Esterbrook and the Presidents of the United States of America
August 5th, 1963. Just a day before the 18th anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hioshima, Japan. The day is significant, because, on this day, representatives of the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain signed the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Coming close on the heels to the Cuban Missile Crisis which had brought the world almost to the precipice, the treaty was a watershed one, as it prohibited testing of Nuclear Weapons in the atmosphere, under water or in the outer space.
The fact that the treaty was signed by the then President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, barely three months before his assassination, makes it even more memorable. The pen that Kennedy used to sign the treaty? An Esterbrook dipless pen – often called the “bill signer”.
As a matter of fact, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson were all known to have used these Esterbrook pens to sign bills, some that have stood the test of time and still have profound influence on our lives. Legend has it that the Presidents would use several of these pens to sign a bill and give one to each of the invited guests as mementos. The pens were regular supply and were ordered exclusively from Esterbrook coinciding with each new President taking office and had the imprint “The President, the White House”. Naturally, such pens rank high on the list of collectors and are hugely sought after .
The Esterbrook website talks of such a pen, again in the context of President Kennedy, when in 1961 he spearheaded the dramatic expansion of the US space programme and committed the Nation to the ambitious goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of that decade. This had followed the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik which had begun, what is popularly known as the space race.
True to his commitment to the Nation, on July 20th, 1969 the Apollo 11 Astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin Jr. were landed on the moon. A feat that had its genesis in a bill that was signed on July 11th 1961 by President Kennedy, one that had increased the budget of NASA in order to fulfil the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely back to Earth. This bill too, was signed using an Esterbrook pen.
Esterbrook, which was established in 1858 by entrepreneur Richard Esterbrook has had a long and illustrious association with Americana – Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B Johnson were also historically known to have used Esterbrook pens. As a matter of fact, it will not be an exaggeration to say that much of America’s history was written with Esterbrook pens, which was at its apogee, one of the biggest and most loved pen companies in the world. Esterbrook produced 2160,00,000 pens in a year – that is 600,000 pens in a day, employing four hundred and fifty workers!
The Great Depression, which was one of the most testing times in the history of the United States, was also a time that was emblematic of the spirit of the American people – the spirit of honest endeavour, the strength of character and an attitude that firmly believed that dreams are for the achieving. A spirit that was so intrinsic to the value system of Esterbrook: the pen had become almost a symbol of the hope that tomorrow will witness the breaking of a new dawn, an icon of Americana.
Every Esterbrook instrument, till date, espouses the same core values that had made that brand achieve the commanding heights. The pleasure of knowing, that the pen one is wielding, is backed by a legacy that goes right back to Abraham Lincoln, is simply exhilarating.
I will not belittle the institution by commenting on the writing prowess of the pens for the three simple reasons: too many stalwarts have their names associated with the pens; Richard Esterbrook, the founder, was himself a pioneer who had few contemporary nib smiths of his stature, his achievements still characterised by the high-watermarks they had established; and finally, because Esterbrook, till today, follows the same exacting quality standards that were its hallmark in the past. Suffice to say, every piece bearing the Esterbrook name, is as much a visual delight as it is functionally flawless, perfect.
NOTE: You can visit the Esterbrook site (press on the Esterbrook advertisement on the top right corner of this page) and avail of the special discount offered to our readers. Hurry, the offer is valid for a limited period only.
For More information: https://www.esterbrookpens.com/