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- n. Plural form of penmaker.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
It cannot be supposed that Mr. Holland wilfully omitted to mention the names of Mitchell and Gillott, for this writer was an impartial and painstaking collector of facts, but it is probable the notice was written some time before it was published; and, like many little masters, Mitchell and Gillot were only known as penmakers to the wholesale dealers in Birmingham, upon whom they depended for orders, consequently Mr. Holland would be ignorant of their existence.
From this it might be supposed that there were no other penmakers at this date; but
Birmingham penmakers employ about 3,500 women and girls, and 650 men and boys; and besides these the number of women and girls working at making paper boxes, in which the pens are packed, would probably exceed 300.
Gillott had taken out a patent in 1831, and the names of both Mitchell and Gillott appeared as penmakers in _Wrightson's Birmingham
_Boston Mechanic, _ in 1835, and at that date there were penmakers who had made a modest competence, but in no case were they possessed of immense fortunes.
In a notice in _Lardner's Cyclopoedia_ (written by Mr. John Holland, of Sheffield), published in 1833, the names of three penmakers only are given -- Perry, Heeley, and Skinner.
A few years ago Birmingham penmakers, as well as others, were disposed to be rather terrified at the advent of the typewriter, and fancied in their sable moments that the steel pen would sooner or later be superseded.