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Late Esterbrook History Trove Just Dumped Into Newspapers.com


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15 replies to this topic

#1 AAAndrew

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 17:28

Newspapers.com, a subscription service that gets you access to searchable images of old newspapers, just added the Courier-Post of Camden, NJ which has a ton of older (1950's-on) info on the later years of Esterbrook. Like this one that gives some insight in how the company got sold to Venus. 

 

https://www.newspape...y_of_demise_in/

 

 

Or this one, which talks about how they had five overseas subsidiaries including one on Columbia, South America. 

 

https://www.newspape...k_history_five/

 

 

Or this one where the Phaeton 300 is introduced. 

 

https://www.newspape...ton_introduced/

 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#2 gweimer1

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 21:57

Cool!  Thanks.  Interesting how Henry Dreyfuss was behind the Esterbrook Scribe.



#3 AAAndrew

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 14:42

How Esterbrook celebrated their 100th anniversary.

Reading the hometown paper is so cool.

https://www.newspape...history_camden/

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#4 AAAndrew

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 14:46

And this article states that J Pens are still being made in 1961! I thought they were superceded by later models. It also announces a new ballpoint pen.

https://www.newspape...history_camden/

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



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#5 AAAndrew

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 15:03

More tidbits.

Safaris were introduced in 1957, as well as the Recorder ball-point desk pen. (Which also won awards from the American Society of Industrial Design, and chosen to be exhibited at the Milan Triennale Exhibition)

They had factories in Mexico City, Bogota Columbia, and Caracas Venezuela, as well as Canada and England in 1957.

Also, in 1957,Esterbrook was the number one supplier of commercial desk pen sets in the US.

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#6 AAAndrew

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 19:36

Ad for ballpoint. 1958

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Edited by AAAndrew, 07 April 2018 - 19:37.


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#7 AAAndrew

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 21:10

Ok, heres one of the ultimate Esterbrook collecting goals. Find this medal.

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“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#8 AAAndrew

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 13:57

Here are some of the introduction or "new" dates to Esterbrook products I've found with links to sources

 

1955 Dipless 444 desk pen new

1956 K pen new

1957 Safari (twin cartridge) introduced

1958 Scribe ballpoint introduced 

1960 M2 pen "new"

1961 Penny Pen Ballpoint pens introduced

1962 Dollar Cartridge Pen. Introduced 1962

1962 Esterbrook Brite Line markers sold

1963 Water color Felt Riter introduced

1964 Permanent Felt Riter introduced

1964 Wonderiter introduced. (cartridge, porous tip marker)

1964 Phaeton 300 introduced



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#9 gweimer1

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 17:38

When did the Rogue markers come out?

#10 AAAndrew

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 19:28

Are they Venus Esterbrook? I know there were some later Venus ones but dont know the date. The Venus merger was in 1967, but Ive seen some merchants ads after that time still labeling items as just Esterbrook. If I run across them Ill add them.

Edited by AAAndrew, 10 April 2018 - 19:29.


“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#11 amberleadavis

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 20:14

Thank you. This has been awesome.


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#12 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 02:59

This is a great resource. Might this be a good topic to pin?


Brad
 
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#13 Frank_Federalist_Pens

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 03:36

Thank You for sharing this info Andrew!

 

Great Info on Estie's History!

 

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#14 PAKMAN

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 03:53

Wow what a treasure trove of info! Thanks!


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#15 AAAndrew

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 17:18

Esterbrook's last president before the merger with Venus was Kenneth MacDonald. He was an interesting person and his story of moving from shipping clerk to sales to president, was a typical one at Esterbrook, with lots of their executive officers coming from lowly positions in the company. 

 

In an article in 1973 that tells MacDonald's story, there are some tidbits that shed some light on the last years of Esterbrook's independence. Here's an excerpt. 

 

 

"One of MacDonald's first decisions[after having been named President in 1964] was to move the firm from its longtime location in the shadow of Ben Franklin bridge to a new site in Cherry Hill. He saw clearly that what Esterbrook needed was "straight-line production," an operation all on one level with raw materials moving in at one end and finished pens being shipped out at the other. In Camden there simply wasn't enough room; the only direction in which to expand was up.

 

At its new site the pen company "really started to move," MacDonald recalls. Unfortunately, it also began to be pinched for money. The economic fources that would produce the tight-money "crunch" of 1968 were already coming into play. The banks, fully loaned up, were reluctant to increase their commitments to Esterbrook. 

 

Funds from a private source were available, but at a price - a sizeable share of stock in the closely held, family-controlled company. MacDonald and his board of directors decided they had no alternative. 

 

Having won representation on Esterbrook's board, the money man began to contribute ideas as well as money. His money worked fine. Some of his ideas didn't. 

 

One of his ideas was for merger with a pencil company. MacDonald opposed the merger, which he felt would benefit neither firm; the two operations had practically nothing in common except that the end-product of both was used for writing and drawing. 

 

He lost. Eventually the two firms were merged, company headquarters was moved to Philadelphia, then to New York, the manufacturing plant went to Tennessee and MacDonald was out as president, though with an offer to continue as U.S. division manager of the merged companies. 

 

He was cool to the idea, and also to the lfattering offers he'd had from Parker, Sheaffer and various other penmakers. "I asked myself whether I wanted more of the same old rat race," he recalled

 

MacDonald went on to become president of Winner Ford, a large dealership in North New Jersey. When he took it over it was in the red, by the time of the article in 1973, "Winner's sales far surpass those of Esterbrook when he headed the penmaking firm." 

 

In 1977 MacDonald went on to become mayor of Haddenfield, NJ, and then get appointed to the casino gambling commission of New Jersey as they tried to introduce gambling to Atlantic City. He was appointed because of his long history of honest business and community service. 

 

Unfortunately, in 1980, MacDonald was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The FBI ran a sting operation to catch crooked politicians that later became known as ABSCAM. The whole story is a fascinating read. Poor MacDonald, a man who had worked hard for a sterling reputation just happened to be the person accompanying the mayor of Camden, NJ to a hotel room to meet a man who represented "a big cartel" interested in investing in Atlantic City. According to MacDonald, who a lot of people at the time, and later, believe was innocent of any corruption, as soon as he saw suitcases of cash being handed over and the guy indicating he wanted a casino license, he told them they were crazy and walked out. Unfortunately his name was blasted all over the papers, he was indicted along with the crooked politicians and he passed away before he had his day in court to clear his name. The whole thing was a mess from the beginning. Two US asst. US attorneys resigned rather than indict MacDonald, but the Justice Dept. found some who would. 

 

In the end, seven US congressmen (6 Reps and 1 Senator), a member of the New Jersey State Senate, members of the Philadelphia City Council, the Mayor of Camden, NJ, and an inspector for the Immigration and Naturalization service were convicted. There were some heroes, like MacDonald, and North Dakota Senator Larry Pressler, who not only turned down the money, but immediately informed the FBI. When he was called a "hero" he demurred by pointing out it's a pretty low bar to be a hero if all you have to do is refuse an illegal bribe. 

 

It also led to a major overhaul in how the Justice Dept. ran sting operations. The 2013 movie American Hustle was very loosely based on the events. 

 

And it all connects to Esterbrook. 



“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928



Check out my Steel Pen Blog


"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne


#16 Tom Heath

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 21:26

Special thanks to all contributed to this  post and its' extentions.

 

 

Anyone know the address of that restaurant touting  Sunday Dinners $ 1.50

 

could sure use a stop like that in my neighborhood


penfancier1915@hotmail.com

 

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