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Oldest Italian Pen Manufacturer


Jerome Tarshis
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Montegrappa advertises that it was founded in 1912 and is the oldest Italian pen manufacturer. Aurora advertises that it was founded in 1919 and is the oldest Italian pen manufacturer. To the subtle Italian mind there may be no contradiction here. But to me, an American, having a simple, childlike mind, there does seem to be a contradiction.


Can anyone help me resolve my confusion about this?

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A translation of the Aurora page on origin shows no claim to being the oldest. Is it in some other advertising? They do claim to have the oldest "true" Italian fountain pen but that is a bit of subtlety one finds equally in advertising anywhere.

 

 

edit: clarification

Edited by praxim

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Let me consider the question settled in favor of Montegrappa, among companies that exist today. I was deluded, or possibly confused, by the claim that Aurora made the first true Italian fountain pen. Perhaps it can be thought that Montegrappa was manufacturing Austrian or Slovenian or English fountain pens. Or factitiously Italian fountain pens.

 

If I am going to think about the origins of Aurora, it is possibly more fun to ask myself whether the name stood simply for a new dawn after the difficulties of the Great War, or referred to the Russian warship that helped begin the Bolshevik revolution by firing on the Winter Palace. As is said in what seems to be a sound article about the company's history.

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  • 9 months later...

The oldest italian brand producing fountain pens is Uhlmann's Eterno. It was founded in 1902 (according to this invoice https://www.fountainpen.it/File:1932-09-UhlmannsEterno-Invoice.jpg). They have registered trademarks on fountain pens from 1912 (the first ones from Montegrappa are 1925).

 

Both company at the beginning were probably just assembling german fountain pens, so if you want a real manufacturer you have to look also to Tibaldi and Stilus (both from 1916). Aurora was much later, but they were the most active on advertising at their time, and it not in any sense the first italian fountain pen producer.

 

Simone

Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it

Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)

Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

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Let me consider the question settled in favor of Montegrappa, among companies that exist today. I was deluded, or possibly confused, by the claim that Aurora made the first true Italian fountain pen. Perhaps it can be thought that Montegrappa was manufacturing Austrian or Slovenian or English fountain pens. Or factitiously Italian fountain pens.

 

If I am going to think about the origins of Aurora, it is possibly more fun to ask myself whether the name stood simply for a new dawn after the difficulties of the Great War, or referred to the Russian warship that helped begin the Bolshevik revolution by firing on the Winter Palace. As is said in what seems to be a sound article about the company's history.

IIRC the early Montegrappa fountain pens were Parker pens made under a contract agreement and so could be said to not be Italian in origin.

 

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Situation is this: Nettuno was founded in 1911, and claims itself the oldest Italian pen manufacturing company, in the sense that rival manufacturers at first made pens for German or American brands while it made its own designs.

 

Aurora's claim (and it is justified I think) is that they are the oldest continually manufacturing pen company in Italy, since Montegrappa went under in the decade of the 1970's (I think ditto for Tibaldi) while Aurora flourished, its doors continually open, so to speak.

 

As of the early 2000's Nettuno still manufactured its own pens (including its beautiful and distinctive nibs), but under agreement, Aurora now manufactures their (Nettuno's) designs, then sells and distributes the pens. There is some dissension in the ranks over this agreement, but there it is.

 

Aurora as a brand didn't open its doors too much later than Tibaldi, only about three years, and from the first, it manufactured its own designs, including a patented piston fill system, a button filler, etc. Ancora (meaning Anchor) also opened in 1919 with very different designs from the quite unique ones of nowadays.

No man is a slave unless he is willing to be bought by another. (EP)

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  • 2 months later...

 

 

Ancora (meaning Anchor) also opened in 1919 with very different designs from the quite unique ones of nowadays.

 

Timeline for Ancora is a bit fuzzy. The founders first established company dates back to 1902, the first retail shop - to 1918, and the Ancora brand registration - to 1920 IIRC. 1919 is said by todays owners to be the year that the worshop was opened, although as often is the case with early-XX century Italian manufacture, there's little to confirm any claim.

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IIRC the early Montegrappa fountain pens were Parker pens made under a contract agreement and so could be said to not be Italian in origin.

What kind of evidence you have about this claim? Did you find a copy of the contract? There were italian producede Parker, but the question about by who they were produced is still without a clear answer. Most italian collectors are convinced they where made by Omas, but no proof has emerged. Never heard about Montegrappa. So if you have some evidence it will be very welcomed.

 

Simone

Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it

Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)

Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

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What kind of evidence you have about this claim? Did you find a copy of the contract? There were italian producede Parker, but the question about by who they were produced is still without a clear answer. Most italian collectors are convinced they where made by Omas, but no proof has emerged. Never heard about Montegrappa. So if you have some evidence it will be very welcomed.

 

Simone

Nope, no evidence, just more mythos.

 

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Situation is this: Nettuno was founded in 1911, and claims itself the oldest Italian pen manufacturing company, in the sense that rival manufacturers at first made pens for German or American brands while it made its own designs.

The only evidence of 1911 is an advertisement draft, no clear trace of an autonomous production (in the beginning they where only assembling parts), the company was anyway registered as such (to Bologna chamber of commerce) in 1916 and in my opinion to be quelified as a manufacturer company you have to be at least registered as a company. So 1911 is just another exagerated claim.

Aurora's claim (and it is justified I think) is that they are the oldest continually manufacturing pen company in Italy, since Montegrappa went under in the decade of the 1970's (I think ditto for Tibaldi) while Aurora flourished, its doors continually open, so to speak.

For what I know Montegrappa never stopped to produce pens, they have always been present in the market, with more or less success. And they are still in their plants in Bassano del Grappa. Tibaldi was closed, like Ancora, the current production it's not related to the original companies, they are just brand names now. So no, Aurora claim (but they did ?) is not anyway justified.

 

As of the early 2000's Nettuno still manufactured its own pens (including its beautiful and distinctive nibs), but under agreement, Aurora now manufactures their (Nettuno's) designs, then sells and distributes the pens. There is some dissension in the ranks over this agreement, but there it is.

2000's Nettuno are just Nettuno branded pen produced by Aurora.

 

Aurora as a brand didn't open its doors too much later than Tibaldi, only about three years, and from the first, it manufactured its own designs, including a patented piston fill system, a button filler, etc. Ancora (meaning Anchor) also opened in 1919 with very different designs from the quite unique ones of nowadays.

Too much or not too much is a personal measurement. For me 3 years are quite a lot, but I can concede that they can also seen as not too much. But also Tibaldi (1916), Stilus (1916) and Columbus (1918) taking apart Montegrappa (because the exact date they started pen production is not known) started by manufacturing their own design. So they were anyway quite late on the market, and between the main Italian producers only Omas and Radius/Safis where later.

 

And anyway all of them came later than Uhlmann's.

 

Simone

Fountain Pen Wiki - www.FountainPen.it

Fountain pen Chronology (need help to improve...)

Old advertisement (needing new ones to enlarge the gallery...)

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