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  • Photoscoot 2020: formerly J Barclay Jenkins, 23 Great Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth

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Description

The 'Aberystwyth Official Guide and Souvenir' published by the Aberystwyth in 1924 contains an advert for this shop - a bookseller and stationer. The adverts encourages people to come in for volumes by their favourite authors, books to give as presents for young and old, and books in Welsh. The shop also sold Fountain Pens by makers such as Swan, Blackbird, Onoto and Waterman.
The American company Mabie Todd produced the ever popular Swan and Blackbird fountain pen range. The company's history stretches back to the 1840s, when the partners were involved in the manufacture of gold nibs and pencils. They began to export pens to the UK in 1884, and in 1909 became to manufacture in the UK. The company was the largest producer around the time of the first World War and specialised in fountain pens and stylos, gold pens, holders, pencil cases etc. Around the time of the Aberystwyth guide's publication Swan 'Ink' was another popular product. The company ceased trading in 1950.
Thomas de la Rue and Co began manufacturing pens in 1909. The company purchased the patent of a self-filling safety open from George Sweetser, a Mechanical Engineer. At the time, de la Rue were banknote and postage stamp printers who were looking to expand their business into other fields in case they lost the UK postage stamp contract. Onoto was the name of the subsidiary company de la Rue and the first pen made was a plunger-filler that was guaranteed not to leak. The Waterman Pen Company was established in 1884 in New York City by Lewis Edson Waterman and continues today.
The Jenkins shop also sold maps (Ordnance Survey and Others); leather goods, and 251 books of postcard views at 2d 6d (of 2s 9d if bought by post).

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