The history of the brand dates back to 1858 when entrepreneur Richard Esterbrook founded the Esterbrook Pen Company. The pen business is situated in Camden, New Jersey. As the feeder had not yet been invented, he sold penholders. Then his descendants began designing fountain pens in the 1920s.
He became the largest manufacturer in the United States, creating more than 200 million pieces of quality craftsmanship each year. Millions of schoolchildren have learned to write with pens of the American brand. Many US presidents have signed legislation with fountain pens of the brand, including Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. On the artist side, Donald Duck came to life under an Esterbrook pen in the hand of Disney’s Carl Banks.
The brand was given a new lease of life in 2014 when Harpen Brand Holdings acquired the rights. It offers new versions of some classic fountain pen models such as the Deluxe, first released in 1950.
Finally, since 2018 it is Kenro Industries that keeps Esterbrook alive with the same entrepreneurial spirit, core values and pugnacity to make exceptional quality models with creative designs embodied by the founder. Their first collection, the Estie, has evolved over the years into different versions, each more beautiful than the last: Core, Seasonal, Premier.
The brand’s driving force is to reconnect with fine writing and calligraphy and to oppose the decline of handwriting in primary schools. “It’s a commitment to our fans and enthusiasts: as they persist, so do we.”
A distinction must be made between Japanese and European/American nibs. For the same line thickness given by the manufacturers (e.g. F), Japanese nibs will be thinner than European/American nibs. Thus, an F nib from Sailor (Japanese nib) will correspond to an EF nib from Jowo (German nib).