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From the Crypt I: Moore & Evans — Who Were They?

(This page published September 8, 2022)

Reference Info Index | Glossopedia  ]

This is one of a series of short articles that I posted on an Internet forum in 2012. The Internet being a graveyard, I’ve exhumed them for preservation on this site.

For many years, I've seen references to Moore & Evans, of Chicago, as if the combination of names represented a cooperative venture between the Moore Pen Company of Boston…

Fountain pen

…and the Evans Dollar Pen Company of Waterloo, Iowa.

Fountain pen
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The Moore Pen Company came into being in 1917 as a result of the dissolution of the Boston Fountain Pen Company. Wahl-Eversharp bought Boston, and some of Boston's people went over to the American Fountain Pen Company, which renamed itself after its principal product, Moore's Non-Leakable Safety Pen.

The Evans Dollar Pen Company was founded in about 1906 by William A. Welty under his own name. In 1915, the company was renamed in recognition of Patrick H. Evans, who had provided an infusion of cash after Welty won a lawsuit brought by Conklin charging patent infringement for his hump filler design. Welty himself moved to Chicago and started a new company, and therein lies a tenuous connection lending some sort of credibility to the idea of a Moore/Evans venture. I was convinced that these two companies had never formed any such alliance; I could find nothing relating to either that even remotely hinted at such a thing. But I had no proof.

One day, while I was researching something else entirely, I stumbled across an advertisement for Moore & Evans. What it showed was that Moore and Evans didn't run off a bunch of pens together. In fact, Moore & Evans were a Chicago-based wholesale jeweler that also sold pens at retail. There do exist some pens branded MOORE & EVANS, but these pens were almost certainly bought from a jobber for resale, as was common practice. (One of the places the supposed linkage showed up was in an eBay auction for an ordinary BCHR flat-top lever-filling pen. The auction would expire, and the seller would put it right back up. Fortunately for my sanity, the pen either sold finally or was withdrawn; the last time I checked, it was no longer there.)

The next question is, "Who actually made Moore & Evans pens?" I'm not even close to that answer yet, and I probably won't ever get there — but in the meantime, here is the October 1894 advertisement in question. The pens in this ad were not Moore & Evans' own; they are a brand that was available through other retail channels, including the Sears catalog. In fact, the cut used in this ad was simply modified for use in the Sears catalog.

Moore & Evans advertisement

It's possible, even likely, that over the years Moore & Evans pens came from several sources. One of those sources might have been William Welty's Chicago company, which did indeed make ordinary BCHR lever fillers.

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Here are links to the other six articles in this series.

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