|One of the earliest Mordan pencils in my collection - 1825|
In spite of this, throughout his business career Mordan was able to connect with, and occasionally partner with, some of the most imaginative and brilliant minds of the period. Mordan's ability to leverage the value of those connections is clearly apparent in the enduring success of his company.
Mordan is recognized as the co-inventor of the mechanical pencil, having filed the first patent (#4742) in England, in 1822, jointly with John Isaac Hawkins. The Mordan brand quickly became synonymous with quality and his business flourished. Following his death in 1843, the business was carried on by two of his sons, Sampson Jr. and Augustus. Now, almost two hundred years later, their strict adherence to quality craftsmanship lives on through the current owners of the Mordan intellectual property, the Yard-O-Led company.
|Hand crafted Yard-O-Led fountain pen - 2015|
Here are just a few of Mordan's associates that I've stumbled across during my collecting of those beautiful victorian Mordan pens & pencils...
|Oldest Mordan combo in my collection - 1823|
|"Bramah" clip on 1823 combo|
Following Bramah's death, Mordan began his own company and sometime before 1822 he teamed up with John Isaac Hawkins, the next major figure in Mordan's career.
|1822 Hawkins/Mordan Patent #4742|
In 1823, in what was apparently to become a common practice for Hawkins, he sold his share of the pencil patent to Mordan, who in turn found a new partner that could provide a much needed cash infusion, the successful London stationer Gabriel Riddle.
|G. Riddle Pencil - 1836/1837|
|1831 Oblique Pen Design Patent #6163|
|Clement & Mordan Lathe Chuck Design|
Image courtesy of:
|Michael Faraday by William Brockedon, 1831|
Image courtesy of :
National Portrait Gallery, London - NPG2515(24)
In spite of having little formal education, Faraday is recognized as one of the most influential scientists in history and his discoveries included electric motors, electro magnetism, bunsen burners, and much, much, more. His accomplishments were recognized as being of such import to Einstein that he actually had a portrait of Faraday on his study wall, right next to one of Sir Isaac Newton.
Whether Sampson even realized it at the time or not, what a treat to have been surrounded by these individuals, most of whom were quite successful in their own right, and all of whom were major contributors to the massive technological advances taking place during this period in human history.
And honestly, come on, admit it... how great would it have been to be able to say that you were mentored by the guy that invented the flush toilet!?
For additional details on the lives of these amazing individuals, wikipedia is a great place to start :
John Isaac Hawkins
Gabriel Riddle - no detailed bio info found