George W. Hughes founded the firm in 1860 in St. Paul’s Square, Birmingham and later moved to premises in Legge Lane. It was never established as a company.

He produced pens of the highest quality. Among his many skills was knowledge of metallurgy, heat treatment and all the different processes which made up a steel pen. The firm opened a London office in 1888.

One of their famous reservoir pens was called ‘Time is Money’. They were the sole makers of Joseph Rudhall & Co (Estab. 1843) steel pens. Hughes also made fountain pens fitted with the perflo feeder nib. The firm ceased manufacture around 1960.

George W. Hughes was instrumental in producing the first italic pen for Alfred Fairbank the calligrapher.

Source: Courtesy Birmingham Pen Trade Heritage Association

John J Jewett of London wrote in August 1901: ‘I enclose (P.O. 3/- for a gross of your Golden Shoulder (Pens No. 500 – they are the best pens I ever used in my life, and I am over 75.’


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