All pens serviced and tested. Full pre-delivery check, free U.K. postage and money back guarantee.

The De La Rue Company

Posted by collectablepens . on

Because this is a pen website most readers will probably associate the name De La Rue with fountain pens.  The company did, after all, start producing high quality pens before 1900 and quickly became a major force in the pen industry.

This was, however, only a minor part of the De La Rue business empire, the main concern being the printing of a huge range of products, including stamps, banknotes, greetings and playing cards.

The company was extremely innovative and are credited with the invention of the typographical printing process in 1831, an envelope folding machine in 1846, a banknote counting machine in 1957, the 'through the wall ATM' in 1967, as well as numerous improvements to banknote security and, of course, the first practical fountain pen in 1881.  Today the company is, by far, the largest security printing organisation in the world.

In addition to collecting fountain pens I am always tempted any object that relates, even tenuously, to my hobby, so couldn't resist this unopened pack of De La rue playing cards:

The company's first royal appointment for playing cards was to king William lV in 1831.  These cards, by appointment to George Vl must be more than a hundred years later, a sure sign of an enormously successful business.

In case you're wondering how on earth a deck of cards can be 'pneumatic', as I did, the secret is that the manufacturing process involves rolleing the surface of the cards with a press that produces light indentations to trap air and prevent the cards from sticking when shuffled.

The process was first patented by, of course, Thomas De La rue.





Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published