Todd and Company Limited Mabie 1914
- London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Mabie, Todd & Company Limited were officially established as a British pen manufacturing firm in 1914. However, the company did exist in various forms before this and can be traced back to 1884 when the brand was first established. One of their more popular pens, the Swan, was known as “the pen of the British Empire” and was used around the world.
1843: Some sources suggest that Mabie, Todd & Co. were working on dip pens as early as this date.
1860: Mabie, Todd and Co was established in New York, America.
1873: The company is reshuffled and reformed as Mabie Todd and Bard. They still continue to sell high quality writing instruments.
c. 1878: Their first fountain pen, the Calligraphic, was introduced.
1884: A London office in Cheapside is opened as more and more pens begin to be exported to Great Britain. Swan fountain pens, one of their best-known makes, begin to appear around this time as well.
1905: A bigger showroom is built in High Holborn to accommodate the steady supply and popularity of their pens.
1906: Mabie, Todd and Bard drop the Bard name and change to Mabie, Todd and Co. New York.
1907: Pens begin to be manufactured in Britain as business blossomed in the UK.
1914: Mabie, Todd and Company Limited was established as a British firm. At this point, there were branches around the UK (London, Manchester and Glasgow) as well as around the world (Paris, Brussels, New York, Chicago, Toronto and Sydney). The company was the largest gold pen manufacturer in the world and specialised in fountain pens.
1914-18: Even during the First World War, the business continued to do well. At this point there are factories in Liverpool and London.
1919: New headquarters are built on Oxford Street in London.
c. 1930s: Manufacture begins to grind to a halt in the USA as quality and volume begin to decline towards the end of the decade. Manufacture in the UK was split between three sites: pens in London, gold nibs in Birmingham and ink in Liverpool.
1936: The England headquarters move again, this time to Sunderland House in Mayfair, an extremely prestigious area of London. Unfortunately, this building was later destroyed in the Blitz along with their main factory in North London.
1946: Fountain pen production was able to start back up again after the turmoil of the Second World War.
1948: The business became a publicly traded company.
1952: The company changed name again and became Biro Swan after Biro pens bought a large share. Fountain pen production inevitably ceases in the following few years as ballpoint pens become more popular.