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Onoto The Pen

Onoto The Pen

Ross Adams |

Onoto are a British brand producing luxury fountain pens and accessories.

They were first established in 1905, producing high-end fountain pens, by the De La Rue family who were one of the world's largest printing companies of the time.

Onoto French Press Advert from 1910s

A French press advert from 1910s.

The family, pushed for by son Evelyn, purchased a patent for a plunger-filling ink mechanism. It was the first of its kind invented by George Sweetser.

Onoto Pens quickly became very popular in Great Britain and internationally thanks to their extensive marketing and advertising campaigns. (Pictured throughout this blog.)

Onoto Christmas Advert from 1913

Christmas Advert from 1913.

By the 1920s "Onoto The Pen" company had grown from its original black chased vulcanite model into a range of vivid coloured stylish fountain pens, inspired by the Art Deco movement.

Onoto window display from 1920s

An Onoto window display from 1920s.

During World War II and the post-war period it meant cutting down on production and some of their more lavish designs. During this time however, Onoto introduced the "active-service" pen. It contained dissolvable ink pellets that could be stored in the barrel of the pen and once diluted could last up to a year.

Onoto Peter Pen Advert from 1920s

"Peter Pen" Advert 1920s.

Due to their scaling back, the year of 1958 saw the last of the pens produced in the UK at Strathendry in Scotland. However, in 2005 the brand returned to its former glory here in the UK. 

Noteable users of the Onoto pen have been King George V, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Field Marshall Douglas Haig, founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale and Writer Edgar Wallace. 

George V signing with Onoto pen Jersey 1921

Queen Mary and King George V signing with an Onoto pen in Jersey, 1921.

We have recently started stocking Onoto pens starting with their Scholar range, take a look here.