Waterman Pen Company

The Waterman Pen Company is a major manufacturing company of luxury fountain pens and inks, based in Paris, France. The firm was established in 1884 in New York City by Lewis Waterman, being one of the few remaining first-generation fountain pen companies, as "Waterman S.A."

Lewis Waterman, an insurance salesman in New York City, invented the first truly functional fountain pen in the early 1880s. A typical pen of the day leaked all over a contract he had prepared for a large policy, and by the time Waterman returned with a new document, his client had signed with someone else. Later, Waterman was working as a pen salesman in New York for a new company founded in the spring of 1883 by a volatile inventor named Frank Holland. Holland abandoned his company after only six weeks; Waterman stepped in and took over, fitting the pens with a simplified feed of his own design.  It was for this "three fissure feed" which his first pen-related patent was granted in 1884.

Nonetheless, it was after L.E. Waterman's death in 1901 that the company took off. Under the leadership of Waterman's nephew, Frank D. Waterman, the Waterman Pen Company expanded aggressively worldwide. While Waterman introduced its share of innovations, the company's main selling point was always quality and reliability.

In 1905 Waterman patented their first permanently attached pen clip, allowing a pen to be held directly in a pocket. In 1908 Waterman released their first retractable-nib "safety" pen.

The Waterman company was acquired by the Bic company which went public in 1958 with a reverse merger. 

It was acquired by The Gillette Company in March 1987 which grew overall sales by 40% with its aggressive North American sales [6] and later sold to Sanford, a division of Newell Rubbermaid (now known as Newell Brands), along with the Parker Pen Division, which Gillette acquired in 1993.

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