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Some Patents From Czechoslovakia 1918-39


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#1 Khufu

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 20:20

Hello,

recently i have checked Czechoslovakia patent lists. It is list of patents from Czechoslovakia and also intl patents which were legal in Czechoslovakia at that time.
Let´s start by Emil Kroutl from České Budějovice town (one of Ripet&Co founders), patent number 12045, 28th July, year 1920, for repeating single hand button operated pencil:
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In fact this patent started all the first succes of Ripet company. The original archive files claim it was the first one hand operated repeating push button mechanical pencil in the world. Kroutls wanted to sell it to Hardtmuth but were not OK on the money amount proposed by LCH. So they had started their own company. RIPET.
Ripet is from esperanto language word "ripeti" which means repeat. Repeating pencil.
I will add complete history of Ripet Co. this weekend.
The second patent is by Emil´s brother Jaromír Kroutl, from 4th April, 1925, for lead holder:
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Now, this is interesting, two patents of Hugo Stein (Jiří Stein Co, quite mysterious pen maker company in Prague was maybe related?) for vacuum filling pen barrels and third patent by Dominik Sušovský, it is for fountain pen filling mechanism. For now Dominik Sušovský is a mystery for me. A thrilling one. Further research continues!
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Both Hugo Stein patents are from 10th August 1914 in Wien.
Dominik Sušovský patent is from 25th November 1922 (but deposed already in 1920)in Mariánské Hory, Moravia.

And here is very interesting vacuum filling fountain pen patent by Ludvík Berka, from 1947:
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and this is Ludvík Berka earlier one-move-operated vacuum filling fountain pen patent from October 1945:
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Ludvík Berka was czech inventor with various patents in carburetors and electrotechnics.

Edited by Khufu, 23 February 2013 - 19:47.


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#2 pavoni

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 20:44

Great work Khufu. :clap1: Always enjoy your evidence-based posts. Looking forward to your further findings on the fountain pen filling mechanism.

Pavoni.

#3 Khufu

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 20:47

Thanks Pavoni, i hope to get more info soon.
K.

Edited by Khufu, 23 February 2013 - 09:12.


#4 Khufu

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 16:20

RIPET - Kroutl and Company

České Budějovice (Budweis) is an ancient town in southern Bohemia founded in 1265 by bohemian king Přemysl Otakar II. During his reign Bohemian kingdom was the most powerful kingdom of Holy Roman empire and bohemian kings were the only non native german electors of the Holy Roman emperor. He founded many new cities in Bohemian kingdom and he had promoted skilled german craftsmen to come to live and work into these newly founded cities. This was the base of brilliant economical cooperation between czechs and germans. In 1827 České Budějovice was the first bohemian town connected on horse tram (hippomobile) railroad: Pferdeeisenbahn Budweis–Linz–Gmunden. In fact, it was the second railroad on european continent, after Saint-Étienne á la Loire in France. The situation was ideal for upcoming industrial revolution..

In November 1847 Hardtmuth pencil factory was established in České Budějovice.
In 1895 there was established a second pencil factory - Národní podnik, later also FP producer.
Then later in 1910 was established third pencil company Graphium which existed until 1918 when it was bought by Národní podnik company.
In 1920 was established GRAFO company, also a pencil producer.
All of them in Budweis.

