I started collecting these pens because of the name. I thought that it might be nice to end up with a connection with my employer :) Now I know that they have nothing to do with the University or the philadelphian financier who established it.
To the contrary it appears that the pens were distributed by Frank Spors, Le Center, Minn (formely known as Le Sueur). According to Dennis A. Spors a grandson of Frank Spors: "The Haro pen was also connected to Spors Company. Hans Roggenbuck was a cousin of Frank Spors. Frank's (Franz) wife was Antonie v. Roggenbuck. Both families were from the same district in Pomerania, Prussia. The von der Spors's and V. Roggenbuck's were all i officers in the army until the abducation of the Kaiser in 1918.
Hans often visited Spors Co. in the 30's until the US declared war on Germany. By then the supply of Japanese pens had been cut off.
In the 1920's Franz Spors started selling fountain pens to drug stores. When he ran out Franz went back to the distributor who could not resupply him. Franz contacted the manufacturers in Japan and became his own wholesaler. With his brothers he founded Spors Company in LeCentre, Minnesota.
The pens were part of a program to create and provide traveling salesmen who went to independent stationers and drug stores across the midwest, providing a variety of items. The glass tip fountain pens were good sellers for many years. Mail order was a big part of the business and Spors Company owned the US Post Office in LeCenter. This thriving business involved many farmers wives who worked part tIme assemblying an packaging, through the Greta Depression.
Dennis A. Spors
Spors Co. , Inc. " (from this post at L&P)
More information about Frank Spors should be in:
Coronet by Arnold Gingrich - 1951
" Clark Foss, house manager, is a brother of Mrs. Frank Spors; and Warren Christiansen, ... Until he died in 1949, Frank Spors always sat at a big desk in the ..."
If anyone has a copy of this publication please let me know.
Frank Spors Co. LeSeuer Center Minn. is listed in the 1928 Plastics Guidebook.
From a copy of the 1943 catalog ... A gazillion of DREXEL pens.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
If you reached this page, chances are that you are interested in the history of fountain pens. Patents offer an interesting insight for the history of our beloved pens. You should consider purchasing George Kovalenko's book on Fountain Pen Patents 1911-1950s. Click here for more information. This is a labor of love and is the most comprehensive collection of pen patents that exists. George works currently on the first volume, which I am waiting anxiously for.