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"Kaweco"was created in 1883 from "Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik" (Heidelberg penholder factory). Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber founded "Heidelberger Federhalter-Fabrik Koch, Weber & Co.Heidelberg later became the centre of the German fountain pen industry. Production started with the Kaweco and Perkeo fountain pens brands; at first, the compa...
"Kaweco"was created in 1883 from "Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik" (Heidelberg penholder factory). Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber founded "Heidelberger Federhalter-Fabrik Koch, Weber & Co.Heidelberg later became the centre of the German fountain pen industry. Production started with the Kaweco and Perkeo fountain pens brands; at first, the company acquired the necessary pens in Morton (America). The fountain pens were safety utensils, which had to be pulled out of the body by a forward turn to write, and after use, the body was closed again. Kaweco could be considered the first German manufacturer of this system. In addition to fountain pens, the programme included a large number of pen holders, markers, inks, filler bottles, leather cases and one of the first felt and tube markers.
After the First World War, Kaweco began to successfully develop its own production of gold feathers in order to become independent from the American market. Inflation in the 1920s created difficulties for the company, which in the meantime had become a joint-stock company. In 1928 an attempt was made to reorganise the company, which failed to produce the necessary capital, and in 1929 the company filed for bankruptcy, even though the volume of orders was considerable and the company had a workforce of 200 employees. In August 1929, the company was taken over by "Badischen Füllfederfabrik Worringen und Grube" of Wiesloch, a company located near Heidelberg. Kaweco was probably the first German manufacturer to use the injection moulding process in manufacturing. At the beginning of the 1930s, the first piston fountain pens were manufactured and introduced to the market under the names of Dia, Elite, Kadett, Carat and Sport. In Germany, Kaweco supplied the specialist market as well as the wholesale advertising market and various export markets through international representations. During the Second World War, manufacturing could be maintained on a small scale.
Production was fully resumed in 1947. In 1950, under the leadership of Friedrich Grube and his sons, the company once again reached the figure of 230 workers existing before the war, mainly by cultivating relations with foreign countries. Friedrich Grube died in 1960 at the age of 63. His widow and children continued with the company, but they could not stop its gradual decline. The product range was redesigned to suit the taste of the time, acquiring an aerodynamic style; the feathers were partially covered. The Sport model provided the main percentage of turnover in the average price segment. In 1970, the company was forced to stop production.
Part of the Grube family was able to adopt names, machines and patents, and production resumed again with some workers. In 1972, the year of the Munich Olympic Games, the Sport model was presented with a special Olympic coin. The latest development, the Sport model as a cartridge holder, was supplied to Deutsche Bundespost for advertising purposes, among others. Kaweco had to close down definitively in 1981.
In 1995, h & m gutberlet GmbH was able to acquire the rights to the designation "Kaweco". At the same time the "Sport"product series was developed, adopting the original style of the 1930s. The company was able to partner with Diplomat as a sales partner worldwide, although this company was acquired by Herlitz in the late 1990s. Since then, h & m gutberlet GmbH has been developing a sales network. In the meantime,"Kaweco" is again operating in Germany, Austria, Spain, England, Belgium/Luxembourg, Sweden, the USA, Australia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong/Macao, Colombia, Chile and this will be extended to other countries. The "Kaweco Sport","Kaweco Dia","Kaweco Elite","Kaweco Student" and "Kaweco Liliput" series have been successfully accepted in the markets and are in line with the long tradition of "Kaweco".