Cross pens are pens manufactured by the American company A.T Cross.
The company was established in 1846 by Richard Cross, and started out as a manufacturer of silver and gold pens, pencil cases and cigar holders. Richard was joined by his son Alonzo T. Cross during the 1870s, and the company began to develop innovative designs.
These include the propel-repel mechanical pencil and the stylographic pen, which was made a standard issue for all U.S postal workers due to its ability to produce carbon copies (despite being a fountain pen).
In 1916 the company was sold to Walter R. Boss, and the Boss family have remained involved ever since. Walter worked alongside his two sons Ellery and W. Russell, and later W.Russell brought his sons Bradford and Russell into the business. They have sat on the company’s board of directors since it became a public company in 1971.
The company began to manufacture its first standard fountain pens during the 1930s, but from the mid-1940s onwards concentrated on its range of ballpoint pens and mechanical pencils which have remained highly popular ever since.
The most sought-after Cross pens are the original 1930s fountain pens known by many collectors as the ‘Art Deco’ models. It was introduced in 1938, but produced in relatively small numbers and the company soon began to focus on mechanical pencils.
It was not until the 1980s that Cross began to produce fountain pens once more, but it is the original models that remain sought-after and fairly rare on the market. Modern pens produced since the 1980s include the Townsend, the Century II, the Apoggee and the Sauvage. Many of these models have been produced in gold, sterling silver and chrome finishes.
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