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      A day in the History of Esterbrook – 1961, The Race to the Moon started with an Esterbrook Pen

      In 1961, President John F. Kennedy began a dramatic expansion of the U.S. space program and committed the nation to the ambitious goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade.  

      In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik, and the space race was on. The Soviets’ triumph jarred the American people and sparked a vigorous response in the federal government to make sure the United States did not fall behind its Communist rival President Kennedy understood the need to restore America’s confidence and intended not merely to match the Soviets, but surpass them. On May 25, 1961, he stood before Congress to deliver a special message on “urgent national needs.” He asked for an additional $7 billion to $9 billion over the next five years for the space program, proclaiming that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” President Kennedy settled upon this dramatic goal as a means of focusing and mobilizing the nation’s lagging space efforts. Using an Esterbrook pen , President Kennedy signed a bill on July, 21st 1961  which increased  the budget of NASA  in order to fulfill the goal of landing a man on the moon.

      On February 20, 1962, John Glenn Jr. became the first American to orbit Earth. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Friendship 7 capsule carrying Glenn reached a maximum altitude of 162 miles and an orbital velocity of 17,500 miles per hour. After more than four hours in space, having circled the earth three times, Glenn piloted the Friendship 7 back into the atmosphere and landed in the Atlantic Ocean near Bermuda.

      Glenn’s success helped to inspire NASA and the Nation to continue President Kennedys mission to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

      To the Moon.

      As space exploration continued through the 1960s, the United States was on its way to the Moon. Project Gemini was the second NASA spaceflight program. Its goals were to perfect the entry and re-entry maneuvers of a spacecraft and conduct further tests on how individuals are affected by long periods of space travel. The Apollo Program followed Project Gemini. Its goal was to land humans on the moon and assure their safe return to Earth. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts—Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.—realized President Kennedy’s dream that begin with an Esterbrook pen and his signing of the bill that increased the size and budget of NASA with the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely back to earth.



      A DAY IN THE LIFE Of ESTERBROOK- Charles M. Schulz and his Esterbrook nibs created the  Iconic “PEANUTS”  Comic Strip.

      Legendary cartoonist Charles M. Schulz used an Esterbrook Radio 914 nib exclusively to draw Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the famous  “Peanuts” cast of characters.   In 1950 the “Peanuts” comic strip  began appearing in seven newspapers with the characters Charlie Brown, Shermy, Patty, and Snoopy. Within a year the strip appeared in thirty-five papers, and by 1956 it was in over a hundred. The Peanuts cartoons were centered on the simple and touching figures of a boy, Charlie Brown, and his dog, Snoopy and their family and school friends. Adults were never seen, only hinted at, and the action involved ordinary, everyday happenings.

      Charlie Brown had a round head with half-circles for ears and nose, dots for eyes, and a line for a mouth. Things always seemed to go wrong for him, and he was often puzzled by the problems that life and his peers dealt out to him: the crabbiness of Lucy; the unanswerable questions of Linus, a young intellectual with a security blanket; the self-absorption of Schroeder the musician; the teasing of his schoolmates; and the behavior of Snoopy, the floppy-eared dog with the wild imagination, who sees himself as a fighter pilot trying to shoot down the Red Baron (based on a famous German pilot during World War I) when he is not running a “Beagle Scout” troop consisting of the bird, Woodstock, and his friends.

      Peanuts appeared in over twenty-three hundred newspapers around which made Charles Schulz an International Icon. . The cartoon branched out into television, and in 1965 the classic special A Charlie Brown Christmas won Peabody and Emmy awards. Many more television specials and Emmys were to follow. An off-Broadway stage production, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, was created in 1967 and ran for four years (it was also revived in 1999). Many volumes of Schulz’s work were published in at least nineteen languages, and the success of Peanuts inspired clothes, stationery, toys, games, and other merchandise.

      His affinity for Esterbrook nibs was well known . When the original Esterbrook Pen Company announced it would be closing, Mr.  Schulz purchased all of the remaining inventory of his preferred Esterbrook Radio 914 nibs so he could be sure he was able to continue using them for drawing his beloved “Peanuts” comic strip.

      Schulz announced in December 1999 that he would retire in the year 2000, the day after the final Peanuts strip. Schulz died on February 12, 2000, one day before his farewell strip was to be in newspapers.

      On August 15th 2002 , the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened its doors in Santa Rosa California. Millions of Peanuts fans have visited to learn more about the life and legacy of this American Icon and the Peanuts cast of characters. . A second museum opened in Tokyo Japan called the Snoopy Museum.  The Charles M. Schulz legacy continues today with a new generation discovering  Charlie Brown, Snoopy through new forms of media.



      A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ESTERBROOK- Donald Duck Illustrator Carl Barks
      aka “The Duck Man”

       Carl Barks, is the once anonymous ”duck man” for Walt Disney whose draftsmanship and writing gained him a cult like following among artists and fans of Donald Duck comic books and of his very own creation, Scrooge McDuck.  His exclusive use of an Esterbrook nib to draw his iconic illustrations is well known.

