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Conway Stewart – The Name Will Go On

Conway Stewart was a British fountain pen manufacturer founded in 1905 in London by Frank Jarvis and Thomas Garner.

Both Frank Jarvis and Thomas Garner who had previously worked for a leading British fountain pen manufacturer by the name of De La Rue decided that they would start their own business by selling fountain pens.

All the fountain pens that they were selling at this time had been made by other companies and initially both Jarvis and Garner acted as resellers.

Jarvis and Garner soon became aware of the fact that reselling unbranded fountain pens would be very limited. Armed with the knowledge that they had gained whilst working at De La Rue the name Conway Stewart was born.

Where had the name come from – well it came from a well-known music hall act.

Jarvis and Garner had identified a small niche for well-made and reliable fountain pens, and so the business grew.

Time marched on and so did Conway Stewart, whose business model seemed to be proving very successful. Conway Stewart was continually increasing its share of the market and in 1927 the company having out grown its premises needed to move to larger premises.

It was 1935 and the company Conway Stewart decided to go public, but with World War 11 on the horizon times were difficult for a number of reason. Materials being possibly the main one. However, the company struggled through these difficult times and was able to survive only because they provided good pens at reasonable prices.

The later years proved to be Conway Stewarts best years and again the company had to move premises, but as we know nothing lasts forever. It was the advent of the ballpoint that was to hurt Conway Stewart.

Sadly, during the 1960’s fountain pen sales began to decline, the company tried in a number of ways to revive business, but it was proving very difficult and in 1968 Conway Stewart was to yet again to relocate, this time to Wales.

The company really did try as hard as possible to remain viable but sadly in 1975 all production was stopped, and the company was wound up.

During the 19990’s the company was once more revived, and Conway Stewart produced good fountain pens for the market, during this time the company had the honour of producing a number of fountain pens for the Heads of State that had attended the 1998 G8 Summit held in Birmingham.

But it was not to be, and on the 28th. August 2014 the company sadly went into receivership.

Whilst the business is no longer in existence the name Conway Stewart still holds dear to collectors and fountain pen makers alike.