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Onoto Book - Steve Hull


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Elsewhere on FPN there has been much interest in the forthcoming Onoto book by Steve Hull, in consultation with Steve I am pleased to show the front cover and sample pages from the book which will be launched at the London Writing Equipment Show in October.


The quality of the work is self evident and follows on from the much respected book on Conway Stewart which has become a reference work to many who are interested in the brand, the Onoto book will not disappoint.


The following is from the flyleaf to the book:


Onoto the Pen


De La Rue and Onoto Pens: 1880-1960


This book is the fourth in a series by Steve Hull that will cover some of the most important English pen manufacturers and their products. It details the pen-making activities, during almost 80 years, of one of Great Britain’s once foremost companies, who had (and still have) significant interests in other areas, particularly the printing of banknotes, and who now, unfortunately, have consigned the important contributions of their fountain pen activities to a footnote in the history, development and growth of the company.


In 400 pages and 180 sections over 10 chapters (and a Postscript) and five Appendices, this book contains a huge amount of hitherto unpublished material and details, in chronological order, the development of De la Rue’s involvement in fountain pens from 1880, through the introduction of the famous Onoto in 1905, the ‘golden years’ of the 1920s and 1930s, to the demise (in Great Britain) in 1958. Along the way, there have been many important milestones, not least the repercussions of the sale of De La Rue in 1921 and the resultant 1924 High Court case which, for a large part, revolved around the profitability, or otherwise, of the Onoto pen, and the abrupt move of all pen manufacturing activities from London to Scotland in 1928.


There are over 1,000 full-colour images (most at actual size) of pens, stylos, pencils and ballpens and hundreds of images of other items (and not just writing equipment), including adverts, leaflets, price lists and photographs of the factories and significant personnel and some important personal reminiscences of a former employee at the Strathendry pen works in Scotland.


The book will be launched at the London Writing Equipment Society Show on 2nd October, 2016. There is no need to reserve a copy as there will plentiful supplies at and after the Show. The price is £70.


Those interested in a copy should email Steve at thepenshull@hotmail.com during mid September when post and packing charges plus payment details will be advised.



Edited by Kenlowe
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  • Kenlowe


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  • 3 weeks later...

A reminder to all those attending the London WES Show next Sunday. The book will be available for sale and is a great opportunity to see the very high quality of work behind this definitive reference work.

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Many thanks for the pointer to Steve's new website Kenlowe.


'Onoto the Pen' is truly a magnificent book and surely Steve's best work to-date.



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I can imagine that Steve's stand at WES will be popular. The work is beautifully produced and will be the definitive reference work for all those interested in Fountain Pen history in general and the Onoto brand in particular.

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