In 1832 chemist Carl Hornemann founded his own colour and ink factory in Hanover Germany. Here at Pelikan though we tend to consider the 28th of April 1838 as the founding date, as it was the date on the very first price list. All company anniversaries are therefore based on this date.
On the 15th of June, Hornemann purchased some property in the Hainholz area of Hanover. The idea was to start production on a larger scale after previously having to cook and press the ink in a farmyard 30 km away from Hanover.
Günther Wagner obtained the position of chemist and plant manager. He took over the company in 1871 and registered his family emblem, which showed a Pelican, as the companies logo in 1878. It was one of the first German trademarks ever.
In order be able to deliver to Austria, which at the time controlled parts of northern Italy, the Czech republic, Hungary and Croatia, a factory was built in Eger that at a later stage then moved to Vienna.
The production halls were enlarged. The company employed an additional 39 people and Fritz Beindorff. It was his job to visit customers in Austria, Russia and Italy.
Fritz Beindorff then married Günther Wagner’s oldest daughter in 1888 and took over the company. Office products for copying, stamping, sticking and erasing were added to the assortment of the time. Due to the vast additions to the assortment, the production halls underwent large expansion.
Pelikan started to produce Indian ink. The foreign companies that were at that stage dominating this market segment could not compete.
This year saw the birth of Pelikan’s famous ink series 4001. In the previous year the companies 236 strong workforceachieved an amazing turnover of 1 million Gold Marks. 1904 saw the introduction of “Pelikanol” – a white adhesive paste. Up to the 1960’s this
Product was a revolution in sticking paper.
The company purchased property on the Podbielskistrasse. The area provided 13,000 m2 of office and production space. The then modern building, that is now a historically protected monument of the city of Hanover, was built after no further extensions were possible on the previous facilities.
The turnover had now reached 2 million Gold Marks.
Pelikan has been supporting the preparation of Art classes for years now. This was documented in the magazine entitled “Der Pelikan” that appeared for the first time in 1912. In this magazine, the opinions and ideas of well-known artists and teachers from Germany and abroad were published in the opening column of each edition. It showcased art lessons, techniques, materials and different art experiences. The magazine was published up to 1971.
A cheaper version of the Pelikan fountain pen, now known as “model 100”, was released under the product description “Rappen”. A mechanical pencil was also released carrying the Pelikan brand name.
The 100 year anniversary catalogue was designed by professor O.H.W. Hadank, the same man who redesigned the Pelikan logo to the shape that it would remain for the next 60 years. 3700 employees celebrated in Pelikan factories in Hanover, Vienna, Danzig, Milan, Barcelona, Bucharest, Sofia, Warsaw, Budapest, Zagreb, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago de Chile as in many of the delivery facilities abroad.
The Pelikan fountain pen model 100N was released.
The post war trauma came to an end. The big German industrial boom started. At this time Pelikan released the fountain pen model 400. It is easily recognised due to its Black and Green striped shaft. This model was to become the most popular fountain pen in its price range.
In Autumn 1993 Pelikan’s first Limited Edition (based on the 800 series) is released under the name “Blue Ocean”. It was made in a Blue transparent colouring. A total of 5000 fountain pens were produced – 1000 were sold in an set with an additional ballpoint pen.
The assortment of printing Products, inkjet cartridges etc. ended up becoming a separate division of distribution in 1994 which was then eventually sold to the American company Nucote in 1995.
GOODACE SDN BHD, a company owned by Hooi Keat Loo from Malaysia, took over the majority of Pelikan Holding shares.
Two years later the XVI Commonwealth games took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To mark the occasion, the Pelikan Limited Edition Kuala Lumpur was released.
Being one of the largest suppliers for retailers and superstores in Germany, Pelikan in this year resumed the distribution of Products from Pelikan Hardcopy. In doing so, Pelikan yet again began selling Products representing all individual areas of its core competence.