A century of fine pen making began in 1899 when the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company opened in Camden, New Jersey USA. A group of English tool makers founded the company that manufactured and distributed steel pens to a fast growing nation.
In the early days of the twentieth century, lettering signs, show cards and movie titles was laborious and time consuming, due to the only available tools being small brushes and fine pens. Letters needed to be outlined and then filled in. Ross F. George, a frustrated young letterer looked for a method to improve the speed of his work. His search led him to develop a nib with a reservoir, which he worked on perfecting with famed letterer William Hugh Gordon. It was nicknamed Speedball because of the speed of the pen, which reportedly cut time working in half.
The first pen points they products were the square "A" style nibs, followed closely by the rounded "B" nibs, and not long after by the broad-edged "C" style and oval "D" style nibs. Over the years, the Hunt Company grew with the production of lettering, artists and mapping pens, and succeeded in capturing and keeping the major share of the market. The name "Speedball" became synonymous with lettering pens. In 1958, the Hunt Pen Company opened a new manufacturing plant in Statesville, North Carolina where the pens are still manufactured today.