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The roots of the company can be traced back to 1838, when chemist Carl Hornemann founded a color and ink factory in Hanover, Germany. The date of the first price list of the company –28 April– is set up as the company’s foundation date.
In 1863, Guenther Wagner obtained the position of chemist and plant manager. He took over the company in 1871. Wagner algo designed the company first logo (taking the figure of a pelican from his own familiar coat of arms) in 1878, becoming also one of the first German trademark ever. The company expanded his range of distribution to Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungru and Croatia, then establishing a new factory inVienna.
By 1881 the company had expanded its plant, employing 39 additional people. When Fritz Beindorff took over the company, Pelikan added office products for copying, stamping, sticking and erasing. In 1896, Pelikan started to produce India ink, achieving great sales success. By 1913, the manufacturing were expanded, and 1057 workers were employed by Pelikan. In 1929, Pelikan produced its first fountain pen.
Pelikan expanded its products to watercolor sets in 1931. The writing instruments products were moved to Peine as the Hanover facilities could no longer be expanded. In 1978, Pelikan became a stock corporation, changing its legal form from a GmbH to a AG, with shares being divided within the Beindorff family and other 46 owners. Six years later, Pelikan was taken over by a Swiss company. The Hanover-based company was separated into various sub-companies and then sold.
In 1996, Goodace SDN BHD, a Malaysian company, took over the majority of Pelikan holding shares. Pelikan moved to a new office building in Hanover in 2003. Two years later, Geha-Werke company merged with Pelikan, although operating as an independent division.
In November 2009 Pelikan purchased rival stationery company Herlitz, which had been previously bought by “Stationery Products S.à.r.l.”, a Luxembourg-based company. By the time of the acquisition, Herlitz’s production facilities were located in the town of Falkensee, Brandenburg, with other plants inPoland, Romania and Great Britain. Herlitz’s logistics supplied approx. 8,000 distribution centres in Germany directly, with another 3,000 customers throughout Europe. The company had 1,335 employees, 1,100 of which were in Germany.
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We make quality an experience
Quality is the product of craftsmanship. It is the result of more than a century’s expertise. Even so, we rely on much more than just experience. The things that have been tried and tested over decades still need to inspire people both today and tomorrow. In order to meet the most sophisticated of demands at any time, we are consistently working to increase our accomplishment with the greatest passion. We show how you can refine ideas and develop visions. This is what Pelikan quality is all about, and how we have worked for 180 years – and this philosophy continues to guide us every day. Our promise to you.