The Ohto company was established in 1929 as Nakata Okha Do, originally a maker of dyes and inks; the founder Nakata Tozaburo left government service after devising a bank-note ink over concerns of conflict of interest. Ohto entered pen-making in 1949, starting in ball-points. It was from these “Auto-Point” pens that the company took its eventual name– it was the Auto company until 1974, when concern over confusion with cars led to a change in the transliteration: オート can be read as “Auto” or “Ohto”, and the latter is really more usual. The company can also claim the distinction of developing rollerball pens, introducing the first in 1963.
Just when they began production of fountain pens remains a bit of a mystery; neither the company’s own (scanty) history nor other sources I’ve turned up seem to care about the question. The company is still a thriving concern, producing various pens and paper-handling devices.
Models I’ve examined:
|This is tricky.|