John Holland was one of the first gold nib manufacturers in the United States and is considered one of the largest fountain pen maker.
John Holland was native of Ireland, and started working in 1853 as an apprentice in George Sheppard's workshop, a renowned American gold nib manufacturer from Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1858, John Holland became the owner of the company and continued producing dip pens, nibs as well as pencils.
His fountain pen production began a year later, in 1859. During the following twenty years, the fountain pen business was so prosperous than John Holland started to made his own hard rubber in 1884. John Holland's fountain pens were sold by salesmen across the country. One of them was George S. Parker, who patented his first feed based on one of John Holland's, in 1889.
John Holland's Models followed the fashion of that time until the end of 1910: they were made in hard rubber, in gold or silver, they were eye dropper models with a "straight-cap" or a "taper-cap".
Although the company was active until the late 70s, John Holland's best years are situated between 1900 and 1917, the year of his death. His patents developed during those seventeen years show a lot of creativity.
When John Holland died in 1917, his sons Robert and John took over the business. From that moment, the company was less creative, more conformist, and adapted other firms' ideas. The originality of the previous years was missing. This fact, together with the lack money for advertising made the company gradually lose the prestige it used to have.
Fountain pens from the twenties and thirties are lever models with a flat-top design and then later on followed the "streamline" trend.
The Jewel model became the company's best seller. The first celluloid fountain pens were introduced around 1926-1927.
The model presented here was manufactured in the late twenties. Despite its simple appearance, it stands out for its excellent state of preservation *, has an impressive 14k gold medium nib, little wear and no problems at all.
The pen measures 12.8 cm capped and 12 cm uncapped.
* Note that the "inner cap" is white to avoid the discoloration on the cap.