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French company, founded in 1795 by Nicolas-Jacques Conté who invented and patented a new methods of construction of pencils mixing graphite and clay in response to the scarcity of graphite due to the wars against England who were blocking the imports. With his brother he created the Société Conté for the production of pencils and crayons for artists and the homonyms pastels (another Nicolas invention). The company (absorbed by Bic) is still known for the production of these two products. It's know a fountain pens production from the 20s at least until the war.