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Many of the innovations that made fountain pens essential tools of 1920s and 1930s life were the brainchild of Heinrich Helm. Technical Director at Italy’s first pen factory, ‘Elmo’ was industrious and ambitious. He left the company in 1928, but his vision for a comfortable, reliable pen made at reasonable cost saw his name becoming a mainstay of Italian schools and workplaces for decades to come.
The 1920s were a time of renewal, when modernist thinking placed new emphasis on simplicity and craft.
Throughout Europe, the bubbling Bauhaus movement was profoundly shaping industrial design.
Rampant demand and scarce materials in post-war Italy were forcing pen factories to innovate. Under pressure to streamline and simplify, experimentation with colour and shaping became the new mantra.
Helm’s commitment to the essentials helped transform a fledgling fountain pen factory into an industry leader. Handcrafted materials and honest all-round performance keep his maverick spirit alive.
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