1899 the salesmen Heinrich Koch and Rudolph Weber took over the firm, the name from now on was "Heidelberger Federhalterfabrik Koch, Weber & Compagnie", later called KAWECO.
Since 1903 about 25 workers produced BCHR safeties but ten years later the firm made business in Europe, South America and Russia. Among lots of writing articles with many different filling systems the Kaweco produced gorgeous fountainpens with engraved and chased golden and silver overlays. 1913 the first Kaweco- Sport came on display, a round and very short BCHR safety for sportsmen and officers. Also possible for this fp was a golden or Tula- silver overlay.
1913 the Kaweco bought nib producing machines from Morton, since then they were able to make their own golden nibs with excellent quality.
1925 1200 people worked at Kaweco`s it was the highest number of employed workers. But in the next few years the firm dramatically went down, 800 workers, mostly girls and young women, who had mounted parts together or polished nibs, were send to unemployment. Until today it is not sure why, the world economy crisis and the great depression came later, 1930. One of the reasons could have been, that some of the best engineers and salesmen left the Kaweco and founded their own factories like Dimmler, Hebborn, Mutschler and the Böhler brothers. The competition in the area was gigantic.
Kaweco`s bancrupty came in 1929 and the "Badische Federhalterfabrik Knust, Grube & Woringen", which was a much smaller compenie from Wiesloch near Heidelberg, bought a part of the machines and the well reputated name Kaweco.
The new Kaweco tried to delete the old times. They bought the old products back from the stationary- and writing article stores and destroyed them! They tried to forbid to repair the old pens!
Compared to the old Kaweco the new product line was very small, but it was a good economic decision during the hard years of the economy crisis.
Since 1930 230 workers produced the Kaweco -Kadett, -Colleg, -Dia, -Elite, -Carat, -Schulkaweco, -Helios and again the Kaweco- Sport, now in an octagonal version, like the old Aurumia products. Their new emblem was an octagon with three segments containing Ka, We and Co. The materials had been BHR and later plastics, most of the today very rare colored Kawecos had been made for the export. I remember only one luxury article of this period, it was an Elite with gold caps. The Kaweco adopted very soon the piston filling mechanism from Kovacs/ Pelikan, IMHO the best filling method.
The firm owner Friedrich Grube died 1960. The production of high end fountainpens went down, the one way article era began to appear. The last owner of the now very small Kaweco factory near Heidelberg was Liselotte Grube, alas she had to close the doors in 1996.
Finally the h & m Gutberlet, a firm for different industrial parts from Nürnberg (Nuremberg) bought the name. It was a friendly overtake and Mr Gutberlet supported the old lady generous.
First I was a little bit disappointed, when the new series of Kaweco Sport appeared. I think very conservative and I am not a friend of cardridge pens. But today I must confess: the little fountainpen is a modern, cheap but very reliable friend. I am proud that the old trademark from my hometown had survived for so many years. 2008 I hope to make an exhibition at the 125th birthday.


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