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Emil Kroutl was working as expert metal galvaniser and small parts metalsmith in workshop of Blažej Schattinger in Biskupská street, Budweis. This workshop was Hardtmuth subcontractor and produced all gold plated parts and other metal trim for LCH export models. Later, when a special division for metal galvanising was established within Hardtmuth factory, Emil Kroutl was hired as the chief metal galvaniser in Hardtmuth with some percentage of the factory profits.
Ludvík Kroutl was one of Emil brothers (Kroutl familly was of 7 children). He was working long years as expert operator on special lathe machines for early plastics (celluloid, HR and Galalith) in mechanical pencil division of Hardtmuth factory.
Rudolf Kroutl was an Anglophile who as a young man had spent 4 years in England sometimes before WW1. When back in Bohemia he established in Budweis his own painter shop specialised in lacquers. During WW1 he was mobilised and served as a soldier.
Then there was Jaromír Kroutl, František Kroutl, and two sisters - Anna and Marie Kroutl. Later they will be all implied in Ripet project. Anna and Marie Kroutl became co-owners in 1936.
In 28th July 1920 Emil Kroutl have registered ČS patent number 12045 for repeating pencil, for the first time operated by one hand. He wanted to sell the patent to Hardtmuth but the money amount proposed by LCH was not enough for Emil Kroutl.
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So after a brief familial meeting in Rudolf shop´s backyard, they decided to launch their own company. We have to admire their courage, LCH and other makers were powerful competitors. So Kroutls have borrowed some money from bank and used an esperanto word „ripeti“ which means „repeat“ and they registered Ripet – Kroutl and Company later in 1920. They bought an estate land in the industrial part of the town, nearby the emerging GRAFO company site. They have built a new factory building and had bought all machinery for lead making (two graphite mills of the same type as Hardtmuth had, one heating furnace, various machines for lead preparation. Then there was complete machinery for producing inner metal repeating pencil mechanism. And lathe machines for hard rubber cases. In 4th April 1925 Jaromír and Ludvík Kroutl had registered another patent, this time for a mechanical lead holder. ČS patent number 25733.
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It became the Ripet-Art pencil.The six sided wooden shaft was subproduced by GRAFO company.
Surprisingly as Kroutls were very competent technicians they were not proficient traders. Even with the top class product such as repeating pencils, they totally lacked practical marketing skills and first years were quite difficult according to archive files and also to Kroutls memories. At that time Ripet was producing patented repeating pencils, classic screwing pencils and patented Ripet-Art holders in around 20 different sizes, colors and design mutations. Apparently there were some personal differencies and in 1928 Emil Kroutl decided to left the Ripet company. Once he left Ripet Co, Emil Kroult had established successful bicycle producing company in Budweis and later in 1939 was one of PEROP Company founders). The eldest brother – František Kroutl became Ripet new co-owner with Ludvík, Jaromír and Rudolf. František apparently had some experience and skills that the other brothers had not. He started to do some public relations and marketing. Now they also for the first time hired 3 certified dealers: one for german speaking countries, second for Prague only and third one for all Czechoslovakia minus Prague.
At the same year 1928 Kroutl brothers decided to start fountain pen production. Interestingly, the fountain pens became immediately the best selling Ripet products. All parts for FPs were made in Ripet company, except nibs. Those were imported from Germany, USA and France. In 1932 they hired a specialist engineer from Belgium who spent one year in České Budějovice and designed all the machinery necessary for iridium tipped gold nib making. The machinery equipement designed by the foreign specialist was then made on command by some precision machinery companies in Prague and some pieces were made directly by the engineer himself in Budweis. So in year 1933 Ripet was the first czechoslovak company producing highest quality iridium tipped gold nibs. It was Ludvík Kroutl who - as an enthusiastic and very experienced fine machinist - became very skilled nib master in Ripet company. Ripet produced various piston fillers of their own construction, button fillers and vacuum fillers such as Ripet Hermetic or Start. The rubber sacs were imported from USA. After year 1933 Ripet products were selling so good that the factory had difficulties to fulfill the demand. The celluloid was imported from Italy and Germany, iridium from England and hard rubber from Sweden. Since early 1940´s UMA celluloid was used.
In second half of 1930´s there was a judicial trial Eversharp versus Ripet. It lasted couple of years. It was because Ripet had produced one line of START pens quite identical to multi-sided Doric pens. As that cause was well described in local news papers, it actually helped Ripet to increase further their sales. Their pen was described of the same quality but sligthly more robust by the independent authorities judging both products. In 1938 Ripet was hiring around 50 workers and was ready to produce pens and pencils for 20.000Crowns per day. The most expensive Ripet cost up to 250crowns with 25 years warranty. The cheapest Ripet was for 7,50Crowns, most pens were sold around 30-50Crowns. (Waterman Ink Vue full size with Keyhole nib costed 350Crowns in 1937 in Prague.)

