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Carter Pen Company

Cambridge Station, Boston, Mass.
 Carter had been in business since the 1850’s selling their famous lines of ink and decided to get into the fountain pen business in the 1920s. They produced high quality fountain pens for about 6 years between 1926 and 1932.  I have heard many stories about the origins of Carters pens. Some stories state that they purchased the Laughlin Pen Company. Others say that Laughlin pens had been made by DeWitt LaFrance and Carter took over that line of pens. I have had some of the late Laughlin pens. They were flattop models from around 1924 and had the spring loaded clip that was a LaFrance product. The early Carter pens seem to be leftover Laughlins with blank clips. The Carter line in 1926 was hard rubber and they were probably the leftover Laughlins or at least the hard rubber rods and tubes they inherited. The 1927 line was celluloid.   I believe that LaFrance was making the Laughlin pens in the early 1920s and Laughlin went bankrupt. At this point LaFrance probably started selling their Superite line of fountain pens.  Carter probably purchased DeWitt LaFrance and  Laughlin. Most of the Superite pens seem to have been sold in 1925/26 and this would be the period between Laughlin production and Carter production. DeWitt LaFrance seems to disappear at the time Carter starts making pens. The Superite gold filled pens seem to be available until 1929 and may have been leftovers or Carter may have been obligated to keep making them to satisfy the LaFrance contracts with mail order houses. Whatever the origins of Carter were, they did sell some beautiful pens. The only thing that stopped Carter was the depression.  Carter probably decided like other companies to focus on the products that were selling for them and making them money and dropped the pen line around 1932.  The late Carter pens became very generic and were probably assembled from leftover parts by someone else.







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