Our history

Our History

Timeline Timeline


Carl Hornemann's
first ink factory

In 1832 Carl Hornemann founded a color and ink factory in Hanover, Germany; although it is tradition to consider 28th of April 1838 as the founding date.


Early success
enables expansion

On the 15th of June, Hornemann purchased some property in the Hainholz area of Hanover.


to Education

Günther Wagner was promoted to chemist and plant manager. He took over the company in 1871.


Little honey colors

Günther Wagner designed the the PELIKAN pictorial trademark for the “Small Honey Paints”, based on his family coat of arms.


Trademark registration
on November 27, 1878

The pelican with its four chicks, is one of the oldest trademark registrations in Germany.


Expansion of
international business

The production halls were enlarged. The company employed an additional 39 people and Fritz Beindorff. It was his job to visit customers in Austria, Russia and Italy.


Fritz Beindorff takes over

Fritz Beindorff married Günther Wagner’s oldest daughter in 1888 and took over the company, and introduced a new line of copying, stamping, sticking and erasing products.


Pelikan Indian ink
becomes a best seller

Pelikan started to produce Indian ink, winning a strong presence on the market.


1st poster competition

The first poster competition of 1889/99 is a resounding success for the company, over 500 designs were submitted.