      Mr. Barks  detailed and witty adventure stories attracted a large following from 1942 to 1966, the years he drew comic books under license to Disney. Because Disney artists did not sign their work, most readers, who could spot his distinctive style at a glance, learned his name only after he retired and received attention from comic-book collectors.  His fondness for Esterbrook fountain pens developed early in his career and he, like other illustrators during this era, used the Esterbrook brand exclusively.

      Mr. Barks most famous creation, the fabulously wealthy Scrooge McDuck, is a native Scot who lives in a three-cubic-acre money bin and wears a red broadcloth coat that he bought in a rummage sale in 1924. Scrooge, a forerunner, however unintended, of today’s mergers-and-aquisitions executives, first appeared in 1947, in a story called ”Christmas on Bear Mountain.”

      Other characters created by Mr. Barks are the Beagle Boys, masked burglars scheming after Scrooge’s loot; Gladstone Gander, Donald’s lucky cousin; the inventor Gyro Gearloose; and Gyro’s helper, a walking light bulb. Mr. Barks depicted Himalayan panoramas, downtown Atlantis or a Klondike saloon brawl in the confines of single cartoon panels.




      With this fall’s introduction of the Esterbrook Estie in Lilac, we are pleased to introduce our vendors and clients to Esterbrook’s new symbol, the Esterbrook Eternity. 

      The Eternity symbol is made up of two connected “E’’s. They have no beginning and no end. This represents a timeline of perpetuity, linking tradition and modernity, old and new, past and future, then and now. It serves as a reminder of the trailblazing spirit of the founder of Esterbrook, Richard Esterbrook. It champions facing the future with the same determination and tenacity he and those before us did. It’s a pledge to our admirers and enthusiasts that as they persist, so do we. 

      Esterbrook endures.

      The Eternity symbol will make its first appearance on the polishing cloth included with the Lilac Estie. Estie’s are known for their beautiful high polish and this polishing cloth will help you maintain that shine as your Estie becomes a treasured writing instrument and heirloom.

      The cloth is presented in Esterbrook signature red with the Eternity symbol repeated in continuum.

      As we release new Esterbrook models, the polishing cloths will be included as a testament that the principles inherent to the symbol are synonymous with the values of our brand. 

      The Eternity symbol will also appear on some of our new releases, featured as a logo on the tops of the pens. We will soon release The Camden, the first of our pens to include this new mark. We are excited to show it off to you.

      As we add value to our offerings, we look forward to sharing more with you about who we are and who we will be. 

      Esterbrook endures.



      As soon as Thanksgiving is over in the United States, we turn the calendar page on November and arrive at the most wonderful time of the year: December.  It is a month that is centered on celebration. It is also the season for reflecting on the previous year and reaching out to family and friends, near and far. In the digital age, there is perhaps nothing more special than opening one’s mailbox to a holiday card or letter from someone dear to you hiding in the solicitations and bills. But, where did the tradition of sending greeting cards come from and why do we send them this time of year more than any other?

      A short history…

      Clay tablets with greetings were found that date soon after the invention of writing itself. In Bronze Age China and Egypt, personalized messages were sent to others celebrating the New Year. These were sent with the intention of giving the recipient the power to ward off evil spirits for the entire year. They were also a way to celebrate the life cycle that begins with a new year and a wish of good luck. In the 14th century there was a Germanic tradition of sending handmade cards with short wishes of good fortune for the new year, but it was mostly reserved for the upper classes as materials were expensive.

      In the mid-19th century innovations in mechanized printing and mass production, coupled with better postal routes and cheaper postal rates led to an increase in personal mail.

      In 1843, the first known Christmas card was created and sent. Now, over 175 years later we are still sending them!

      The card printed for Sir Henry Cole who had given the idea for such a card to printer John Calcott Horsely. Performer Annie Oakley was the first to send personalized greetings to friends and loved ones back home when the holidays found her overseas. Since it was still an extravagant proposition, holiday greeting cards remained uncommon until the 1860’s when they began to be mass-produced and a full fledged part of the holiday season.

      Today, postal services all over the world go into overdrive to get mail delivered between the end of November through the first weeks of the new year, harkening back to the well wishes of the ancient civilizations and the first mass mailings in the modern age.

      Fitting for the season, the resin of the Esterbrook Estie in Tortoise and Evergreen elicit feelings of beautiful trees dusted with snow; their gold and silver clips the trim and ornaments on a Christmas tree. Matching inks in shades of brown and hunter green are reminiscent of pine cones and pine needles.

      It is such a joyous occasion to choose greeting cards or special paper to craft holiday messages with. Whether alone or with a group of family and friends, there is something about writing cards in a space decorated for the holidays that awakens the holiday spirit.  Maybe you’re next to a crackling fireplace, perhaps around a kitchen table, always with something festive to sip on while writing, be it cocoa, mulled wine or a celebratory champagne cocktail.

      It’s also a treat to go find the coziest corner of a coffee shop and write cards while watching festive holiday shoppers come and go and take in the atmosphere of the season.

      However and wherever you decide to express your wishes of the season, choosing a special pen to write with just adds to the delight of the holidays.

      As we pick up our pens to send out our own greeting cards, all of us at Esterbrook wish you a season filled with merry writing and a happy new year.