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Conway Stewart Pens

Updated on September 13, 2011

Conway Stewart

The Conway Stewart Story

Conway Stewart is a fine writing instrument manufacturer based in Europe. It was founded by Frank Jarvis and Thomas Garner in 1905 in the great city of London. These two men had both worked in other pen companies before deciding to branch out on their own. At first, they didn't manufacture pens, but instead sold fountain pens from other designers. Finally, after several years the duo decided to go into the business of designing pens and marketing them as a competitor to the famous De La Rue company, which dominated the British market at the time. The two chose the name 'Conway Stewart”, which is fabled to stem from the name of a famous variety act making the rounds in London.

Be Careful with Conway Stewart

There are many places to find great deals on Conway Stewart pens. But, a true collector knows that you need to be careful where you purchase your pens from. At prices that can reach into the thousands, it's important to make sure you are buying from a reputable dealer and that you are getting a real Conway Stewart pen and not some look-alike. Executive Essentials has the best prices and selection of Conway Stewart pens on the internet and they are an authorized dealer. They should be your first stop on your Conway Stewart journey!

Blend In To Sell

Interestingly enough, Frank and Thomas decided early on that instead of creating their own unique branding and designs for their pens, they would instead mimic the popular pens of the time. They began to produce pens that had little distingishing marks. These pens in essence copied the designs of many De La Rue pens. Their plan worked well and they were able to sell many 'generic' pens that were durable, functional and provided an astethic that many pen lovers were used to and expected.

After finding success the duo then began to create their own designs in order to carve out a niche for themselves. They came out of the gate with bold expressions and a change of texture. Many of their copy-cat pens were made out of hard rubber, just like most of the other pens of the time. When it came time to bring out their own designs they chose to use colorfull celluloid and casein plastics. Colorfull actually undersells the design and style of these pens. Each had a vibrant, eye catching pattern that demanded the attention of those passing by. Conway Stewart was starting to define themselves.

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The Beginning Models

From 1905 to 1975 Conway Stewart created a great deal of models and styles with different names and numbers. They started out with the Dinkie which carried numbers from 540 to 550. This is the only pen that continued to have a name in the Conway Stewart catalog throughout the 1940's and on. Other model names include the Duro, the Dandie, the Scribe, the International and the Universal.

Each of these pens (and those that came after bearing only model numbers) came in an electric color pattern that Conway Stewart never bothered to name, but which the collectors did. The patterns are tiger's eye, cracked ice, herringbone, marbled finish and crosshatch. Each as distinctive as the next. In order to keep the cost down during these years the gold nibs were traded out for stainless steel.

Modern Conway Stewart Pens

These days, Conway Stewart has grown up and out of the production of average pens and instead has begun to create true works of art for those who appreciate and are willing to pay. The materials used to make the new models include precious resins, rare metals and hard to mold plastics and enamels. The most common luxury brands today are the Dinkie, the 100 and the 58 series – all of which have a look and feel all their own.


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