I was happy to see an article about one of my favorite Italian brands.
The pleasure of writing, Italian style: the history of Aurora fountain pens
Aurora was born off a dream and had, at least at its very inception, a bit of a proletarian charm: it was 1919 when Isaia Levi opened his factory in Turin, a city at the time dominated by the Socialists. No wonder, then, that Levi chose the name of the Russian cruiser that started the October Revolution for his business. People change, though, and Aurora’s own founder, Mr Levi, became a senator under the Fascist régime: Mussolini had him and his family “arianized” so that they would not suffer under the 1938 Racial Laws. Levi retired after the end of the war and left his company to a nephew, Giuseppe Enriques, who lead it until the 1960s, when it was acquired by the Verona family, who still owns it today. Aurora was, and still is, the most famous Italian fountain pens brand, the country’s own answer to Germany’s Montblanc, the US’ Parker and France’s Waterman. Its stylish charm had kings besotted – famous is the Aurora “Petra,” designed on demand for Jordan’s royal family – and art lover conquered – two of its 1970s models, the Hastil and the Thesi, both designed by Marco Zanuso, headed straight to the MoMa. In more recent years, Aurora collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Versace and Giugiaro. When it all started, though, back in 1919, no one thought of hitting it that big. The first models to be developed were the R.A. and the F.A., the first characterised by a safety filler, the latter by an eyedropper filler: the aim was that of providing a national alternative to the popular, but more expensive fountain pens coming from the US. In the 1920s, the company introduced a pocket friendly version of the F.A., the F.A.S., made with cheaper materials. Also in the 1920s, a lever filler pen, the A.R.A. model, was introduced. In fact, the A.R.A. was an international success, the first model to put Aurora out there internationally, along with the big names in the business….