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Fountain Pens Made in Bulgaria



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As there is nearly no information about Bulgarian pens in this forum, and the few traces are quite vague and unreliable, I 'll try to share here some pictures and data about the pens, produced in my home country. 

 

Some initial data first:

 

Until the end of WWII Bulgaria was a Monarchy. It was economically related to Germany, and culturally - with France, Belgium, Switzerland, where lots of bulgarians from the hi-society  used to study. That's why the Pre-WWII pens in Bulgaria are mainly Pelikan and Montblanc. 

 

There are legends that a Factory produced Pelikan in Royal Bulgaria during the late 30 -es, but I still have not seen enough proofs for this. 

 

After WWII Bulgaria was pushed into a communist state - People's Republic Of Bulgaria, part of the Eastern bloc, under Soviet domination. Ties and import from Western Europe were cut. Most products and goods were manufactured in Bulgaria or exchanged with the other socialist countries. Bulgarian fiuntain pens were produces under various brands. Pens were imported feom China, Soviet Union, GDR, Poland. 

 

Pre - WWII (Royal Bulgaria) production can easily be distinguished from the Communist Bulgaria by the ortograph. The communists did an ortograpg reform and simplified the writig (as most of them were not quite litterate).  

 

In the old ortograph, most nouns, ending with syllable finished wit an unpronounced "Ъ" that is not present anymore after 1945. So most brands from Royal times will surely berry this Ъ and the old ortograph. 

 

Bulgaria uses the Cyrillic Alphabet (actually the first state to adopt it officially back in the IX century). So all scripts on Bulgarian FP are in Cyrillic. Latin logos have been used for export product in the 70-es and 80-es, when FP were no more in production, replaced completely by BPP. 

 

There is no strict info about the brands, factories and periods of fountain pen production. Or at leas I don't know it. But I'll preent you here the brands and samples from my cllection, that I consider quite representative for the homeland production. 

 

N.B. Nibs should not be considered as a reliable source of identification, as nibs were changed and interchanged, all kinds of spare nibs from USSR and China, as well as pre-war stock were used. 

 

Here are the brand names to be presented:

 

Ботев (Botev)

Родина (Rodina / Motherland)

Победа 63 (Pobeda 63 / Victory 63)

Чайка (Chaika / Seagull)

Отличник (Otlichnik / Excellent Student)

Хемус (Hemus)

 

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I'll start with a relatively massive baquelite fountain pen with screw piston. The clip states Ботев (Botev) , that's the name of one of bulgarian national heroes - Hristo Botev.  It's written on the new ortograph, that may date it in the 50-es. 

The nib is with some rhomboid pattern. But it's quite a small nib and I suppose that had been replaced. 

Long 13,5 cm.

Wide 1,3 cm.

Cap wide 1,6 cm.

 

 

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Here's another Ботев (Botev), probably later than the previous, unfortunately missing the back cap of the piston. 

 

 

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  • templar changed the title to Fountain Pens Made in Bulgaria

 

Чайка 65 

Chaika 65. It means Seagull and probably the model was released in 1965

Piston - filled

 

 

Two samples. The first nib is gold-plated, the second one is steel, branded Bakelitcoop 63 Sofia. "Coop" comes from cooperative - a collective form of property, but still not state-property, that existed during socialism for some small scale manifactures. 

 

Notice, that the title is in quotation marks "Chaika", that is not the case with the other Bulgarian brands., This may probably mean, that it is not from the bird Seagull, but from a place or name of the factory. 

 

 

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Отличник 

Otlichnik (Excellent student)

This model does not have clip

The nib is "Bakelitcoop 63" that can be seen on most bulgarian FP

 

 

 

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Победа 63 

Pobeda 63 (Victory 63)

Maybe the most common and of relevant quality FP in Bulgaria. Probably the model was approved in 1963. Some variations can be seen in terms of color and clip, but the green - marble "pelikan style" is most common. 

 

I have one with golden inscription. Balow is one with different font of the logo. 

The nibs are mainly Bakelitcoop 63 Sofia. 

 

 

 

 

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Родина

Rodina (Motherland)

Another rare and early pen with a nice and detailed clip. Unfortunately I only have the cap. 

 

 

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MONBLAN  nibs!

A very strange and funny nib, that is commonly found in old FP in Bulgaria. It states "Monblan". It's the transliterated way Montblanc is pronounced in Bulgarian and obviously has nothing to do with MB, but tries to refer to the famous brand. I have no idea who and where did produce these, but they can be found on manu bulgarian FPs from the 60-es. Probably it was some spare parts small cooperative manufacture. 

 

 

 

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Чайка - Д

Chaika - D / Seagull mod. D

 

A rare late school FP. The nib is Centropen Iridium 32. I have never seen another pen of this model. 

 

 

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Хемус

Hemus (the old name of the Balkan Mountain)

 

A late and quite "modern"schoool FP in green. It is branded nowhere but on the nib. Hemus was the name of the state company for pens and pencils. Most of the ballpoint pens in Socialist Bulgaria were produced by Hemus. But not FP. So this must be one of the last FP produced, just at the outbreak of the ballpoint pens. 

 

 

 

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Bottled ink Пеликан / Pelikan

Two vintage bottles, written in Bulgarian, with the Pelikan logo on the tag and the cap. From the early 50 -es. It's sure the first one is not pre-WWII, as the tag is written in the new orthography.  The second one can be both pre-and past WWII as the script does not contain the specific markers to make the difference. 

 

The first one:

 

Пеликан

Мастило за писалки

Синьо 

МЛП

ДИП "Пеликан"

София, ул. "Симеон I" 192

35 гр. 

Редовно качество

Цена на дребно 1,50 лв.

 

Pelikan

Ink for Fountain Pens

Blue

Name of the retailer and adress

35 gr.

Regular Quality

Retail price 1,50 BGN

 

The second one:

 

Мастило за писалки

Б П

Гарантирано качество

 

Ink for Fountain Pens

B P (retailer's innitials)

Guaranteed Quality

 

 

 

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Hemus ballpoint pens

 

As I already mentioned, in the 50 -es - 90-es  Hemus (Хемус) was the main state owned manufacturer of pens, pencils and any other office and school tools. Here are some of the ballpoint pens from the times of my school years

 

 

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Thank you for the post. This is quite interesting. I have a Botev, actually. It is not in working order at the moment but you have inspired me to take it out and see if I can get it work again.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Antenociticus

Great stuff. Thanks for showing it to us.

Lined paper makes a prison of the page.

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