The Onoto Book

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.



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De La Rue and Onoto Pens: 1880-1960

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and 180 sections over 10 chapters (and a Postscript) and five Appendices, this book contains a huge amount of hitherto unpublished material and details, in chronological order, the development of De la Rue’s involvement in fountain pens from 1880, through the introduction of the famous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.

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