Patent Steel Pens

steel pen broadside belgian3
“Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, made for his own use pens from steel watch-springs. In 1816, he sold his invention to J. Alexander of Birmingham, who started the manufacture of steel pens. At first they were a luxury but about 1830 they came into extensive universal use.” —Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, v. 6 (1917). Here is an early advertisement for Alexander’s firm. Today, Birmingham is home to the Pen Museum:

steel pen broadside belgianBelgian trade card for J. Alexander, ca. 1830. Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976.

steel pen broadside belgian2

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