2. Conway Stewart Pens - Shoplivepages::jquery();?>
Conway Stewart was started in the UK in 1905 by Frank Jarvis and Thomas Howard Garner, nobody is quite certain where the Conway Stewart name came from and even Stephen Hull, in his book "Pens for the Million, the story of Conway Stewart from 1905 to 2005" (Thoroughly recommended by the way) is not able to come up with a definitve answer to this perennial question.
What is known for certain however is that they started off in a small first floor office in Paternoster Row, London. They initially sold pens made up of parts that they bought in from other manufacturers.
The company prospered and was well placed to take advantage of a surge in demand during the first World War. By 1920 they had established their own manufacturing facilities in Goswell Road.
The 'Golden Years' of pen manufacturing, from 1920 to 1940 saw a massive expansion in the range of fountain pens made by Conway Stewart, they enjoyed a lofty reputation as the premium British brand and produced some of their best designs during this period. The long lasting Duro nibs are an integral part of their success and these were fitted to many of their top of the range pens.
Conway Stewart pens are well made, aesthetically pleasing and they are finished with some of the most beautiful colours and finishes ever applied to fountain pens. The iconic 28 and 58 lever fillers continue to be hugely desirable and the pens finished in 'Cracked Ice', 'Tiger Eye' or 'Herringbone' are recognisable throughout the pen world.
Like most pen manufacturers, Conway Stewart failed to judge the impact of the ball pen correctly and after the war they struggled to compete against the deluge of cheap writing instruments. Although they carried on with an economy range for some time it was only delaying the inevitable and Conway Stewart faded into obscurity in the early 1980's.
This was not the end of Conway Stewart however, in 1994 Don Yendle bought the trade name and rights to the Conway Stewart brand and it has since been reborn. Yendle's company now make high end pens based on the traditional designs and models used by Conway Stewart 80 years ago.
The new business was sold on in 2003 but the company met hard times and was again closed in 2015.