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Black and red zippered leather pen pouch from the 1930s-1940s?



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I recently had the good fortune of running into a second Pelikan D.R.G.M. stamped leather pouch for two pens, most likely from 1930s-1940s. As I call it I got it for a song (15€ with shipping and with a no name fountain pen included) so it is currently on its way to me from Germany.

 

The pouch itself is made of four pieces, black leather on the top and bottom with a liner of red leather running in between, and a zipper with red textile backing running on top. The back piece is stamped in the center with Pelikan D.R.G.M.

 

It fits a 100, 100N and even a 400 with a matching mechanical pencil such as Pelikan Auch, 200, 250 etc. Or two fountain pens even.

 

Just out of curiosity, does anyone have more info on those? I could not find anything in the price lists or brochures but I've seen a few shown here...

 

The construction is solid with the leather and zipper being of good quality but nothing that fancy if you may, more like an item for the working person, or someone in school.

 

For example, there is no liner so the insides are just bare, inner leather and the backside of the zipper has nothing to buffer the pens from it. Hence, I really do not think that I would ever use those for my pens because the insides are quite frankly somewhat abrasive, I can see scuffs and plating loss forming with repeated use, especially from the exposed zipper. Also, the pouch itself is soft so it doesn't really offer the pens any protection.

 

Anyhow, it is a nice bit of Pelikan ephemera and a collectible for sure. If it only came with a liner...

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That is a nice Pelikan item. I have a similar pouch and I also did not find it pictured in any Pelikan catalog or brochure.

 

I tried to date this pouch based on the imprint on the bottom. The "DRGM" abbreviation was used in Germany until 1949 but the font of the "Pelikan" imprint suggests that the pouch is much earlier. The evolution of the Pelikan logo, with subtle changes in fonts, is nicely illustrated in the book "Pelikan - The Brand" by Detmar Schäfer (and also shown here, near the bottom of the page). Based on this, I dated the Pelikan logo on the bottom of the pouch to 1934-1937.

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I have a very similar pouch. It came with a post-war Ibis, but it was my thought, too, it had to be from 1934 - 1937 when I had a close look at the Pelikan imprint. But as you said, it isn't mentioned in any price lists or brochures.

 

There is one theory that those pouches didn't come from Pelikan production as such but maybe were commissioned and stamped by a stationery shop selling Pelikan products. Those seem to have had such stamps at that time. Those pouches may have been a nice giveaway for valued customers or an inexpensive addition for a new pen.

 

In any case, as you said, mana, they are really nice Pelikan ephemera. I like mine very much.

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inkstainedruth

Very nice.  

Just for curiosity's sake as much as anything, what does "D.R.G.M. stand for?  I'm guessing the "D" is for "Deutsche"?

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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1 hour ago, inkstainedruth said:

Very nice.  

Just for curiosity's sake as much as anything, what does "D.R.G.M. stand for?  I'm guessing the "D" is for "Deutsche"?

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Yes. DRGM is for Deutsche Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster , part of the patent system for technical improvements IIRC.

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15 hours ago, DougS said:

Yes. DRGM is for Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster , part of the patent system for technical improvements IIRC.

Meaning basically Utility Model of the German Empire.

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inkstainedruth

@ DougS and Carola -- Thanks for the translation.  My high school German is extremely rusty at this point, and we didn't really do complex technical terminology (it was more along the lines of "Mein Vater ist Arbeiter von IBM"...).

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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On 4/21/2021 at 6:51 AM, mana said:

For example, there is no liner so the insides are just bare, inner leather and the backside of the zipper has nothing to buffer the pens from it. Hence, I really do not think that I would ever use those for my pens because the insides are quite frankly somewhat abrasive, I can see scuffs and plating loss forming with repeated use, especially from the exposed zipper. Also, the pouch itself is soft so it doesn't really offer the pens any protection.

 

I was aware that there is another soft leather Pelikan pouch without inner lining and an over-the-top zipper, shown in the 1938 catalog page 155. These pouches indeed do not protect the pens that much but maybe they protect the vest or shirt pocket against unexpected ink leakage. But upon searching for that pouch in the catalogs, I stumbled upon pages that are copied from a 1939 English Pelikan catalog and to my surprise it pictures the pouch that is subject of this thread. So my original estimation of 1934-37, based on the presence of the pre-1937 Pelikan logo, should be extended to at least 1939. The 1939 pouch is expected to carry the 'new' (post-1937) Pelikan logo though, which significantly differed from the 'old' logo.

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57 minutes ago, joss said:

 

I was aware that there is another soft leather Pelikan pouch without inner lining and an over-the-top zipper, shown in the 1938 catalog page 155. These pouches indeed do not protect the pens that much but maybe they protect the vest or shirt pocket against unexpected ink leakage. But upon searching for that pouch in the catalogs, I stumbled upon pages that are copied from a 1939 English Pelikan catalog and to my surprise it pictures the pouch that is subject of this thread. So my original estimation of 1934-37, based on the presence of the pre-1937 Pelikan logo, should be extended to at least 1939. The 1939 pouch is expected to carry the 'new' (post-1937) Pelikan logo though, which significantly differed from the 'old' logo.

