PETERSBURG – It’s the greatest pen sign ever. It’s the Remmie Arnold Pen of Petersburg, Virginia.
The company was founded by Remmie Arnold, who ran for governor of Virginia, but lost. He won at the pen game, and for a time Remmie Arnold was one of the world’s largest pen manufacturers.
Petersburg was once the home of great brand names. Kool Cigarettes. Raleigh Cigarettes. Tareyton Cigarettes. Seward Steamer Trunks. the Rucker Rosenstock Department Store.
Most has gone. However, Seward/Mercury is still there. Seward deserves a post of its own, as it was once the Louis Vuitton of American trunks. And Titmus Optical is still a leader in that field.
But we think, and hope, that the Arnold pen sign is still up. If not, BrandlandUSA readers can stare longingly at this photo and think of olden days.
This photo in our files is taken from around 1990, taken by photographer, architect and sign documentarian Marco Crescentini, who grew up in the region and gave us the photo years ago.
The sign is still there. I moved into this building a few hours ago and decided to do some research on it. This building is now a loft, which many college and military personnel.
So great to hear that it has been restored Amber!
I worked there in the late 1960s between college semesters. Several of us would carpool from Hopewell and the one great event I recall was being there when we landed on the moon! A lot of the women that worked there did not believe that this actually took place. It was a hot building with no air-conditioning and we worked on steam machines. My specific job was applying the clips to the pen with a foot pump. There were a number of nationally recognized companies of who ordered pens.
It was in the mid 1960s I worked for the Arnolds.
I had the priveledge of knowing Mr. Arnold, Sr., Remmie L. Arnold, Jr. and even Remmie, III. I worked a number of years at the facility on Union Street in the mid 1980s. A wonderful family, all of them. I’ve lost contact with them but never forgot them.
Here’s a night shot of the (restored) sign, all lit up: http://photo.blogs.timesdispatch.com/2012/12/11/sign/
I’m a pen collector (fanatic) and have restored a number of old Arnold fountain pens (and pen/mechanical pencil combos). Even though they were a ‘3rd tier’ company and not extremely valuable, they came up with a LOT of beautifully patterned and innovative pens. They’re still good pens.
I just found a set (pen/pencil) made by this company. The color of the set is a beautiful green. Made in America. Love it !
Hooray for the sign. I think I will put this on my bucket list to see.
April 26, 2013 – sign still up, still lit, looks great at night.
I actually live in the building the sign hangs on and I love it, I was just researching the history behind it.
July 24,2012 — The sign is there and lit up at night. The building appears to be restored. A neat sign!
As of December 2011 the sign has been completely restored and the neon is back and functioning. I saw it lit up for the first time last night and it looks great!
The sign was still hanging a week ago but, I heard the site had been sold for apartments. Was originally built for a pharmaceutical company, reincarnated as a USO during WWII and then a lingerie factory before my grandfather moved into it because of a major fire at the old site on Washington St. The move was noteworthy in that they did not have to completely stop production to do it. A grand old building. Thick brick walls, post and beam interior with maple t&g flooring.
Yes. as of 11.28.09 the sign is still on the building. The neon tubing on the side in the photo is broken but the other side appears to be intact. No idea if it lights up. The building looks empty and may not have power.