November 07, 2014
The Waterman’s pen factories
, and other buildings.
I posted this on L&P on Feb 29, 2012 after I finally finished gleaning and reading through all the issues of The American Stationer between the years 1906 and 1922. The ones after the latter date, and the ones from the years 1898 to 1905, have not been digitized, yet, and then I plowed ahead into the past, that is, I started gleaning through the issues from 1878 to 1897. Please excuse all the georgic metaphors, but I’m feeling like I’m bringing in a very bounteous harvest of pen history. And that’s putting it very lightly. There is no hyperbole or over-exaggeration involved here at all. Don’t worry about being surprised, because I astounded even myself. So before I get too involved with my reading and researching again, let me leave you a list of all the ads and articles that either mention or illustrate some of Waterman’s pen factories and buildings in the years 1883 to 1922. All the dates with page numbers, unless otherwise cited, are from Am. Stat. I’ve gone through all the volumes systematically since then, so these examples are not so much stubbled upon as they are reaped.
Offices & Stores
Feb 22, 1913, p.24, an article announcing that the “thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the L. E. Waterman Co.” was on Feb 12, 1913. That means that the founding date of the company is Feb 12, 1883. I think they meant Feb 12, 1884, the date of Waterman’s first patent.
Apr 29, 1897, p.696, & May 6, 1897, p.731, an article and an ad with the following addresses.
136 Fulton St., a room at the rear of a cigar store, March 1883-March 1884, the first feeds for Waterman’s “Ideal” fountain pens were made by Herbert Fisher on May 24, 1883, and the first pen was sold at the cigar store on July 11, 1883.
10 Murray St., March 1884-February 1885.
155 Broadway Ave., February 1885-1892.
155-157 Broadway Ave., 1892-1902.
173 Broadway Ave., 1902-1917, the “Pen Corner”.
191 Broadway Ave., 1916-37, the new “Pen Corner”.
344 Hudson St., 1939-50.
Afterwards, they left N. Y., and were taken over by BIC, and who cares.
Factories & Offices
Dec 3, 1910, p.6, article mentioning the single desk in the cigar store in NY in 1881 [sic, 1883].
June 11, 1921, p.9, article with a photo of “The First Pen Manufacturing Plant”, no date, and no location given, which would have been nice to know.
May 12, 1906, p.22, article with a photo of the window at the “Pen Corner” at 173 Broadway.
June 16, 1906, p.1, ad with an illustration of the building at the “Pen Corner” at 173 Broadway.
Oct 6, 1906, p.8, article with a photo of the new San Francisco store at 742 Market St., mentions the previous addresses at 18 Geary St. before the fire, and temporary address at 916 Broadway in Oakland right after the fire.
Feb 8, 1908, p.30, article with a photo of the Boston store at 6-8 School St., later at 24 School St., then 40. This picture shows the character of the School St. area in 1906, and here it is today on Google Maps.
Feb 29, 1908, p.8, article mentioning the “Pen Corner” at 173 Broadway Ave.
Mar 14, 1908, p.22, photo of the Waterman’s staff in Valparaiso, Chile, South America.
May 30, 1908, p.1, front cover ad with photo of the Waterman’s “Pen Corner” at 173 Broadway.
Dec 5, 1908, p.4, article with a description and illustration of the Canadian factory in St. Lambert, Quebec, also mentions the Canadian headquarters still at 136 St. James St., Montreal.
Apr 3, 1909, p.23, article about a Japanese State visit to the Waterman’s factory in the Rhinelander Bldg., Rose St., an 1890s building now demolished to make way for the present NYPD headquarters.
Feb 12, 1910, p.6, article with a photo of the Waterman’s headquarters in London, England, under construction.
Apr 2, 1910, p.4, another photo of the Waterman’s headquarters in London in a later stage of construction.
May 7, 1910, p.24, short article mentioning the new Chicago office at 189 Clark St. June 18, 1910, p.8, article with a photo of the Waterman’s electric sign in Herald square, N.Y., the largest electric sign in the world, at the time.
July 16, 1910, p.21, article with a photo of the group of buildings that constitute the Rubber Factory in Seymour, Conn.