Here are some Ripet pens:
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During WW2 Ripet was allowed to run limited FP production but they had to do some small parts subcontracts for nazi army, too.
For clear reasons after the war all kinds of czechoslovak industry lived a real golden age. Unfortunately it lasted only 3 years and then the unique opportunity was missed. So the briliant succes of RIPET company was doomed in february 1948. The company was nationalised and integrated among other FP makers into newly created Centropen public company. It was not a fast process and some middle and small Ripet piston fillers remained in production until early 1950. In 1958, all Czechoslovak FP/Pencil industry was reorganised once more and FP production was definitively stopped in Budweis.
Kroutl familly was heavily persecuted by communists.

Edited by Khufu, 24 February 2013 - 11:28.


#5 Khufu

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:57

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Ripet FP Box from late 1930´s. Nice company logotype.

Edited by Khufu, 05 March 2013 - 20:26.


#6 Kaweco

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:01

Hello Khufu
Thank you very much for this outstanding report. The many details of your work clarify a lot and shows that, outside of the today wellknown trademarks in Europe, best quality had been made by the lesser known brands too.
Thanks and kind regards
Thomas

#7 Khufu

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:28

Hello Khufu
Thank you very much for this outstanding report. The many details of your work clarify a lot and shows that, outside of the today wellknown trademarks in Europe, best quality had been made by the lesser known brands too.
Thanks and kind regards
Thomas



Hello Kaweco,

i would like to thank you too Kaweco, because it was you who gave me the idea to use the original adress books from prewar period. Ï used czechoslovak version of registers published in whole central Europe area by MOOS company. A friend of mine have some of them. It was there where i find first hard data about czechoslovak FP industry. With correct names it was a lot easier to make research in local archives or to try to find the original owners families.
The data about Ripet company comes from detailed study published in 1980 within Museum´s revue of České Budějovice, by Mr Václav Vondra (1929-2006), he was historian of south bohemian industry, pencil collector, writer and teacher of history in Budweis high school. Some details were added by me as i am in contact with one of Kroutl familly descendants who gave me some other informations especially about the post 1948 persecutions and some other details about Kroutl familly.
More details will be added (i want to find the factory site plans) once i will check the original archive files in Budweis, hopefuly this summer.




Best regards,
Khufu

Edited by Khufu, 06 March 2013 - 19:17.


#8 Khufu

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 18:45

Ripet gold nib on Popular 410 C, mid 1930´s
"C" line pens are button fillers. Italian (or german) celluloid of decent brown-bronze colors.
The gold used for Ripet nibs was mined in Kremnica, Tatra mountains, Slovakia.

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Edited by Khufu, 06 March 2013 - 18:53.


#9 Khufu

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 11:41

Some more patents, this time by dipl.ing. Jaroslav Zahel, i will list them by the dates when Mr. Zahel has deposed them in Czechoslovak patent office. He was prolific czech inventor with patents in fountain pens, pencils and in optics.
In prewar time he cooperated with various czechoslovak FP makers. In post 1948 period he cooperated with Centropen.
His first FP patent dates back to 1927, very interesting pen:
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His second FP patent was deposed in february 1932, it is sophisticated vacuum filler pen:
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Third patent is from 1935, it is the apogee of his FP projects:
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First Zahel´s pencil patent is from 1949:
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Zahel´s glass nib FP innovation from 1950:
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Zahel piston filling mechanism patent was deposed in 1950:
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Edited by Khufu, 13 March 2013 - 22:46.


#10 basterma

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 16:34

This is a really neat post. Great Work!

#11 YouCollectMe

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 08:37

I wonder were there any "Design Patents" at the end of 20th century? Given much of the fountain pens produced in Soviet Union in 1960's to 1980's were almost identical to some famous European brands, what companies had to do defend their inventions?

#12 Khufu

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 10:13

I wonder were there any "Design Patents" at the end of 20th century? Given much of the fountain pens produced in Soviet Union in 1960's to 1980's were almost identical to some famous European brands, what companies had to do defend their inventions?


Hi,
I think during the Cold war it was not easy (maybe not possbile at all?) to make this kind of judicial trials against USSR state owned companies. Then as you have said, these pens are almost identical, but apparently not exactly same.
I have seen only two soviet pens, inspired by Parker 51 and Waterman Crusader, but very far to be identical to them.

Edited by Khufu, 15 March 2013 - 21:16.


