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A Saratoga

The birth of this company originates from the Edoardo Russo Webber activities, working in the Italian fountain pen market since 1916 as the Italian Parker dealer, and later also as the Astoria dealer, for which he registered the trademarks in Italy (Reg. Gen. N. 27479, Reg. Gen. N. 27562 and Reg. Gen. N. 27563). During the '30s[1] the Parker exclusive concession was withdrawn for reasons not entirely clear (it's been suggested by a unauthorized production of Parker models in Italy, commissioned to OMAS), so he joined Virginio Mengoni, owner of a successful stationery store in Milan, creating the Saratoga brand, as resulting from the first registration note of the trademark in January 1941 (Reg. Gen. N. 63047) made in common with Mengoni and the use of a particular arrow clip whose form had been registered a few months later by Mengoni (Reg. Gen. N. 63465).

The initial Saratoga production was introduced to the market in 1936, [2] with three quality models, clearly inspired by the Parker Vacumatic, referred to as Maxima, Medium and Standard. The models used a filling system similar to the Vacumatic one,[3] they were made of semi-transparent celluloid, that someone is attributed to OMAS, being very similar to those used for the Minerva Classica models.[4]

They were high quality models, with bicolor gold nib and an arrow clip very similar the Parker one (but with a flat terminal part, as mentioned in the mark), which had a good success. The two higher-end models, Maxima and Medium are essentially identical and differ only in size. The model Standard is less valuable, and in the '40s was also marketed under the brand Inco (Reg. Gen. N. 63398, also registered by Mengoni) that was also used for the inkwells.

In the early 40's the company between Webber and Mengoni broke up, presumably at the end of 1941, when Webber recorded under his own name the Saratoga brand (Reg. Gen. N. 64297), formerly registered with Mengoni, and was also dismissed the production of the pens by OMAS. Edoardo Russo Webber continued to produce fountain pens, relying on manufacturers of lesser value with a corresponding reduction in the pens quality. After the war he produced other piston filler pens, marked Saratoga-Webber. The production went on with hooded nb models that were a clear Parker 51 imitation, very similar to the analogous Radius products. There are traces of the use of the Saratoga trademark at least until 1973, in the renewal of the registration.

Also Mengoni continued its pens production, branded in this case Saratoga's, that also were low-quality and economy market-oriented, produced presumably in the Settimo Torinese district, with desk pens and piston filler models. His activity continued until 1957, the year of the close of business of the Mengoni company.

External references

  • [1] A 1938 catalog from PCA (Pen Collectors of America) website and Internet Archive


  1. this period is quite uncertain, given that at least until December 1941 are (on L'Illustrazione Italiana) of advertising Parker that are labeled "Ing. E. Webber & C. Viale Petrarca 24 Milano".
  2. for this date, such for other information, we refer to Letizia Jacopini book "La storia della stilografica in Italia", but the three versions appears also on a 1938 catalog.
  3. invented, according to Letizia Iacopini, by Nannelli, and purchased by Webber.
  4. ad usual there is no reliable documentation of such claim, which also lingers on many other productions.