January 31, 2013 5 Comments
It’s amazing how few ripples are left in the pond of the Web a few years after a large company has sunk.
This is the reverse of a guarantee issued in 1934 for a Waterman pen by H. P. Pope Ltd., showing their premises at Pope’s Pen Corner, at the junction of New Street and Lower Temple Street, Birmingham. My apologies for the quality of the reproduction. It’s just a quick snap taken on the bench without additional light.
They were stationers, printers, suppliers of office furniture and typewriters, among many other things. Banners in the windows show advertisements for Swan, Onoto, Eversharp, Waterman and Koh-I-Noor. There are others but they’re too small to read. The post-box near the entrance reads “Onoto The Pen”. We know from Donahaye’s list that they had Conway Stewart make pens for them, including the 100 ink pencil, the 466, the MHR 300M and the MHR 266
The pen that this came with is a black hard rubber Waterman 32 1/2. It seems rather an old pen to have been sold in 1934 but who knows? The guarantee certainly relates to a Waterman. L.G. Sloan of London remained the sole European representatives for Waterman and H. P. Pope acted as a local distributor, giving additional warranty on top of that supplied by Sloan.
The few references I was able to find to Pope’s Pen Corner online included the winding up of the company in 1975. It has been gone for quite a while but it’s still well within living memory. I wonder if anyone reading this remembers it.
If it were possible to journey back in time (and that’s bound to come soon, along with our flying cars, meals-in-a-pill, shiny all-in-one suits and laser guns) I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon browsing the pen displays in Pope’s Pen Corner in 1934.