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Speedball



Written by Luc Devroye
McGill University
Montreal, Canada
lucdevroye@gmail.com
http://luc.devroye.org
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Speedball pens were invented by Hunt Corporation (or Hunt Company) which was located in Camden, NJ and later (since 1958) in Statesville, NC. The highlights of that company:

  • In 1899 C. Howard Hunt formed his own company, which he incorporated in 1901. George E. Bartol, a Philadelphia grain and commodities exporter and founder of the Philadelphia Bourse, a merchants exchange and business center, was among the first 28 shareholders. In 1903, Mr. Bartol was elected president and a director of the Company and served until 1917.
  • The C. Howard Hunt Pen Company invented the smooth gliding round pointed pen, which required about 15 operations in the manufacturing. Expert cutters used cutting presses to produce almost 45,000 pens a day from rolled sheets of steel. Pictured from left, workers imprint, grind and ship 25 pens per minute.
  • The C. Howard Hunt Pen Company began in this building in Camden, NJ. The factory moved to Statesville, NC, in 1958. The office moved from Camden to Pennsauken, NJ, in 1963 and then to Philadelphia in 1965. Also pictured here is Benjamin Newman, one of the expert pen makers C. Howard Hunt brought to Camden from Birmingham, England, in 1899.
  • The Speedball Pen was developed and patented by sign letterer Ross F. George of Seattle. His square-tipped pen could make broad and thin lines. George took the patent to the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company in 1915.
  • In 1916, George E. Bartol resigned as President of the C. Howard Hunt Company. His son George Bartol, Jr., succeeded him and was elected Vice President and then Chairman of the Board in 1926. He led the Company for 50 years. George Bartol, Jr., retired in 1969 and died in 1972 at the age of 80.
  • The Hunt Company expanded and branched out. In 1997, Speedball Art Products was born, with headquarters in Statesville, NC.

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History of type ⦿ Type scene in New Jersey ⦿ Type scene in North Carolina ⦿ Penmanship ⦿








file name: Ross F George Pic


file name: Speedball Pen Book 1956



Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html