The Pelikan company was founded by the German chemist Carl Hornemann in 1832; he started with a new factory in Hanover, Germany, since in those days there weren't too many options for writing tools in Germany and all such items were imported. Carl Hornemann was the first to build a pen factory in Germany, and it is said that his father was the one to have encouraged him in pursuing his dream. The factory was finished and ready to produce six years later, so that in 1838 Hornemann's Paint and Ink Factory began producing the first Pelikan pens. In the first years of activity, Hornemann prepared his ink eighteen miles away from the factory, which was very inefficient especially after the production raised significantly.
In 1842 the company extended, now integrating an ink facility inside the factory perimeter. Later on in 1863 a chief chemist named Gunther Wagner was hired as a plant manager and chief chemist, he is the one who took control over the company after Hornemann retired in 1871. In 1878 Wagner patented the company logo, and the symbol was a pelican which appeared on Wagner's family emblem. Pelikan pens improved year by year, their quality was so appreciated that Wagner built another factory. A manufacturing extension was performed in 1881, and again another one in 1895 to support the growing demand for good, reliable pens.
By 1896 the Pelikan pens had the best ink on the market as none of their competitors could match their achievements. During the first two decades of the 20th century the Pelikan company developed incredibly fast, as they released new series of Pelikan pens and inks that were a real success. In just a couple of years new production space had to be brought to support the company's growing needs. In 1912 Pelikan opened a shop that would last successfully until the 70s. With the growth of the production capacity, staff also increased in number so that in less than fifteen years they boomed from two hundred people to over a thousand.
In 1938 the company was close to four thousand employees and had production facilities from Europe to South America. After World War II and the German reconstruction Pelikan pens came back to the market's attention with Pelikano a pen that will be a world wide success. Over the years after the invention of ballpoint pens the company slowly declined, it was bought by Condorpart, and later in 1995 Nucote, an American company took over the printing division. Since 1996 the company is controlled by the Hooi Keat Loo's, a Malaysian company.