Sommerville & Co Ltd

Maurice Pollack born Germany, 1830 came to Birmingham in 1851 to manage the newly established business of Alfred Sommerville, at houses in Legge Lane. Graham Street, Birmingham.

Sommerville had been involved in the trade for many years as a wholesale dealer in steel pens and stationers sundries. Pollack entered into partnership with Sommerville in 1865. At this time the company operated from the Continental Steel Pen Works, 20, Legge Lane.

In 1870 Josiah Mason purchased the company and retained Pollack as manager. In 1876 they amalgamated with Perry & Co and Wiley to form Perry & Co. Ltd. Pollack became Secretary of the new company.

Sommerville established the largest continental business in Birmingham and Contracted with Josiah Mason for a superior class of steel pen for the continental market.

In 1866 he placed an order for 5O lots per week with Joseph Gillott and thought it would take from 12-15 months to complete. He also produced gilt pointed pens.

Alfred Somerville was the inventor and patentee of the ‘Regulating Slide Pen (by moving the Slide-Spring up or down the Pen, any degree of elasticity is obtained).

He also Registered the ‘Fountain Spear-pointed Pen’, and the ‘Constantinople Pen’.

Every variety of metallic pens were manufactured by the Patentee. They also supplied anti-corrosive Office and Copying Inks, warranted not to Crust Steel Pens, to be indelible, and to flow freely from the Pen.

Source: Courtesy Birmingham Pen Trade Heritage Association

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