Some questions about the origin of "Reform Fountain Pens" appeared at FPN and Lion and Pen. It seems that the sources for searching are not very good, so I will write a short history review:
During the second half of the 20th the KAWECO, one of the world`s greatest writing equipment producers in Heidelberg, Germany, immediately went down and Philipp Mutschler and some of his co-workers decided to leave the firm in 1928 to build up their own factory. 1929 the Kaweco actually went to bancrupty and the "Badische Federhalterfabrik Knust, Grube & Woringen" bought the Kaweco trade mark.
The first calculation of the new Mutschler works sounded fantastic. They had a small building, similar to a shed, 5 turnery machines, a chasing- and a polishing machine and 10 workers. The first real cash flow was expected after 6 weeks! (Today it sounds like: somebody had invented a money printing machine). But they managed it.
1932 was the worst economic year because the world monetary crisis swapped across the pond, but Mutschler expanded and had to build a new factory hall in 1938. They cooperated with the "Reform" works from Nieder- Ramstadt, which had a daughter firm in Heidelberg. After a fusion they changed their trademark from "Certo" to "Reform" with an "R" with wings. Mutschler was one of th first who used the injection moulding process for FP production and therefore they constructed their own machines. Reform delivered complete writing systems and parts to several other well known firms like Geha, Herlitz, Rotring, AT Cross, Elysee, Dunnhill, Dupont, Cartier, Caran d Ache or Christian Dior. They bought the "DEGUSSA"- and the "RUPP" nib factory and produced excellent nibs. Alas, after all nearly nobody knew "Reform".
1963 Otto and Peter, the sons of Philipp Mutschler took over the firm. 10 years later they went to the large old building which once was a part of the Kaweco factory.
But in 1999 they had to leave and to sell the house. Reform, a trade mark with its best reputation, which had produced 10 Million fountainpens per year in the early 90th (4 times as much as Lamy) went down. The rescues of Sanford and Ullrich Mutschler failed and the firm went to bancrupty in the late 2003.
The Machines were sold to far east, but the quality of the once produced "Iridium Point Germany" nibs is today only a shadow of the old stuff from Heidelberg. And I am also not sure which of the today sold fountainpens is actually "Reform New old stock"
Pic: Da olde Refograph in black and pearl celluloid mint with cork seal and an extra tiny BHR safety with rectractable nib.
(please do not use pic and text for commercial use)
Edited by Kaweco, 01 April 2007 - 07:48.