Jump to content
Classifieds is broken, please do not submit any new ads ×

OSMIA, a previous chapter


Recommended Posts

Hello friends

"rusty" asked me, to tell a little bit more about Osmia, and here is the story. Alas, I am not able to refer to complete product lines and I must confess, I`m not interested. I try to collect "oral history".

Some years ago, I could talk to Gregor Miltner. He worked at Osmia`s since the firm had been founted in 1919. He was 12 or 13 years old and had seen the whole history of the Osmia and was their CEO in the latest times.

When I talked to Mr. Miltner, he was about 92 and I think he suffered a little bit from Alzheimer`s disease, but he was able to talk about the 20th and 30th as it has been yesterday.

In the early 20th Georg and Hermann Böhler thought to place an emblem to their writing equipment and they constructed a convex cross at the cap tops. They also experimented with names for trademarks like Star, Comet or Saturn.

Immediately Montblanc joined in and went to court, because the new Böhler`s captop design looked a little bit like the Montblanc symbol. MB claimed a high sum and demanded to destroy the whole produced pen stock. In each case this would have been ruined the young firm but the court case ended with a settlement. Böhler had to change his symbol and sharpened the edges of the cross to a diamond shaped charakter.

The name of the trademark was fixed after the Böhlers decided to use Osmiumalloy, an invention of Heraeus in Hanau, for their nib tips: "OSMIA, ever lasting quality".

Osmia produced gorgeous fountainpens and magnificent nibs but they also made a lot of technical improvements. Miltener described the invention of an asymetric feed, a capillarsystem and the calculationes of ink capacities by using Gay- Lussac`s law.

(Miltner`s patents can be found at the homepage of the European Patent Office. Alas, there is no patent before 1930. It may be that Parker collected them after they left the joint venture)

"Did you study physics or engineering ?", I asked Gregor Miltner,"No", he answered, "I had only learned for a salesman". Isn`t that astonishing?

The most amazing pen he gave me among a bundle of others was an engraved set with fountainpen and propelling pencil, which he got for 25 years faithfullness from his firm. Today it seems to be ridiculous to make a pen gift to a man who had thousands of them held in his hands. But it seems, that Osmia had nothing else. It was 1944 and the shortage during this last year of the war was so dramatically, that they had neither a feed, nor a nib for the pen- gift.

Gregor Miltner died about 2 years ago.

Thanks for looking and Kind Regards



Edited by Kaweco
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Kaweco


  • fountainbel


  • hari317


  • Bo Bo Olson


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Thanks for shearing these historical facts with us Thomas !

Very interesting.

Again a beautifull OSMIA penset for your collection on which the engraved name was an important person in the Osmia history & which you have known personally.

Surely ook forward to read more such exclusive "oral gathered" histories from you.


Congratulations, Francis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...

Bumped because I have 6 Osmia and Osmia-Faber-Castell pens.

I lucked out and ran into Thomas at the flea market. We had a nice talk and he says that Osmia really pulled Parker over the table.

Parker being a rich company, took over the @ 400,000 Reich Mark debt of Osmia, as pocket change.

Parker was way too expensive, and used a nail nib.


On the side Osmia kept making pens, developed it's next generation and bought the company back cheaply, when Parker gave up on Germany.


Of course many were making Parker Duofold Clones...Germany having some 126 'manufactures' much cheaper and were even on the German market before Parker got into it.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.



The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi BoBo, thanks for reviving this thread.


Thomas, it is always a pleasure to read your posts.




In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...