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New Theory On Origin Of Montblanc White Top Logo


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Among Montblanc collectors there are different opinions on the origin of the white star logo which was introduced by Montblanc in 1913.
Holten/Lund introduce a new theory in their book Montblanc in Denmark 1914-1992 - The Untold Story:
"The origin of the star logo has been discussed among pen collectors for many years. Though no solid proof the authors of the book believe it is no coincidence that the Montblanc headquarters from 1908 was situated in the Hamburg borough "STERNSCHANZE". The word "STERN" is "STAR" in English - STERNSCHANZE means STARFORTIFICATION (a fortification with the shape of a STAR)."
The old fortification "Sternschanze" was situated only a few hundred meters from the Montblanc headquarters in Bartelstrasse/Schanzenstrasse. Shops and restaurangs used (and still uses) a white star as symbol of the district of Schanzenstern. The old Sternschanze fortification is long gone - today there is a beautifull hotel situated on the place - an old watertower rebuild to Hotel Mövenpick am Wasserthurm. When visiting Hamburg (Traditional Hamburg Penshow Oct. 3rd) I always order a room with a viev to the old Montblanc factory.

Edited by bigben
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Just because something related to company exists, doesn't necessarily mean there is a deep and meaningful reason.


George Eastman, after all, in spite of much fanciful speculation, did admit that he just made up the name Kodak out of thin air.

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Then there's the theory saying that failing to conceive / draw any meaningful / arteestic logo they just used a Spirograph. :lticaptd:

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I always assumed it was supposed to represent the snow on top of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps.

"Don't be humble, you're not that great." Golda Meir

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Which page in the book would that be?.

Page 154 (notes from p.13). On page 155 there is a map from 1908 showing the Sternschanze.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just read,the original pens had a red cap which was thought to be too conspicous. The decsion was made to switch to a plain white cap and a new name was needed.


By 1910 all their writing instruments were Mont Blanc with a mountain in between the 2 words. The star shape arose in 1913 because the cap could not be copyrighted whereas the star could.


The Fountain Pen, A. Crum Ewing

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George Eastman, after all, in spite of much fanciful speculation, did admit that he just made up the name Kodak out of thin air.


Indeed. If I rember correctly, he said he wanted a name that would have no significance in any known language, and that wouldn't lend itself to translations into foreign languages. He wanted something that people all over the world would spell the same, would pronounce (almost) the same, and whose sole meaning all over the world would be nothing but his company.

If that was really his intention, I think he succeeded. :)

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Just read this, Clause Johannes Voss daughter's history at http://www.montblanc-pens.com/history.html

The first pen to bear the Montblanc name was put on the market about this time and featured a screw mechanism. It was quite slim at first, had a solid white cap top and was produced in addition to the Rouge et Noir. The name Montblanc was hit upon at a card game involving my uncle, the industrialist Carl Schalk. When the question of an appropriate name for the new pen was raised, Mr. Schalk said, 'Why not just call it Montblanc? After all, it's also black at the bottom, white at the top and the greatest among its peers. "As I remember, my uncle received half a dozen pens every Christmas for years thereafter in gratitude.

Edited by Orrell Post
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I am sure most of the versions included here correspond to something possible and more or less right. Still some years ago people was surprised that Montblanc was not Swiss or French.

Nevertheless most German pens, as you well know, have a special designed logo, which identifies them (some are better known than others). I believe it has to do, also, with the design development of the Twenties and I tend to believe there is a common designer to all, working with the different manufacturers to satisfy their idea and eventually unify.

In the image from left to right: Soennecken, AW Faber, Astoria (2), Osmia (3), Mont Blanc, Atlantic, Salamander, Rackette, Merkurit (2), Böhler.

I am sure someone among you know more about it and will help us to learn something. I would talk about it with Holten and Lund next October 3rd in Hamburg.


Edited by Azuniga
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I m not surprised - only few people read the NOTES in a book :)

My mother had one college professor who gave a quiz on the footnotes in a reading assignment.... Yeah, just the footnotes.

Back on topic (sort of) -- I'm not into MBs personally, so I had never really looked all that carefully at the "splat". But the description of it being based on a star-shaped fortification seems really apropos -- I've toured the Citadel in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and that has a very similar type of design "footprint" (the design is to have more defensive positions from which to shoot at potential invaders: Halifax was considered sufficiently strategic port that the British kept adding to the fortifications over the years -- to the point that Halifax was never actually attacked).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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  • 3 weeks later...

That professor went to law school. The funny stuff is all in the footnootes.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

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Even if true, Montblanc has done a great job at rebranding the star to resemble the peaks of Mont Blanc! :)

Visconti Homo Sapiens Lava (F), Visconti Crystal Demonstrator (F), Visconti Metropolis Gun Metal (M), MB PoA Ludovico Sforza (F), Lamy 2K (XF), Pelikan M205 (M).

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