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Sampson Mordan & Co

Sampson Mordan was the apprentice to the mechanic John Bramah and established his own company in 1815. In 1822 Mordan gained his first patent, with his co-inventor John Isaac Hawkins, for a metal mechanical pencil. A year later he bought Hawkins out and entered his first mark as a smallworker with the London Assay Office. In 1824 he entered a new partnership with Gabriel Riddle and registered a new mark with the London Assay Office; this partnership lasted twelve years.

Upon the dissolvement of his partnership, he continued the business as S. Mordan & Co. Sampson died in 1843 and the business was taken over by his sons Sampson Jnr and Augusutus, who later were joined by Edmund George Johnson and Zachariah Watkins. The death of Sampson Mordan Jnr saw his portion of the business passed to his brother Augustus gained a new partner of Harry Lambert Symonds in 1890.

In 1898 the company was converted to a limited liability company, operating under the name S. Mordan & Co Ltd.

Between the 1820s and 1870s, the firm obtained more than 160 patents for various mechanical pencils. In addition to this the firm largely produced small silver and gold items, often referred to as ‘novelties’, thus popular in the late 19th and early 20th century. These small items were provided to retailers such as Asprey & Sons and the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. Ltd.

In 1933 the distribution rights on the propelling pencil business were given to L. G. Sloan Ltd, and in 1941, due to some war damage to the manufacturing facilities, the patents were sold to Edward Baker; the firm went into voluntary liquidation in 1952.

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International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
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