Novel endeavour to revive legacy of fountain pens

Novel endeavour to revive legacy of fountain pens
Highlights

Fountain pens, over the years, have become a rarity with majority of users preferring ball point pens. But, proprietors of a city-based company here, KV Ratnam and Sons Pen Works, is striving to not only revive the past glory of fountain pens, but also popularise and promote them in India and abroad.

Rajamahendravaram: Fountain pens, over the years, have become a rarity with majority of users preferring ball point pens. But, proprietors of a city-based company here, KV Ratnam and Sons Pen Works, is striving to not only revive the past glory of fountain pens, but also popularise and promote them in India and abroad.

KV Ratnam is considered as a pioneer in the fountain pen industry and the company itself has some interesting historical precedents. Speaking to The Hans India, K Ramana Murthi, son of Ratnam said the pen industry was started at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi. Ratnam gifted a pen to Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1931, who turned it down saying that it was made with spare parts imported from Kolkata-based Guptha company.

According to Ramana Murthi, Mahatma Gandhi then advised Ratnam to produce something which would be useful to the common man in the country. Later, All India Village Industries Association secretary JC Kumarappa visited the pen store, out of enthusiasm as there was no pen manufacturing industry in the country at that time.

Meanwhile, in his letter to KV Ratna, Mahatma Gandhi said the pen manufactured by him was an alternative to foreign pens and advised him to continue producing them. And the legacy is being continued by the company. Elbonite (rubber) is used to make the pen in various forms, in accordance with the needs of the customers.

The cost of an ordinary Fountain Pen ranges from Rs to 200 to Rs 1,800 and the price of a silver coated gold-nibbed Fountain Pen ranges from Rs 2,500 to Rs 35,000. The price of a 24-carat gold pen could have a whopping price tag of Rs 2.2 lakh. Some of the pens are engraved with figures of Bharat Mata, Mahatma Gandhi and the National Flag etc.

At the time of Godavari Maha Pushkarams-2015 a special pen with Godavari Matha and Pushkara engravings were presented to AP Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. Meanwhile many people, mainly students and youth, are evincing interest in the Fountain Pens produced by the company which is located in Rangrejupeta area at fortgate, in this historical city. Now, KV Ratnam and Sons Pen Works is also producing elegant and customized Fountain Pens and getting orders from USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany and New Zealand etc., apart from domestic markets.

By SS Chary

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