"Before the Second World War there was scarcely a jeweler or stationer in the country who was unfamiliar with the name Mordan.
By the 1930s two London companies, Sampson Mordan & Co. and Francis Mordan & Co. had been supplying pens and pencils to retail outlets for over a hundred years.
For some in the 19th century, including one noted novelist and editor, ‘Mordan’ became simply a word meaning pencil or pen and if Sampson Mordan’s advertising is to be believed unreservedly, much of the great literature of the time first took form through the agency of Mordan products. Old gold ‘Mordans’ provided they were not broken could be exchanged for new ones if the need arose.
While Francis Mordan & Co. continued to produce ‘Mordans’ only, Sampson Mordan & Co. diversified and by the end if the 1880s they were manufacturing a wide variety of items as the following advertisement shows.
Sampson Mordan & Co. Manufacturers of gold and silver pencil cases, penholders and toothpicks. Gold and silver mounted glass and china scent and salt bottles.
Gold and silver chatelaine fittings, puff boxes and other toilet wares. Gold and silver cigar cases, cigarette cases, matchboxes, cigar cutters, spirit lamps and other requisites for smokers. Silver and silver mounted flakes. Copying presses and many varieties of office fittings. Iron safes and jewel boxes.
Most items carried the hallmark S.M. until c. 1890 and then S.M. & Co. Otherwise they may have been stamped S. Mordan & Co. or S. Mordan & Co. Makers."