04

Thank you for sharing this here as this is a new brand to me. It does indeed look like a nice quality pen.
The clip reminds me of an English brand which I don't seem to recall.
I would like to see a picture of the pen assembled. Also how big is it when capped and is there a particular model name/number?



Hi,
Some P&L fountain pens were marked, some not. This one is not marked.
12,8cm long capped.

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The company was originally established in 1901 as Pick&Ganz Co. They were making luxurious lathe-made products. In 1930´s they expanded into FPs production. The founders Mr.Pick and Mr.Ganz sold the company (and left the country) in 1938 to Mr.Polák, son of well known local publisher and patriot and to retired colonel Mr.Lukesle. The company expanded their site in 1941 and runned perfectly until 1948. They were both known not only as successfull bussinessmen but also as polyhistors with giant archeological, botanical and bibliofilia collections. One of Mr.Polák ancestors was professor Diviš, first man to do systematic archeological research in eastern Bohemia in second half of 19th century. Polák family used to have a big 16th century house on central square of Pardubice, with a store inside. Soon I will be in contact with colonel Lukesle descendants and i hope to get the owners life stories and other details, too.

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The site "Na Vrtálně" where first Pick&Ganz factory was established. The picture is from 1901, too. This site was town´s first industrial zone established in second half of 18th century. It was because it lies between a system of canals which are connecting fishing ponds with Elbe river, so there was an energy supply for various water powered machines and enough water in general which was useful for many things. First lathe workshop was established in second half of the 18th century in the very same area as Pick&Ganz:
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interesting detail: the postcard was published by Josef Michael Polák, father of Jaroslav Polák who bought (with col. Lukesle) the factory in 1938.

This is factory site in 1947:
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street view, it was nice functionalist building with red window frames and details and white facade:
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Edited by Khufu, 27 December 2012 - 20:49.


#4 Philips

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 23:35

Looking forward to seeing your interesting and unusual pen re-assembled and some writing :thumbup:

#5 Khufu

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 23:41

Looking forward to seeing your interesting and unusual pen re-assembled and some writing :thumbup:


Thanks:)
This one writes perfectly :rolleyes:

Edited by Khufu, 26 December 2012 - 23:46.


#6 pavoni

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:15

Now this is exactly what I enjoy most about the FPN; the opportunity to learn something new by someone generously sharing, and in such an interesting way. Thank you Khufu. Your disassembly of the pen and historical overview of the manufacturer was much appreciated. :clap1:

Pavoni.

#7 Khufu

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:11

Now this is exactly what I enjoy most about the FPN; the opportunity to learn something new by someone generously sharing, and in such an interesting way. Thank you Khufu. Your disassembly of the pen and historical overview of the manufacturer was much appreciated. :clap1:

Pavoni.



Hi,

i am happy you enjoyed it, thank you!

Edited by Khufu, 27 December 2012 - 13:25.


#8 Xof72000

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:46

Yes, nice job indeed ! :thumbup:

Could you tell us more about the black pen in your last picture ?
Which odel is it ?

Thanks !

#9 Khufu

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 13:34

Yes, nice job indeed ! :thumbup:

Could you tell us more about the black pen in your last picture ?
Which odel is it ?

Thanks !


Hi,
Thank you:)
It is their older pen. It is also the one portrayed on the box. Those massive black celuloid pens were made by Polák and Lukesle before, during and just after the war. It is cork piston, inner mechanism not in brass but in universal metal. Those pens were made in variety of models, with and without cap bands, different guilloche patterns, without guilloche etc.
A very nice solid pen.

Edited by Khufu, 28 December 2012 - 10:06.


#10 Khufu

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 15:41

the black P&L pen with the older version of piston mechanism:

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And here is P&L Sagitta 2030, it was released in 1946 as their new line of pens. It was successfully sold pen and L&P used Sagitta name as part of Company logotype. Sagitta 2030 had two versions of section, one with semihooded nib. Several clip versions exists. Many colorful celluloids were used. Some are with guilloche.
We can see the evolution of their pen: one version is setted with same system as pen bellow (in smaller size) and the other one has the metal rod with plastic turning knob integrated into barrel:
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Edited by Khufu, 28 December 2012 - 17:43.


#11 superfreeka

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 23:17

Very cool. :thumbup:
Deodorant can't fix ugly.

#12 Khufu

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:39

Very cool. :thumbup:


Thanks! It is very interesting to uncover longtime forgotten FP history!

#13 dcpritch

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:40

Great history, very well done. I missed this thread when it began over the holidays but am glad to have seen it now.

The timing of the purchase of the company seems like it could not have been worse, with WWII just around the corner. I am surprised and impressed the company lasted through the war and afterward, and it makes me curious what they may also have produced during those tumultuous years to keep the doors open.

Thanks for sharing this information with us.

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#14 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:23

:thumbup:

It looks like the made some very pretty pens.

The history is good too.

