Germany has a rich history in the development of writing instruments. Since there was no access to solid graphite - like there was in England - a solution was found in the production of powdered graphite. The pencil industry boomed and some of the biggest names in this industry - like Faber-Castell and Staedtler - have their roots in the 19th century and are operating still today.

Ink-based - in the beginning only dip point - fountain pens saw a similar development and a true boom in the 20th century. The Kaweco brand was able to ride this boom as well. It started as the Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik in 1883 where they started to produce a series of wooden based dip pens. Meanwhile in the USA there was a revolution taking place in fountain pen land: the ability of pens to hold their own ink. This was very convenient for obvious reasons. In Heidelberg however Herr Luce and Herr Ensslen were far too busy making their wooden pencils with imported steel nibs from England to be bothered with this development. In 1899 this changed when Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber bought the Federhalterfabrik and took over the little business. 

Their first action was to rename the company into an even harder to pronounce name: Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik Koch, Weber & Compagnie. This was quickly changed into a much more well sounding name which could be pronounced the world over: Kaweco. The entrepreneurial skills of the new owners made the company flourish producing among other things modern rubber pens and employing a work force of 25 people that even grew to 1200 people employed by Kaweco.

Development of the Kaweco Logo.

Ten years later, the now famous and beloved Kaweco Classic Sport saw the light. A short, lightweight pen was first targeted at sportsmen and army officials. It became very popular in much wider circles through living up to its slogan: "Small in the pocket, great in the hand". Kaweco grew and they quickly became a household name in Germany.

Developments came thick and fast and Kaweco struggled to keep up with great inventions by competitors like Pelikan. They filed for bankruptcy in 1929, shortly after which the company was taken over by Woring und Grube who focused the production on a smaller set of products and great attention to detail. The octagonal shape of the Classic Sport was first introduced. The same shape it has to date. 

The company grew once again, supplying many German soldiers with the proper instruments to write back home. Shortly after the War the company build up its name for high quality writing instruments, famous in Europe and beyond. In 1960 however Friedrich Grube passed away and with him the company’s spirit wained. The rise of cheap disposable Bic pens was another factor that did not help of course. A long and sad decline culminated in closure - again! - of the factory in 1981. An era had come to an end.

But only 14 years later, in 1995, the company H & M Gutberlet appeared on the horizon. With their long family background in producing high quality components for fountain pens, their dream to own a company that could deliver the full line was fulfilled. The Kaweco Classic Sport is now back in full swing and one of the most popular items in the collection of Kaweco. We are proud to offer a wide selection of writing instruments of this iconic brand.


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