Sheaﬀer Pen Corpora on ? is a manufacturer of wri ng instruments, par cularly luxury fountain pens. The company was founded by Walter A. Sheaﬀer in Fort Madison, Iowa, and incorporated in 1913 to exploit his inven on of a lever-ﬁlling fountain pen. The brand was sold by French parent company Bic to A. T. Cross Company in August, 2014. In 1912, Walter A. Sheaﬀer took his idea of a pen-ﬁlling apparatus that u lized a lever system and, with his life savings, founded the W.A. Sheaﬀer Pen Company in Fort Madison, Iowa. The company was established in the backroom of Mr. Sheaﬀer's jewelry store with seven employees, and was incorporated a year later, in 1913.By the 1930s, Sheaﬀer fountain pens were being adver sed as the pen that "ﬁlls instantly from any ink-well, with one touch of a ﬁnger. Cleans automa cally when ﬁlling. Sheaﬀer has manufactured fountain pens down to the present day. The original lever-ﬁller mechanism remained in use through the end of the 1940s, though a sacless plunger design was introduced in the early 1930s. In 1949 Sheaﬀer adopted the "Touchdown" pneuma c-ﬁlling mechanism for its top-line fountain pens. A development of the Touchdown design was the Snorkel, which added a small extendable tube underneath the nib to avoid the need to dip the nib into ink when opera ng the ﬁller plunger. The last Snorkel pen was the oversize "Pen For Men (PFM)," a fat-bodied model introduced in 1959 with the thennew "Inlaid Nib" which has since featured on all Sheaﬀer's high-end pens. All Sheaﬀer pens a er 1959 (excluding the PFM) were designed to accept either ink cartridges or a converter to allow the use of bo led ink. The Targa was a popular high-end model which was introduced in 1976 and came in over 80 diﬀerent ﬁnishes and two sizes (classic and slim). The s ll very popular Connoisseur was introduced in 1986 as an upgraded version of the low cost No-Nonsense line that paid homage to earlier Sheaﬀer ﬂattops, and included the high end Grande series, and three series of Levenger Connoisseur's that were dual branded and sold by Levenger. Another popular Sheaﬀer fountain pen was the low-cost "School Pen". Current high-end pens in the range include the Valor and the Legacy series, all of which retain the inlaid nib. On July 31, 1997, Société Bic S.A., known for its Bic pens and lighters, agreed to buy Sheaﬀer for less than $50 million. Bic, of France, bought Sheaﬀer from Geﬁnor S.A., a Geneva-based investment bank, according to Thierry Michels, communica ons director at Bic. Michels said Bic paid less than the $50 million that Sheaﬀer had achieved in current annual sales. At the me of the Bic purchase, Sheaﬀer had 550 employees, 450 of whom were based in North America. In 2003, corporate ofﬁcials announced their inten on of closing Sheaﬀer's Fort Madison, Iowa, plant a er nearly a century of making pens in the southeastern Iowa city. At its peak, the company employed more than 1,000 people in Fort Madison. The shutdown of the factory was completed by the end of March 2008, aﬀec ng about 40 workers. Sheaﬀer's fountain pen point assembly department was moved to a third-party manufacturer in China. Customer service, purchasing, informa on technology, warehousing and distribu on opera ons, packaging, and quality control were relocated to Slovakia. Bought by BIC in 1997, Sheaﬀer was sold in August 2014 to the A. T. Cross Company for $15 million (US). Sheaﬀer currently manufactures thirteen models of luxury wri ng instruments, including: Taranis, Legacy Heritage, Prelude, Prelude Mini, Sagaris, Intensity, 500, 300, 200, 100, Stylus, Sen nel, and VFM. As well as wri ng instruments, Sheaﬀer also manufactures leather pen pouches and tablet holders, two calligraphy sets, three types of pencil erasers, ballpoint and rollerball reﬁlls, stylus reﬁlls, Sheaﬀer converters, eight colors of Skrip bo led ink, Sheaﬀer Skrip cartridges, and Skrip universal cartridges. In 2013, Sheaﬀer launched the Ferrari collec on luxury wri ng instruments.
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