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Some Untold Stories About Calicut Pens.

fountain pen kim calicut indian pens india

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52 replies to this topic

#41 cjpandya



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Posted 17 November 2014 - 06:11

You surely have documented the history of calicut pen manufacturing forever in the archives of FPN. Thanks for such a nice contribution. It will ensure that such a beautiful story is not lost in the tide of time.

Edited by cjpandya, 17 November 2014 - 06:12.

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#42 mrmohitmishra


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Posted 08 December 2014 - 21:36

Great work sir. Whenever I visit Calicut, I will visit these shops

#43 mehandiratta


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Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:40

1960 – 1970  -   THE GOLDEN ERA

So many varieties of pens have been produced in this period. Given below are few examples.



2013-09-16_003240 by mohancv, on Flickr


Kim Metro- This is a desk pen made by Kim during early 1960s. It has a celluloid body and a slip on cap.

Compared to a Safari. See how long it is!



See the clip. Cant’ put in pocket. Clip’s function is only to prevent rolling down.





    As competition increases naturally every shop makes their pen to perfection.

They added new features, new materials , new designs—people rejoice! More choices, at competitive prices!

Now we look special features the pen shops introduced at that time to attract people.

    1.    All the Calicut pens, except for the cheapest school pens are made with built in inner sleeves inside the cap for nib protection. This also prevents the drying of nib.

    2.    Also most of these had multiple threads for quick removal of caps – A feature not seen even in a modern GEM pen. ( sorry to say this, but I am a fan of Mr. Pratap of Gem pens). Even the largest of the pens open with in maximum  one to three turns.

    3.   Most of the higher pens have a built in step in the section threads to act as an  “O ring “ to prevent ink leaking.




         Multichannel ebonite feeds – these are standard in all except cheapest student pens.




     See this particular design. The last part of ink in the barrel cannot enter into the section. This is a method to prevent burping. But this design is not seen in modern pens.


As competition progressed, shops throwing many new designs and materials to the market.


2013-09-16_004951 by mohancv, on Flickr


This is Kim Lady. A small clip less celluloid pen meant for ladies.


2013-09-16_004803 by mohancv, on Flickr


It’s  size is perfect for a small purse. Opens with just ¾ of a turn.



2013-09-16_005053 by mohancv, on Flickr



This is a  Kim Lady. Green.



2013-09-22_095213 by mohancv, on Flickr



2013-09-22_095757 by mohancv, on Flickr

Kim lady Varient. All clipless.



As you can imagine, the main stays are ebonite and celluloid. Initially ebonite rods  were coming from England and later local production started at Madras.

Celluloid were coming from Germany, and local production never started. Celluloids were called as “Shells” as were coming as not rods but as tubes. These were costly and afforded by affluent class only. Shell pens were almost not made after around late sixties.

Other materials included Rosewoods, Teak and some precious woods. All these failed- as you can imagine- there was no other filling mechanism apart from eyedropper!



2013-09-22_094542 by mohancv, on Flickr


This Is Kim Big Red. Celluloid.  A hot selling model of Kim from 1960s to 1970s.



2013-09-16_093443 by mohancv, on Flickr


Amber Vacumatic- Ebonite- ED- Made around late 60s.



Design closely related to Kriptok Vacumatic.



2013-09-16_093710 by mohancv, on Flickr



Three Vacumatics.


Does kim & co have any website??? or photostream...

vaibhav mehandiratta                               

architect & fountain pen connoisseur 


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#44 abkudva


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Posted 16 July 2015 - 15:54

Wow! Just read this super informative, rich thread just now. Many thanks Mohan for taking all the time and effort to create such a powerful essay, made all the more richer with those beautiful images,! Can you please share their contact, I would love to try procure the Big and the cigar shaped pens.

#45 maddy


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Posted 17 August 2015 - 20:08

Dear Mr CV Mohan

I would like to send you an email about writing an article on Pens and Calicut

How can I contact you?



#46 Lausti


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Posted 22 September 2015 - 19:14

I really enjoyed reading this Mohan. I spend almost all my winters in Kerala but never knew this about Kozhikode. I will sure pay a visit to Kim's this coming winter. I will post photos here afterwards.

#47 isuhas


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Posted 04 October 2015 - 14:54

After reading your post got interested regarding Ebonite Pens. So planning to buy Kim Small from Kim & Co. One of my students is from calicut so I have asked him to get me from the shop itself. Hope he would go by second half of October.

#48 mmg122


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Posted 04 October 2015 - 16:38

Mohan...what a phenomenal and informative review of the impressive Indian pen industry. Here's an excellent article on Kim & Co.




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Posted 31 March 2016 - 14:32

Thanks Mohan for a great article.
Got my first Kim small in rippled green color and enjoying. A true well crafted pen . But the ink aperture is not there in section. Have they stopped producing same feature ? Please revert
Thanks again

#50 thekraitmusic



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Posted 21 July 2016 - 18:34

Very informative article. Thanks for the wonderful knowledge bites. Loved every word 👌

#51 gopool



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Posted 22 July 2016 - 02:40

Thanks for the detailed review. Those Kim and Co ebonite feeds look like Sheaffer NN feeds. I would love to get my hands on some of those.

#52 matteob


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Posted 26 December 2016 - 08:28

Fascinating stuff thank you!

#53 rahulchandna



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Posted 14 January 2017 - 05:10

Amazing !

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fountain pen, kim, calicut, indian pens, india

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