1938...Sudetenland? The take over of the Germans of the fortified part of Czechoslovakia.
Part of Chamberlain's Munich giveaway.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 07 January 2013 - 13:25.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

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#15 J.R.

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 13:45

Very nice pens, and well-done restoration. And the history of the company is much appreciated. Thank you, Khufu !

Keep up the good work,

J.R.

#16 pelman

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 23:30

Thank you Khufu. Very delightful and informative read. Another history lesson.

#17 Khufu

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:56

Great history, very well done. I missed this thread when it began over the holidays but am glad to have seen it now.

The timing of the purchase of the company seems like it could not have been worse, with WWII just around the corner. I am surprised and impressed the company lasted through the war and afterward, and it makes me curious what they may also have produced during those tumultuous years to keep the doors open.

Thanks for sharing this information with us.



Hello,

there is one important fact - there was no war combats in Czech lands until spring 1945. Economically the Protectorat Bohemia-Moravia was the most consolidated country in the Reich. It was in better economical condition than Germany itself. I have found in the archives that P&L Company have expanded their site in summer 1941 - they have built a special storage for celluloid blocks, because they were increasing the pen/pencil production. Even if the exportation was limited into 3rd Reich countries (and neutral ones), they did very well. The situation highly likely changed later during the war when total war was started. There are no P&L files between 1943 - June 1945 in the archives. It is possible they were forced to do army subcontracts by this time. The companies who did jobs as army subcontractors were normally paid for the job, at least until the last months of war. So economically they survived the war very well.
That´s why they were ready to start factory´s full production in summer 1945. There was not any problem of raw materials. For example the high-end factory UMA (established in the early 40´s in the same city of Pardubice) was in perfect shape and its huge celluloid line was fully working in summer 1945..
So the war had much lesser impact on P&L company than the horrible coup d´état in 1948! This situation is the same for almost all FP companies in Czechoslovakia.

Best regards!
K.

Edited by Khufu, 08 January 2013 - 22:35.


#18 Khufu

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:27

:thumbup:

It looks like the made some very pretty pens.

The history is good too.

1938...Sudetenland? The take over of the Germans of the fortified part of Czechoslovakia.
Part of Chamberlain's Munich giveaway.



Hi.

"..the piece for our time."

yes, it is a very dark history.
It is documented that after the war general von Mannstein said the nazis were extremely lucky to take Czechoslovakia without combat. The crisis plans of Czechoslovak general HQ gave creeps to nazis generals when they discovered these plans in 1940. Czechoslovak army in 1938 was quite an impressive one. Ironically in 1940 circa 1/3 of Wehrmacht tank power used against France army were bohemian Lt35 and Lt38 tanks and they performed very well with their Škoda guns and reliable mechanics..

Best regards
K.

Edited by Khufu, 09 January 2013 - 11:03.


#19 Khufu

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:35

Hello,
Thank you all for reading the P&L history.
I am happy i can contribute with interesting facts about my country FP industry.
K.

Edited by Khufu, 08 January 2013 - 11:50.


#20 Khufu

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 11:46

I have found an interesting archive information about factory UMA where almost all Czechoslovak solid celluloid was made during and especially after WW2. The UMA factory was established in autumn 1941 in the suburbia of the same city as Polák&Lukesle company - in Pardubice. UMA was estabished as a high-tech evolution of already existing Explosia Company (established in 1920 by French, Swiss and Czechoslovak investors) where some modern plastics and celluloid were made until the UMA company was established. The Explosia Company was one of UMA founders, the other one was the legendary moravian machinery company Zbrojovka Brno where they also produced some plastics (fenoplastics), but for their own use only. Once the UMA was established it was the most modern plastic producing factory in Bohemia-Moravia, with their own research center and with the biggest machinery halls, especially the giant press machines specially designed and made by Zbrojovka Brno, the cooling/heating system for presses was developed and made in Praga company. The giant blades for cutting celluloid were made by W.F.Klingenberg Co, Prague. Some machinery was bought in Germany from Becker-van Hullen,Krefeld and Johne-Werk.
The technology of celluloid making was adopted by Mr ing. Burda and Mr ing. Jakubec in France during 1930´s and then used in the Explosia factory. Once UMA was established Mr Jakubec was the chief engineer of the celluloid line until his retirement in 1969. The UMA research center was constantly improving the technology and their celluloid was of the highest quality.
The UMA was producing and selling its celluloid worldwide until mid 1980 when an explosion in neighboring Explosia site had completely destructed the original UMA site. The pressure wave broke window glass in 50% of the town.. Then it was reconstructed but without celluloid division.

Here is an interesting copy of Oldřich Vlk history work - "History of producing of plastics at UMA company", it was published in 1991 within a Czechoslovak Chemical Revue.
It is situation of production of celluloid /and other plastics/ during the WW2:

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Edited by Khufu, 22 January 2013 - 20:30.







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