Speedball’s® rich history of manufacturing fine art materials began in Camden, NJ in 1899. Since that time, Speedball’s offerings have grown and evolved but our dedication to providing our customers with superior products and service at an affordable price remains the same.
1899—C. Howard Hunt Pen Company begins the tradition of fine pen-making that is still alive at Speedball today. Boasting impressive operations, the Hunt Pen Company was capable of producing almost 45,000 pens a day and shipping 25 pens per minute.
1903—Hunt is purchased by George E. Bartol, whose family would retain control over the company for much of the twentieth century.
1913—Patents filed for the A-Series nib by Ross F. George and William H. Gordon.
1915—Partnering with Ross F. George, C. Howard Hunt Pen Company releases the first broad edge lettering tool of its kind, the Speedball A-Series Pen Nib.
Ross F. George creates the first edition of The Speedball Textbook, Presenting the Speedball Pen. This 40-page booklet sold for a mere 50 cents.
1916—The Speedball B-Series nib is released.
1918—C. Howard Hunt Pen Company begins manufacture of today’s most popular broad edge Speedball nib, The C-Series.
1925—Engaging in its first of many large acquisitions, Hunt purchases the Boston Pencil Sharpener Company.
1936—Hunt becomes the first large manufacturer of linoleum block printing supplies.
1940—Hunt introduces pen points made of a non-stainless-steel alloy. This innovation helped the company maintain its market share throughout the war years and the late 1940s.
1957—Hunt Pen Company moves its manufacturing from Camden, NJ to its current home in Statesville, NC.
1962—Hunt Pen Company officially changes name to Hunt Manufacturing Company and moves its administrative offices from Camden, NJ to Philadelphia, PA.
1969—Continuing to broaden its presence in the art materials industry, Hunt acquires the Bienfang® Paper Company.
1970s—Hunt begins to manufacture high-quality screen printing products.
1997—Walt Glazer successfully leads the purchase of Speedball Art Products from Hunt Manufacturing.
2007—Speedball Art Products develops its impressive range of lead-free underglazes and glazes.
2008–Speedball acquires the Houston Art Company, adding well-known brands like Pink Soap® and the Mona Lisa Metal Leaf™ lines to it offerings.
2009—Speedball Art Products acquires Creative Industries and becomes the proud manufacturer of the Artista™ and Boss Series Pottery Wheels.
2010—Bienfang Artist Paper brand purchased from Elmer’s Products, Inc.
2012—Furthering its commitment to offering innovative, professional-quality printmaking inks, Speedball adds the Akua® line to its brand family. Fabric Block Printing Inks become available in 14 colors and a Transparent Base.
2014—Arnhem 1618® added to the Speedball offering.
2015—Speedball Professional® Screen Printing Tools are launched and the centennial edition of The Speedball Textbook is published.
2016—Speedball begins manufacturing Speedball Professional Relief Inks and also adds Speedball Gel Printing Plates and Calligraphy Fountain Pens to its offerings.
2016/2017–Speedball proudly announced the addition of Best-Test adhesives and adhesive removers to its offerings in late 2016 and began manufacturing and distributing the products in early 2017.
2018–Speedball announces its purchase of Global Art Materials, the owner of such brands as Fluid™ and Fluid 100™ Watercolor papers, Handbook Travel and Watercolor Journals, Quattro, and Pastel Premier. In addition to manufacturing these great lines, Speedball becomes the exclusive North American distributor of Escoda, ArtGraf, Folia and P.H. Coate Willow Charcoal. All operations move from the home of Global Art Materials, Kansas City, MO, to Statesville, NC and shipments begin in July of the same year.