Saturday, May 9, 2015

Aurora: Turin's fountain pen

There's probably not a bigger symbol of education and style together than a fountain pen. Even in our digital world, handwritten notes have become precious as our handwriting reveals hidden sides of our nature and feelings. As a natural extension, the pen we choose to write or sign something gains an extra meaning automatically making a statement. 
Aurora vintage poster

Up to recently, when kids learned to write on paper with their own hands, owing a fountain pen and using it to write homework and exams really marked their coming of age. For this reason, pens have always made soft, yet meaningful statement about both the person who gave it as a present and its user. And especially fountain pens have always represented elegance, strength and authority.
Aurora logo
Aurora an Italian symbol

All pens aficionados and pen collectors in the world know Aurora - the very first Italian brand of fountain pens, founded in Turin in 1919, by Isaia Levi who opened his factory downtown, in Via della Basilica 9, near the Porta Palazzo market.
At the beginning, the Aurora fountain pens were imitations of the American models, however, it became soon clear that because of their technology, design and materials, the Aurora pens were much more than mere imitations!

Different materials were used to make them from hard rubber to celluloid, even semiprecious stones.
Aurora Oceania 

One by one, from the 1930s to WWII, all the Aurora models were top sellers and sported new features,

After WWII, a new factory opened out of Turin and new innovative models were created by the mind of famous Italian architects like Marcello Nizzoli, Marco Zanuso and even Giorgetto Giugiaro. These pens literally made the history of design gaining everybody's heart from everyday writers to collectors. 
Model 88, designed by M. Nizzoli in 1947, sold over a million pieces by the mid 1950s. The Duocart model, designed in 1957, was revolutionary with its second ink-cartridge inside the handle; and the Hastil model, designed in 1970 by M. Zanuso, was the first fountain pen to be exhibited at MoMa in New York!

Today, Aurora has expanded its production to other products such as leather, watches and paper, and of its 6 million Euro profit a year only 55% is sold in Italy.  

Aurora Asterope 1934
As long as there will be cards and checks to write and sign, we'll need a pen and what can be more stylish than a well-designed fountain pen in a precious material?
Aurora really upgraded writing to jewelry putting Turin once again under the spotlight for both design and technology. So pay attention next time you see a fountain pen as it could be from Turin;)






1 comment:

  1. When I was a young child, I remember receiving my first fountain pens from friends in Germany. From there, I developed an affinity for them. The writing style characteristic of such a pen adds such a lovely touch to hand-written letters. Wish I had my French one with me now, alas, it's on the other side of the Atlantic. :)

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