Sept 10, 1910, p.1, ad with an illustration of the new 10-story pen and ink factory at 34-40 Fletcher St., officially opened.
Sept 17, 1910, pp.6+8, long article with illustration of the new factory at 34-40 Fletcher St.
Oct 8, 1910, p.24, article with illustration of the completed English Waterman’s headquarters on 93 Kingsway, London, W.C., known as Koh-i-noor House, Hardtmuth company headquarters, also mentions its smaller digs at the old address, 12 Golden Lane, E.C.
Oct 15, 1910, p.1, ad with a nighttime photo of the electric sign above their factory at 34-40 Fletcher St.
Oct 15, 1910, p.81, ad with 9 illustrations of all its current office and factory buildings with addresses and locations marked.
May 20, 1911, p. 18, article with oblique photo of the front of the factory at 34-40 Fletcher St.
Apr 20, 1912, pp.21-22, article with pic of the “Pen Corner” at Broadway Ave. & Cortlandt St.
June 22, 1912, p.8, Waterman’s Pen Corner in Koh-i-noor House in London, and their truck in front advertizing both companies.
Feb 22, 1913, p.35, article about the fireproof Waterman’s factory at 34-40 Fletcher St.
Apr 26, 1913, p.1, ad with illustration of “Pen Corner” at 173 Broadway Ave. & Cortlandt St.
July 5, 1913, p.1, ad with a list of the three Waterman’s factories in N.Y., Seymour, Conn., and St. Lambert, Quebec.
Apr 18, 1914, p.69, ad for ink with an illustration of the ink factory at 34-40 Fletcher St., also new addresses for Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Feb 13, 1915, p.16, article with a photo of the English headquarters, now called the “Pen Corner” in London.
Mar 13, 1915, p.16, article with photo of new factory under construction at 163 Front St., N.Y.
May 29, 1915, p.28, article with a photo of the completed new factory at 163 Front St., N.Y., called “Factory No.4”.
June 3, 1916, p.26, article with a photo of the pen exhibit in the window of L. G. Sloan’s “Pen Corner” in London.
Aug 12, 1916, p.4, article with a photo of the new “Pen Corner” in a building leased at 191 Broadway Ave.
Apr 28, 1917, p.9, ad with a large, full-page illustration of the “Pen Corner” at the corner of 191 Broadway Ave. and Dey St.
Apr 28, 1917, p.15, article about Waterman’s moving into the new “Pen Corner” at 191 Broadway Ave.
Nov 10, 1917, p.21, article with an illustration of the new office building for the Canadian headquarters at 179 St. James St., Montreal, called “The Pen Shop”.
Nov 9, 1918, p.21, ad for the Waterman’s “Fasces” pen with illustrations of 8 of its current offices and factories.
Apr 19, 1919, p.6, long article describing the new factory to be built in Newark, N.J.
May 8, 1920, p.13, article with an illustration of the new 7-story building at 127-129 South State St., Chicago, also mentions previous addresses in a bookstore on Wabash Ave., and larger locations on State St., and 115 S. Clark St.
May 8, 1920, p.33, ad with an illustration of the Chicago building.
Oct 9, 1920, pp.31 and 35, two more ads with the same illustration of the Chicago building.
Mar 5, 1921, p.23, ad showing the new factory at 140 Thomas St., Newark, N.J., the largest of five plants, occupied Feb 15.
Mar 26, 1921, p.11, long article describing the new factory in Newark, N.J.
Oct 15, 1921, p.6, ad showing an illustration of the new factory in Newark, N.J.
A few last Waterman’s pictures, but these are not of buildings. The ad in New England Stationer, May 1899, p.25, the photo in the article in Geyer’s Stationer, Aug 9, 1906, p.17, and the ad on the cover of Am. Stat., Dec 25, 1909, all have composite photos of the top Waterman’s officers and salesmen. These three pictures include four members of the Waterman family, W. I. Ferris, E. T. Howard, and quite a few members of the Waterman’s baseball team. And at the top of the edifice in the 1909 ad is F. D. Waterman, who two years later was referred to as “the king of Pendom”, in The Review Of Reviews, vol. 44, 1911, p.405. But by the end of the 1920s, all the
old fogies at Waterman’s had begun the process of squandering it all away.
At 11:59 pm