Esterbrook Pens in the Press
According to Rosenberg, the Esterbrook brand was established in 1858 as the Esterbrook Steel Pen Manufacturing Co. in Camden. In 1912, a five-story building was added to the factory, doubling its size. In 1964, operations relocated to Cherry Hill. Rosenberg said the Esterbrook brand was the fifth issued trademark in the United States.
Robert Rosenberg shows off an Esterbrook pen. (Photo: Tom Spader, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press)
A history Rosenberg accumulated states that in 1918, company advertising claimed it produced 200 milllions pens per year. In 1915, advertisements said the company offered over 250 styles of nibs, or changeable pen points.
However, by 1971, all Esterbrook operations had ceased after an acquisition by the Venus Pencil Co., which renamed it Venus Esterbrook.
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Robert Rosenberg acknowledges that penmanship is a dying art, but he’s attempting to bring it back with the revival of the Esterbrook pen brand.
“We feel a tremendous responsibility, we’re restoring this brand to what it once was,” said Rosenberg, a West Long Branch resident. “It was a leading iconic brand in this country. They really wrote American history.”
Literally. The number of famous Americans that have been documented using Esterbrook pens range from Charles Schulz, who drew the “Peanuts” comic strip, to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“On display in the Smithsonian Institute, 101 things that made America, is an Esterbrook pen,” Rosenberg said.
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Pen World Magazine article about Harpen Brand Holdings, LLC President Robert E. Rosenberg