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By Ron Dutcher
Beaumel is something of an interesting character. He was born in New York in 1856 to the parents of German immigrants. In the 1890 New York City Directory, he is listed as a clerk, living at 157 104th street.
Beaumel first appears on the pen scene when he patents a fountain pen design with Francis Cashel Brown of the Caw's Pen and Ink Co. in 1886. Paul Wirt, the fountain pen maker from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, sued Brown for patent right infringement. During the 1887 trial, the prosecuters questioned Brown about the whereabouts of Beaumel since his name also appears on the patent, but Brown claimed he did not know where Beaumel was.
He wasn't far away. In May of 1890, Beaumel applied for a fountain pen patent under his own name and it was granted in 1893.
The Beaumel Pen Company was truly a family project. In the 1915 New York City Directory, David Beaumel is listed as the company's president, his wife Julia is the vice president, their 22-year-old son Walter D. Beaumel is treasurer, and their 20-year-old son William R. Beaumel works as secretary. William served as a Sergeant during World War I, and in 1918 he was listed on the casulty list of the Brooklyn Newspaper. He survived and in the 1930 census he was listed as Fountain Pen Manufacturer.
The Beaumels kept shop at 35 Ann Street from 1890 to sometime before 1902, when they were located at 45 John Street. By 1917 they had moved to 17 Vanderwater Street and stayed their until they closed in the early 1930s. Ellen Beaumel, William Beaumel’s daughter states that the Beaumel Pen company was hit hard by the Depression and bought up by the Waterman Pen Company. David Beaumel worked for Waterman until his retirement.
The earliest Beaumel pens are the “Rivals,” hard rubber eyedropper pens, and like most pen makers of the times, Beaumel created his own version of a celluoid lever filler in the late 1910s. These were marked “Durability.”
The advertisement below was graciously sent to me by Ellen Beaumel
For more information, see the entry for Beaumel in the Glossopedia.
This article is part of the Manhattan Pen Makers Project, originated by Ron L. Dutcher. Except for typographical corrections, the text is as Ron published it. Ron wanted to include photos of advertisements or pens from each maker; he had some photos, but the gallery was far from complete. Photos here are a mixture of what Ron had and what I have been able to add from my own photo library. As with other reference articles on this site, you should not take this information as absolutely authoritative or complete.