English innovator and industrial visionary Richard Esterbrook established the Esterbrook Pen Company in 1858. Little did he know at the time that the company would soon flourish into one of the most successful and beloved pen makers in the world.
America’s history has actually been written, drawn and created with Esterbrook Pens. US presidents Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson all signed legislation with their Esterbrook pens. President Kennedy signed a bill on 21st July 1961 which increased the budget of NASA in order to successfully land a man on the moon. On 20th July 1969 Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. (the Apollo 11 astronauts) realised President Kennedy’s dream of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely back to earth. A dream that began with an Esterbrook pen and his signing of the bill!
Cartoon characters have been also been brought to life using Esterbrook pens. Disney artist Carl Banks was an Esterbrook pen enthusiast; he created Donald Duck with the no 356 nib. Legendary cartoonist Charles Schultz created the Peanuts cast of characters including Charlie Brown and Snoopy, among others, with an Esterbrook Radio 914 nib.
Esterbrook produced a wide range of dip pens for art and calligraphy, including extra fine pens suitable for drawings and lettering. Richard Esterbrook's success was built on the quality of his products; his steel pens were versatile, long-lasting and came in many different styles to suit the varied writing styles of the public. Sadly, he died on 12th October 1895.
In 1960 Esterbrook started to see a decline in export trades with England. Unfortunately, as the market changed, the company went out of business in 1971. But this wasn't the end of the Esterbook story. 160 years after entrepreneur and pen enthusiast Richard Esterbrook created the Esterbrook Pen Company, the company has been re-born thanks to Kenro Industries. The company have released the Estie fountain pen in vintage designs from the 1930s with several texture patterns on their barrels including honeycomb and tortoise: new, yet so vintage. Other fountain pen collections include the Camden, Phaeton and let's not forget the Popeye. There's even an Esterbrook Pen Nook collection, an attractive yet functional pen holder to store your fountain pen treasures!