 

Could you post pictures from that catalogue, please?

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16 hours ago, carola said:

Could you post pictures from that catalogue, please?

 

I cannot post a picture here (copyright infringement?) but the copies are readily available from the PCA library:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yLJG4qmpUTI6vp9wueP-OnCFJUBRRFOi/view

 

Message edit:

the pouch that is subject of this thread is shown on page 149 of the 1939 catalog and is item "LD N" but what is remarkable for me is that the other soft leather pouch (item "LS N") still has the old pre-1937 logo while the catalog itself bears the 'new' logo. The picture of the LS N pouch is similar to that shown in the 1938 catalog.

Edited by joss
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8 hours ago, joss said:

 

I cannot post a picture here (copyright infringement?) but the copies are readily available from the PCA library:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yLJG4qmpUTI6vp9wueP-OnCFJUBRRFOi/view

 

Message edit:

the pouch that is subject of this thread is shown on page 149 of the 1939 catalog and is item "LD N" but what is remarkable for me is that the other soft leather pouch (item "LS N") still has the old pre-1937 logo while the catalog itself bears the 'new' logo. The picture of the LS N pouch is similar to that shown in the 1938 catalog.

 

Now, that´s interesting... 🧐

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OMASsimo

Seems I’m a bit late to the party. I think that’s quite an unusual but very interesting topic because the old pen pouches usually don’t get much attention. In fact, I haven’t seen this kind of pouch ever before. In my experience, the most widespread type was probably what is depicted on page 148 of the catalogue in the link that @joss  was so kind to provide.

 

13 hours ago, joss said:

 

I cannot post a picture here (copyright infringement?) but the copies are readily available from the PCA library:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yLJG4qmpUTI6vp9wueP-OnCFJUBRRFOi/view

 

Message edit:

the pouch that is subject of this thread is shown on page 149 of the 1939 catalog and is item "LD N" but what is remarkable for me is that the other soft leather pouch (item "LS N") still has the old pre-1937 logo while the catalog itself bears the 'new' logo. The picture of the LS N pouch is similar to that shown in the 1938 catalog.

 

I’m not really surprised. Economy wasn’t nearly as short lived as today and resources were way too valuable to trash products that didn’t sell. Sometimes I wish we still had at least a fraction of that spirit.

 

On 4/22/2021 at 10:50 PM, carola said:

There is one theory that those pouches didn't come from Pelikan production as such but maybe were commissioned and stamped by a stationery shop selling Pelikan products. Those seem to have had such stamps at that time. Those pouches may have been a nice giveaway for valued customers or an inexpensive addition for a new pen.


I don’t think that’s likely. D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster) was the little brother of D.R.P. (Deutsches Reichspatent), the technical patent, but still had to be applied for. It protected the unique design of a product and was subject to similarly many legal fights. So, I think that it’s unlikely that Pelikan would apply for a D.R.G.M. and the rely on retailers to stamp it onto the product. Maybe there was a confusion with the custom to add an imprint from the shop, especially if it was a prestgeous one.

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3 hours ago, OMASsimo said:

I don’t think that’s likely. D.R.G.M. (Deutsches Reich Gebrauchsmuster) was the little brother of D.R.P. (Deutsches Reichspatent), the technical patent, but still had to be applied for. It protected the unique design of a product and was subject to similarly many legal fights. So, I think that it’s unlikely that Pelikan would apply for a D.R.G.M. and the rely on retailers to stamp it onto the product. Maybe there was a confusion with the custom to add an imprint from the shop, especially if it was a prestgeous one.
 

 

The idea wasn´t that Pelikan applied for the D.R.G.M., but that a shop commissioned a batch of those D.R.G.M. protected pouches to use as a Pelikan giveaway. Which would have been an option as those pouches don´t seem to appear anywhere in German or Austrian catalogues. Them popping up in a British catalogue makes that option somewhat less likely.

 

There seem to have been some extras for the British market. Did you notice the writing samples in this catalogue saying "Pelican" instead of "Pelikan"? And the pens being called "Pelican" throughout the whole catalogue? As far as I know there were even actual Pelikan pens marked "Pelican" until Pelikan Germany said "Umm... no? Stop it, please?"

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13 hours ago, carola said:

There seem to have been some extras for the British market. Did you notice the writing samples in this catalogue saying "Pelican" instead of "Pelikan"? And the pens being called "Pelican" throughout the whole catalogue? As far as I know there were even actual Pelikan pens marked "Pelican" until Pelikan Germany said "Umm... no? Stop it, please?"

 

The "Pelican" denotation was not uncommon and used in many 1920s and 1930s graphics for the English speaking markets and is indeed also found on the cap tops of the 100 and 100N pens. But the book "Pelikan - The Brand" mentions that Pelikan Germany gradually phased out the "Pelican" denotation when shifting the graphic importance of their logo from the picture logo (the Pelikan on its nest with chickens) to the character logo (the word "Pelikan" in all its different styles). Nevertheless, the "Pelican" imprint can still be found on Pelikan 400 barrels, so it was used until at least the early 1950s. 

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