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Cross: A History

Cross Classic Century Ball Pen | purepens.co.uk

Ross Adams |

A.T. Cross was established in 1846 by founder Richard Cross in Providence, Rhode Island, making them one of the oldest pen manufacturers in the world. The early years of the company saw them specialise in beautiful ornate pencil casings made of gold and silver, this was down to the family's history as jewellery makers. Their debut pen became the Peerless fountain pen, named so as it was unmatched by any technology or design at the time.

Richard's son, Alonzo Townsend Cross, whom the company was named after, also had the same vision as his father when it came to the business. When it came down to him to take over the company in later years he began to revolutionise the writing world with new patented inventions.

Alonzo received his first patent for the company in 1873 and during the 1880's invented the telescopic pencil, the stylographic pen and a prototype of a mechanical pencil. In his lifetime he gained 26 patents in the U.S and 7 in the U.K.

1910 saw the first Boss family member begin working for Cross. They would become integral to the company's running in the future. This family member was 12 year old Ellery Boss. From helping out after school he slowly learnt the trade and in later years took the lead in the development of the Cross ballpoint technology. The second family member to work for Cross was Walter R. Boss. His passion for the company kept the business alive as sales representative and mechanical engineer. He purchased Cross in 1916.

In 1946 Cross launched the 'Century' pencil. The Century Collection became an iconic design for Cross and in 1953 the Century ball pen was released and quickly became a very popular product.

Brad Boss was the next member of the Boss family to become the CEO of the Cross brand which was handed over to Ron Boss in later years. The Boss family continued to run Cross until September 2013.

1993 saw the release of the Townsend Collection, named after the founder's son. This pen became known as the 'Pen of U.S. Presidents'. SEE BLOG .Cross became the official supplier to the White House in the 1970s. 

In 2013 A. T. Cross was taken over by American Investment company Clarion. To celebrate their 125th anniversary of the first Cross fountain pen the 'Peerless 125' was released. The following year Cross re-branded itself.

Cross have always been proud of their lifetime mechanical warranty, something not offered by many other brands in the industry. Meaning a Cross pen really can last a lifetime.