Saturday, 13 March 2010

C Brandauer & Co Ltd - one of many!

C Brandauer & Co Ltd was one of a large group of companies manufacturing pens in Birmingham during the 19th and 20th centuries.  In 1983 Mr Arthur Charles (Chairman D Leonardt & Co Ltd), though now sadly no longer with us, wrote a very interesting record of the principal manufacturers of steel pens between the years 1930-1980.  My Father corresponded with him for many years as D Leonardt & Co Ltd manufactured the last Brandauer nib under licence and still do - no 518 Lithographic and Drawing pen.

In the article, Mr Charles lists the principal steel pen manufacturers in 1930 (all in Birmingham apart from E S Perry) as follows:
- Baker & Finnemore - still manufacturing today, but not pen nibs
- British Pens Ltd
- C Brandauer & Co Ltd
- Joseph Gillott & Sons Ltd
- T Hessin & Co
- Geo W Hughes
- D Leonardt & Co
- Macniven & Cameron Ltd
- John Mitchell
- M Myers & Son Ltd
- Perry Pens Ltd
- E S Perry Ltd

Having obtained their steel the following operations took place in order to produce a steel pen:

1. Cutting or Blanking
2. Piercing
3. Annealing
4. Marking
5. Embossing
6. Raising
7. Hardening
8. Tempering
9. Scouring
10. Grinding
11. Slitting
12. Point forming
13. Polishing
14. Colouring
15. Lacquering
16. Looking over
17. Boxing

This list of operations is from The Steel Pen Trade (1930-1980) by Mr A A S Charles.  Mr Charles goes on to write that it was estimated that in 1930 the Birmingham Pen manufacturers produced 10 million gross pens per annum!

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