1920

CREATION OF THE COMPANY

The company was founded on 7 September 1920 in Eibar (Guipuzcoa), before Eibar’s notary public Alejandro Astaburaga Eraña. 

Two employees of the company Orbea S.R.C., which at the time was a firearms manufacturer (and was later to produce bicycles and motorcycles), decided they had the sufficient know-how to embark on the creation of a new firm, specialising in high-quality revolver manufacture. 

Their names were Juan Solozabal Mendive and Juan Olave Bilbao, and the new company they founded was called Olave, Solozaval SRC.

1920 - 1929

FIREARMS MANUFACTURE AND THE 1929 CRISIS

The first products manufactured by the new firm were revolvers, produced under three different brand names: El Casco, Duque and Tejón. A very wide range was manufactured, in .38 and .32 calibres and with 2 ½, 3 ¼, 4 ½, 4 ¼, 5 and 6 inch barrels. 

Literature and advertisements of the time announced that the products were “extra” high quality. 

Numerous different machines were required for manufacturing and testing the parts (drills, augers, lathes, milling machines, presses, reaming machines, copying machines, buffers and electroplating baths), and so a very wide range of knowledge and skills must have been required for their production.

1932

FIRST STATIONERY PRODUCED

The first stationery to be manufactured by the firm consisted of the model M-5 stapler and the model M-500 automatic numbering machine, which quickly attained success on the domestic market, appearing in the offices of many public and private sector companies all over Spain. 

After the success of these products, new items were designed such as pencil sharpeners, letter weighers and hole punchers, contributing even further to the company’s rapid expansion and always with the mechanical reliability of the items as a basic starting point. The stapler design technicians even went so far as to say that “a staple should travel through the stapler just like a bullet through the barrel of a revolver".

1936

THE CIVIL WAR

In 1936, when the Spanish Civil War broke out, the company’s base was in the heart of the Basque Country in the town of Eibar, which was known as a large weapon-producing centre. The city was bombed and the firm’s factory was totally destroyed. 

1940

NEW FACTORY

When the civil war ended in 1940 the company’s founders resumed business, and in spite of great difficulties a new factory was built at nº 3, Calle Blas Echebarria in Eibar. In just a short time they were able to bring out their range of products again, and they became national market leaders once more, well into the 1970s. Their products reached iconic status in offices all over Spain.

1980 - PRESENT

The oil crisis of the late 1970s, market liberalisation and the end of protectionism made refocusing necessary and the company set its sights on new challenges. The constant increase in imports required a new strategy to foster export, and in the 1980s and 1990s the firm worked in two directions:   the Chilean designer Guillermo Capdevila was recruited to create top-class, low-priced office equipment based on the use of ABS plastic as a raw material, and a new range of excellent quality products with new finishes such as 23.4 karat gold began to be produced, to cater for the top-of-the-range stationery and giftware sector.

Production processes were consequently improved, with automatic electroplating lines guaranteeing similar finishes to those obtained in the jewellery industry. 

Today El Casco’s products are sold in over forty countries and can be found in the best stationery shops, top-class writing boutiques and at luxury article distributors all over the world. Our practical, elegant items can be found in the offices of Heads of State and top-level professionals in many different countries. 

In late 2010 the company moved to a state-of-the-art factory in Elgeta in the Spanish Basque Country, where its production processes have been optimised with a view to further improving its products, maintaining their legendary mechanical reliability and impeccable design. They continue to be entirely manufactured in Spain.