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Interesting information about the company

Do you know that:

  • KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH company arose in 1790 and originally produced earthenware
  • Josef Hardtmuth is the inventor of modern graphite pencil. Amazing is that the process of producing such pencils hasn’t changed since 1789 till today.
  • Franz Hardtmuth, Josef Hardtmuth’s grandson, is the inventor of modern technology, which permits to produce graphite pencils in gradation.
  • Graphite pencil KOH-I-NOOR marked 1500 is the most popular pencil in the world. It appeared in 1888 and straight away came on the market in 17 gradations. Very soon the number of gradations increased to 21. This number of gradations is retained till today.
  • World standard of marking gradations with the help of numbers and letters HB or F originated at KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH company at České Budějovice. For the first time this marking appeared on pencils with designation 1500. “H” stands for Hardtmuth, “B” – for Budějovice and the special medium gradation “F” stands for Franz Hardtmuth who invented modern technology, which permits to produce graphite pencils in gradation.
  • Water soluble KOH-I-NOOR pencils are the best in the world. Their advantage lies in the traditional technology of production, which is not usually used in other companies due to the complexity of this know-how.
  • The symbol “Elephant” is one of the oldest registered trademarks in the world. Famous rubbers with an elephant have been produced on the basis of natural caoutchouc since 1896 till today.
  • Multicoloured lead in the infinite mosaic of the coloured pencil “Magic” is the brand-name item of KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH company. First it was patented in 1936 and initially mosaic lead was meant to provide signatures with originality – in other words, it was planned to use this pencil in secretariat. Nowadays coloured pencils “Magic” are popular among children and artists worldwide.
  • In 2012 at Frankfurt fair the set of tonal coloured pencils “Magic” as below became literally a sensation.
  • KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH is the only company that produces mechanic lead extenders for ≥ 5,6 mm thick pencil leads.
  • Those who enjoy doing sudoku and crosswords are really addictive to “Sudoku” pencils. This is an exclusive item produced by KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH only.
  • KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH also offers a range of antibacterial items for children such as, for example, coloured pencils, graphite pencils and modelling clay. These items preserve their antibacterial quality during the whole service period.
  • Although KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH trademark is associated primarily with pencils, its top-product is a set of tempera colours. The company offers the widest range of so-called dry art products of high quality in the world. In the first place assortment of graphite items is absolutely unique due to its amplitude.
  • Besides classic wooden pencils, in KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH assortment there are extremely popular woodless graphite and coloured pencils (sold under “Progresso” trademark) and plastic pencils.
  • Centropen brand also originated at KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH company. Initially Centropen markers and highlighters were designed at Centropen own plant in Dačice, but later the companies split because of privatization process. Thus KOH-I-NOOR had to establish its production of markers and highlighters all over again.
  • Products labeled Creta color used to be manufactured by KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH, carrying its registered brand CRETA. In 1970 during the Cold War era KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH established a subsidiary production facility in Hirm, Austria to service the western markets. It was a joint-stock company KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH AG. After the Cold War the Austrian production facility in Hirm became redundant as the western markets could again be serviced by the Czechoslovak KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH. In 1993 the KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH streamlined its brand portfolio by abandoning several brand names including CRETA, PLUTO, TECHNICOLOR etc. In the turbulent times of the early nineties the production facility in Hirm became redundant and subsequently highly indebted. KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH Czech Republic paid off all the debts and closed down the factory in Hirm in 1996. The vacated facility and equipment were bought by a new investor who against all expectations restarted the production and adopted the abandoned brand CRETA to build up his own new company, which later presented itself under this brand, utilizing KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH know-how. He took advantage of the brand CRETA to fabricate a connection between his new company and the Koh-i-noor Hardtmuth tradition.
KOH-I-NOOR HOLDING a.s. KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH a.s. | F.A. Gerstnera 21/3 | CZ 371 30 České Budějovice | Czech republic | | sales (at)