#13 YouCollectMe

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 10:24

I wonder were there any "Design Patents" at the end of 20th century? Given much of the fountain pens produced in Soviet Union in 1960's to 1980's were almost identical to some famous European brands, what companies had to do defend their inventions?


Hi,
I think during the Cold war it was not easy (maybe not possbile at all?) to make this kind of judicial trials against USSR state owned companies. Then as you have said, these pens are almost identical, but apparently not exactly same.
I have seen only two soviet pens, inspired by Parker 51 and Waterman Crusader, but very far to be identical to them.


That's the simple truth!
Communist Party emphasized on equality and mass-production - not encouraging the quality. There was special deliveries ( Called Second Direction Import ) to suit the need of luxury items for High Rank Party Members and top level managers. Rest of the population unfortunately had to cope with the basic design and poor quality goods.

#14 Khufu

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 11:11

I wonder were there any "Design Patents" at the end of 20th century? Given much of the fountain pens produced in Soviet Union in 1960's to 1980's were almost identical to some famous European brands, what companies had to do defend their inventions?


Hi,
I think during the Cold war it was not easy (maybe not possbile at all?) to make this kind of judicial trials against USSR state owned companies. Then as you have said, these pens are almost identical, but apparently not exactly same.
I have seen only two soviet pens, inspired by Parker 51 and Waterman Crusader, but very far to be identical to them.


That's the simple truth!
Communist Party emphasized on equality and mass-production - not encouraging the quality. There was special deliveries ( Called Second Direction Import ) to suit the need of luxury items for High Rank Party Members and top level managers. Rest of the population unfortunately had to cope with the basic design and poor quality goods.


They were really "hard core" in USSR, but it is not surprising. In Czechoslovakia the situation was fortunately a bit different, whole range of Centropen FPs including luxurious and best quality ones (dignified remnants of prewar makers) were made until 1970 and everybody had a possibility to buy them in stores. As far as i know the only product made in Czechoslovkia that people was not allowed to buy were Tatra 603 and 613 cars. Those were built only for higher party members, managers etc.

Edited by Khufu, 16 March 2013 - 16:24.


#15 Khufu

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 00:03

Here is one patent by Josef Polák from Pardubice, Polák & Lukesle company.
It is very interesting vacuum-piston filler.
The patent was deposed in December 1945 and it got protected one week before coup d´état in February 1948. So it was unfortunately too late for P&L company to start production of this cool system filling pens:
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I wonder if the prototype pens still exist somewhere... :puddle:

Edited by Khufu, 17 March 2013 - 19:57.


#16 pavoni

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 01:47

Fabulous history lesson. I am always impressed by your diligence Khufu, so evident in all your posts. Compulsive reading and you most certainly do these wonderful pen companies proud. :clap1:

Pavoni.

#17 Khufu

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 12:10

Thanks Pavoni!

Here are two patents of Vlastimil Lisý and his wife Helena Lisá, year 1935 and 1937. They were master teachers in well known Glasswork School of Art and Industry since 1920 in Železný Brod (Eisenbrod). Bohemian glass is well known for its quality and beauty. So it is very cool the famous Eisenbrod masters also contributed to FP industry!
The patents are for glass nibs with improved inkflow and with a completely new way of nib making. It looks simple, but the glass nibs are tricky to be produced in best quality. In Czechoslovakia glass nibs were very popular during all the age of fountain pens and they were sometimes fitted even on quite luxurious pens.

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Edited by Khufu, 17 March 2013 - 13:23.


#18 Khufu

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 13:04

And now three really odd patents for multicolor ink pens and for a pen with two nibs :ph34r:
First patent is for 3 color ink fountain pen in combination with pencil, by Bohumil Dyntar from Prague, deposed in April 1940:
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Second patent was deposed by Jaroslav Černý in 1949. It is multi ink pen system:
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The last one is fountain pen with two different nibs. The patent says it is very practical pen for musicians or other professions in need of various nib characteristics in almost same time. Nibs can be changed by a simple button switch. This unusual patent is by Josef Vejvoda, deposed in October 1936:
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Edited by Khufu, 17 March 2013 - 13:16.


#19 Gerd W

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 19:53

Very interesting to view and great work, thanks for sharing!

#20 Michael A

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 13:01

Was the three color fountain pen ever produced? I would love to see a picture of it.






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