The Pen-Co (or simply Penco) brand is the brand of the most well known production of the "F. R. V." (an acronym which stands for "Fratelli Rossi Vicenza") a company founded in Sandrigo, a small town located near Vicenza, in 1923 by Rinaldo and Marcello Rossi, that was known, before the World War II, for producing good quality economic pens under the Caesar brand.
After the war the nationalist autarchy emphasis of the fascist regime ended, so the company changed its name to Pen-Co, short for Pen Company Manufacturer, producing pens using different trademarks: Palladium, Palladiana, Diplomat and Pen-Co, directed respectively to the lower, medium and high-end. The former two were used for pens that reflected the traditional style, produced with lower quality materials. The intermediate brand included a single size pen with traditional lines and mid-level finishes, while the Pen-Co were clearly inspired by the US market trends, with a short clip in military style and very slender lines.
The most famous models, however, are those of the 50s, some clear imitation of the Sheaffer Triumph models, with nib conical, tapering lines and Crest style metal cap. The Pen-Co 53 was the top model, widely publicized on many italian magazines, so much to arouse the reaction of the Sheaffer Italian distributor.
But in addition to the conical nib versions Pen-Co also produced variants with ordinary open nib, although much less common, and virtually unknown until recently, as Sheaffer had done with Admiral or Saratoga models. A sample of such a model is the one shown in the photo at left.
Despite attempts to stay afloat in an increasingly reduced market, taken by the emergence of disposable ballpoint pens, the company found itself in increasingly difficult economic activities and finally closed in the late 50's, March 30, 1957.