Handcrafted in England since 1822

Our story

Today Yard O Led is one of the world's leading manufacturers of fine pens and pencils, as well as one of the most historic craft workshops in Britain. Our story begins over 200 years ago with the founding of a goldsmith in London by Sampson Mordan, an associate of the groundbreaking scientist Michael Faraday. Mordan would shortly go on to patent the world's first propelling pencil in 1822, which he dubbed "ever-pointed". This patent would later be acquired by Edward Baker & Company of Birmingham.

In the early 20th Century, another gold and silversmith was established in London by Ludwig Brenner, who came from Pforzheim, Germany, bringing the secrets of the Black Forest artisans. It was in London that he would perfect the instrument that would secure his fame and fortune: a self propelling pencil holding twelve three-inch leads, the iconic "Yard O Led". Brenner went into business with one Frank Tuffnel, whose father had worked with Sampson Mordan, founding the official Yard O Led company in 1934.

Yard O Led's journey is a testament to the enduring allure of quality and innovation

Despite the ravages of time, including the obliteration of both Brenner and Mordan's factories during the Blitz, Yard O Led survived and prospered. After the Second World War, new premises were established in Birmingham, where the company is located to this day. In the 1950s it acquired and merged with Edward Baker, obtaining the legendary Mordan patents. Tim Tuffnel, the son of Frank, remains the honourary President, ensuring the family ethos and dedication to quality remain at the heart of the company.

Yard O Led has evolved from its roots in pencils to master the art of pen making, offering an exquisite range of writing instruments that blend tradition with modernity.