Sunday, December 20, 2015

Hispanexco: Diamond Points for export

I stumbled across this advertisement recently in The Mexican Mining Journal, vol. 6 (April 1908), p. 31. The distinctive clip immediately identifies the pen as a Diamond Point, as one can see from the ad below which ran in American Exporter, vol. 61 (Jun 1908), p. 140.

The Hispano-American Export Company even kept the same model numbers, but they added a generous markup: $2 for a basic No. 50 eyedropper, including registered mail "to any post office in the world", for a model that could be bought from the manufacturer for $7.50 per dozen (I haven't been able to determine exactly how much the shipping would have been, but at the time registration cost only ten cents, and a domestic letter only two).

I've never actually run across any pens marked "Hispanexco" or "Hispano-American Export Co.", nor can I find any discussion online. But I've not done any buying in the Americas outside of the USA and Canada, so I'm hoping my pen friends south of the border will chime in if they've seen any. Some of the Hispanexco pens were fancier, too, as we see from this ad in a Spanish-language magazine published in Buffalo, New York (América, vol. 1 (July 1908), p. A13).

Diamond Point does seem to have been pushing export sales. Looking back through old copies of American Exporter, there aren't many fountain pen companies paying for ads, and most advertised for a just a year or two. Diamond Point wasn't advertising in 1907, but made a tentative start in 1908 (Modern/A. A. Waterman, Smith, and Wirt were the other penmakers advertising that year, all taking out much more ad space). In 1909 Diamond Point became a regular advertiser, joining A. A. Waterman and Crocker.

And if we look all the way back to 1897, a large contingent from South and Central America came to the Northeast to visit the big industrial exhibition that opened that summer in Providence, Rhode Island. Diamond Point placed a large bilingual advertisement, shown above, right below the long and detailed writeup of their visit in the Jewelers' Circular (vol. 34 (June 23, 1897), p. 27).

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