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Pelikan Holding AG [1][2]
Founded28 April 1838; 185 years ago (1838-04-28) in Hanover[3]
FounderCarl Hornemann [3]
HeadquartersHanover, Lower Saxony, Germany[4]
Key people
Loo Hooi Keat (President)[5]
Ho Ming Hon (Vice-President)[5]
ProductsWriting implements, art materials, office goods
Revenue206,151,905.55 EUR (2015) [7]
Total equity76,212 [5] (2017)
Number of employees
1,854 (2015) [7]
SubsidiariesMultiple (worldwide) [5]

Pelikan Holding AG is a German manufacturing company of writing, office and art equipment. Credited with the invention of the differential-piston filling method, the original company was founded in Hanover in 1838 before it went bankrupt and restarted. Through a reverse takeover on 8 April 2005, Pelikan Holding AG is now an Aktiengesellschaft company (limited by shared ownership), part of the Pelikan Group GmbH.[6][8]

Nowadays, Pelikan manufacture a wide range of products including writing implements, art materials and office goods.[9]


The roots of the company can be traced back to 1838, when chemist Carl Hornemann founded a color and ink factory in Hanover, Germany. The date of the first price list of the company, 28 April, is set as the company's foundation date.[3]

The first Pelikan logo, designed in 1878

In 1863, Guenther Wagner obtained the position of chemist and plant manager. He took over the company in 1871. Wagner also designed the company's first logo (taking the figure of a pelican from his own familiar coat of arms) in 1878, becoming also one of the first German trademarks ever. The company expanded its range of distribution to Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia, then establishing a new factory in Vienna.[10]

By 1881 the company had expanded its plant, employing 39 additional people. When Fritz Beindorff took over the company, Pelikan added office products for copying, stamping, sticking and erasing. In 1896, Pelikan started to produce India ink, achieving great sales success. By 1913, the manufacturing were expanded, and 1057 workers were employed by Pelikan. In 1929, Pelikan produced its first fountain pen.[3] Pelikan expanded its products to watercolor sets in 1931. The writing instruments products were moved to Peine as the Hanover facilities could no longer be expanded.

Fritz Beindorff, the owner of Pelikan at the time, was one of the sixteen initial signatories of the 1932 Industrielleneingabe, urging President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Adolf Hitler as chancellor.[11] During the war, both pen and ink production suffered, and the company produced paints, coatings, and other chemicals with military use. From 1942 on, the company operated Gestapo labor education camps at their Hannover works, where forced labourers were employed.[12][13]

In 1978, Pelikan became a stock corporation, changing its legal form from a GmbH to an AG, with shares being divided within the Beindorff family and 46 other owners. Six years later, Pelikan was taken over by a Swiss company. The Hanover-based company was separated into various sub-companies and then sold.

In 1996, Goodace SDN BHD, a Malaysian company, took over the majority of Pelikan holding shares.[14] Pelikan moved to a new office building in Hanover in 2003. Two years later, Geha-Werke company merged with Pelikan, although operating as an independent division.[citation needed]

In November 2009 Pelikan purchased rival stationery company Herlitz, which had been previously bought by "Stationery Products S.à.r.l.", a Luxembourg-based company.[15] By the time of the acquisition, Herlitz's production facilities were located in the town of Falkensee, Brandenburg, with other plants in Poland, Romania and Great Britain. Herlitz's logistics supplied approx. 8,000 distribution centres in Germany directly, with another 3,000 customers throughout Europe. The company had 1,335 employees, 1,100 of which were in Germany.[16]


Current products manufactured by Pelikan are:

Pelikan fountain pen
Type Products
Writing implements Fountain pens, rollerball pens, ballpoint pens, pen refills, fountain pen inks [9]
Art materials Watercolors, paints, Indian inks, varnish[17]
Office supplies Rubber stamp pads and inks, carbon papers [18]
Accessories Erasers, ink erasers [19]

In the past Pelikan have also manufactured playing cards.


  1. ^ Pelikan Holding AG on Pelikan global website, 24 Nov 2019
  2. ^ Eintrag im Handelsregister des Kantons Schwyz Archived 2009-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d Pelikan history and timeline on Pelikan company website, 23 Nov 2019
  4. ^ Contact info on Pelikan website
  5. ^ a b c d 2018 Annual Report of Pelikan Holding AG
  6. ^ a b Pelikan Group, composition
  7. ^ a b Geschäftsbericht 2015 Pelikan Holding AG, Feusisberg
  8. ^ "A Short History of Pelikan". Niche Pens Ltd - Pelikan Pen Specialists. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  9. ^ a b Writing products on Pelikan, 25 Nov 2018
  10. ^ History of the company Pelikan History of the company
  11. ^ "Eingabe führender Persönlichkeiten des Landes an Reichspräsident von Hindenburg für die Berufung Adolf Hitlers zum Kanzler 19.11.1932". NS-Archiv. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  12. ^ Danley, Joshua. "The Concessions Of War: Pelikan, WWII, And The Untold Story". The Pelikan's Perch. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  13. ^ Christians, Annemone (2018), Tinte und Blech: Eine Pilotstudie zu Fritz Beindorff (1860 - 1944) und den Günther Wagner Pelikan-Werken im Nationalsozialismus (in German), Leuenhagen + Paris, ISBN 978-3-945497-06-7
  14. ^ Pelikan to raise brand awareness in new home by Izwan Idris, 11 Apr 2005
  15. ^ "Advent sells Herlitz to Pelikan". Growth Business. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  16. ^ "News about Herlitz". 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  17. ^ Coloring and crafting on Pelikan, 25 Nov 2019
  18. ^ Stamping and copying products on Pelikan, 25 Nov 2019
  19. ^ Writing accessories on Pelikan, 25 Nov 2019

External links[edit]