The Birth of Speedball

****SPOILER ALERT: this post is not about drugs****

It was founded in 1899 as the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company and was probably best known for its BOSTON pencil sharpener which adorned most classrooms across this country.

Then in 1915 sign letterer Ross F. George of Seattle took his new invention to Hunt. He called it the Speedball Pen. It was a square-tipped pen that could make broad and thin lines. Hunt was soon to produce the pen in six sizes.

 Then in the mid-1930’s:

 Hunt became America’s first large manufacturer of inexpensive accessories for linoleum block printing, a popular school craft. Henry Frankenfield, printmaker and art educator, developed this line. In 1937, Hunt began to sponsor the National Scholarship Award for categories such as linoleum block prints, lettering and pen and ink drawings, and still sponsors talented young artists.

In 1997 the Speedball brand split from the Hunt Corporation and the Speedball® Art Products Company was born.

The images of linoleum cutters are from a single-sheet product catalog ca. 1940’s.

More on the  History of Speedball