In 1875 Friedrich Soennecken started a company to sell nibs, ink pots and books. By 1883 he employed 40 people. In 1884 he invented the ring file and hole punch. By 1890 he was selling the first German fountain pen, an eyedropper-fill. By 1905 he was selling a Safety Pen, two years before Waterman. In 1913 he introduced ornate overlay safety pens. A lever-fill pen was introduced in 1927. By 1929 Parker was selling button-fill pens in Europe. Not to be outdone, Soennecken introduced a novel button-filler where a sleeve at the bottom of the barrel is screwed into the pen to reveal a button.When expelled, the sleeve protects the button from being depressed. In 1931 Soennecken introduced the plastic Rheingold model (in four sizes), and selling for far less than Parker’s Duofolds. In the mid-1930s Soennecken introduced piston-filling pens. During WWII, when gold became in short supply, like the other German pen manufacturers, Soennecken used alloy nibs. During the war their Bonn factories were destroyed. Production began again in 1945. In 1949 a new piston-filling pen was introduced with a locking mechanism. To unlock the turning knob, it is first pulled out and turned anti-clockwise. When filling is completed, a clicking noise is audible as the mechanism locks into place. In the 1950s, four new lines were introduced in wonderful colors.Two of these lines, the 222 and 111, are thought to be the best German pens of their time. Soennecken never developed a ball pen. By 1960 they were producing only inexpensive pens. Thanks to Andreas Lambrou, Fountain Pens of the World, 1995, for the above information.