A Pen for the People
Bauhaus lines and minimalist appointments recall the pre-Montegrappa era and an unsung pioneer of penmaking.
Many of the innovations that made fountain pens essential tools of 1920s and 1930s life were the brainchild of Heinrich Helm. Technical Director at Italy’s first pen factory, ‘Elmo’ was industrious and ambitious. He left the company in 1928, but his vision for a comfortable, reliable pen made at reasonable cost saw his name becoming a mainstay of Italian schools and workplaces for decades to come.
Exposure to Bauhaus and the modernists led Heinrich Helm to discover new efficiencies in both form and fabrication. Elmo’s elegant simplicity earned it an enviable reputation that would lay the foundations for the future. Success in the early twentieth century brought investment and skilled labour to Bassano del Grappa, and the belief that would ultimately culminate in Montegrappa and the artistic flourishes of Italian luxury.