John Holland (pen maker)
John Holland was a prominent American businessman and industrialist whose "John Holland Gold Pen Company" was a large maker of pens and related products during the late 19th century. In his business activities, he made several metallurgical and mechanical advancements, the most notable being a process for creating stable bars and other usable forms of iridium.
He was born on August 25, 1838, in Kilcrohane, County Cork, Ireland and immigrated, with his parents, to the United States in 1848. The family settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he stayed for the rest of his life. He served an apprenticeship, then worked for the pen maker George W. Sheppard. In 1862, he acquired the entire business and quickly expanded it.
Before 1900 the John Holland Pen Company was between the major fountain pens manufacturer, and also George S. Parker, founder of the most famous brand, was a reseller. After John Holland death on 1917 company started to decline, and was closed around 1950.
- The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Ohio of the Nineteenth Century, published 1882. reprinted at:
- Chemistry Conquering Iridium. The New York Times, May 13, 1881
- A History of Iridium, Overcoming the Difficulties of Melting and Fabrication, L. B. Hunt, The Johnson Matthey Group