Waterman pens are pens manufacturered by the Waterman company.
The company was established in New York in 1883 by the insurance man and inventor Lewis Waterman. He developed a capillary action ink feed that created a far smoother flow for fountain pens, and the company quickly became known for its high quality and style. They were the first pen company in the United States to find both national and international success, and their products won a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition.
Lewis Waterman died in 1901, and the company continued to dominate the market under the leadership of his nephew Frank D. Waterman. However, it faced strong competition from the other three major U.S pen companies - Parker, Sheaffer, and Wahl-Eversharp. This competition led to an ever growing range of innovative and unusual designs, but Waterman's inability to keep up with their competitors saw their market share decline throughout the 1930s and 40s.
By the 1950s the business was struggling, due in part to the growing use of cheap disposable ballpoint pens. The company finally ceased production in 1959 when their factoryy was bought by the French ballpoint pen company BIC, who needed a manufacturing base for the American market.
However, the Waterman name lived on with the company's French subsidiary JiF-Waterman Ink Pens, established in Paris in 1926 by Jules Fagard. They survived the competition of ballpoint pens by producing highly stylish top-end fountain pens for the luxury market. To this day the company is renowned for fountain pens, and is owned by the company Newell Rubbermaid who also own the pen brands Sharpie, PaperMate and Parker.
Some of the rarest and most popular Waterman pens with collectors include:
- Waterman Patrician (1928 - 1938)
- Waterman Hundred Year (1939 - 1943)
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