19. Montblanc (1913), Unknown

The Montblanc logo makes it into our list not just because of the cleverness of the device that recalls a snowy mountain peak, but also because of its links to the product itself. Originally, the Hamburg-based Simplo Filler Pen Co gave its products a plain white top but, supposedly during a card game in 1909, a relative of one of the partners drew an inspired analogy between the pen, which had become the pinnacle of writing instruments, and the Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. The name Montblanc was registered as a trademark and used for all writing instru­ments produced by the company. In 1913, the familiar White Star (or ‘bird splat’ as some disrespect­ful collectors refer to it) was adopted as its trademark.

The Montblanc logo

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