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Camel Pen History - Post 1938 - Call For Knowledge


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Hi everyone,


I am researching NY/NJ pens, and today's focus is on Camel/Newark/Secretary brand. The 1935 - 1938 history of Camel is reasonably well covered. Post-1938, not so much.


Recently, Jon Veley posted a blog entry on Camel producing floaty pencils into the 1940's. That stirred me up. First of all, he talked about the Secretary Pen Company - but Secretary was a brand of the Newark Pen Company. Are they different?


Here's history as I understand it - 1925 - Wustman starts Newark Pen Company. It sells The Newark Pen via mail order, in some sort of coupon scheme. They go on to produce the brands Accountant, Secretary, and Congress.


Wustman then goes and gets some Boston high-society types, and starts Camel Pen Company. It seems well funded, as its a prolific national advertiser. The Camel pen that uses ink cartridges doesn't work, and that pen is done in 1938.


And that's where it gets fuzzy.


Here are bits and pieces:

  • Richard Binder suggests that Wearever purchased Camel, leveraging the fact he saw Camel-branded Wearever pens.
  • I have a Camel Pen with an Arlington NJ hot stamp. Further research showed that Camel moved into Mabie Todd's NJ Arlington premises in 1941
  • I found a Union, NJ address for the Camel Pen Company in a 1946 Directory in Union NJ
  • Secretary Pen Company produced pens and pencils from Union NJ into the 1950s
  • Newark Pen Company made awful injection molded fountain pens which they branded Secretary - they look 1940's ish.

The reasonable guess would be that Wustman merged the assets of Camel and Newark and moved them to Union.


One of the cool things I found is another spelling for Wustman - Wuestman. That led to some new Google results, including a pretty horribly complicated adjustable nib patent from 1931 that adjusted flow and line width.


My main question is - can anyone confirm David Kahn and Wearever's involvement in Camel post 1938? Is there any other knowledge out there that I don't have? Wustman is listed as Treasurer of 1946 Camel Pen Company, so its entirely possible it was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wearever. For years, Wearever's purchase of Camel was my understanding, but I'm starting to doubt it now.


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