The history of El Casco
Foundation of the company
The company was founded in Eibar (Guipuzcoa) on 7 September 1920.
Two employees of Orbea S.R.C., a company that manufactured firearms at the time, decided that they had the necessary know-how to create their own company specialising in the manufacture of high-quality revolvers.
Their names were Juan Solozabal Mendive and Juan Olave Bilbao, and the new company they founded was called Olave, Solozaval SRC.
The manufacture of firearms and the crisis of 1929
The first products of the new company were revolvers, which were manufactured under three different brand names: El Casco, Duque and Tejón, of which a wide range was produced in different calibres.
In the literature and advertising of the time, the products were described as being most reliable and particularly high quality.
Many different machines were needed to produce and test the parts, which must have required a very wide range of knowledge and skills.
First products for the desk
The first office machines produced by the company were the distinctive M-15 desk stapler and the M-500 numbering machine, which quickly became popular on the domestic market and could be found in the offices of numerous public and private companies throughout Spain.
The success of these products led to the development of new items such as pencil sharpeners, letter scales and hole punches, which contributed to the rapid expansion of the company, always focusing on the mechanical reliability of the products. The designers of the staplers even went so far as to say that “a staple must slide through the stapler like a bullet through the barrel of a revolver”.
The Civil War
When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, the company’s headquarters were located in the heart of the Basque Country, in the city of Eibar, which was known as a major centre of arms production. The city was bombed and the factory completely destroyed.
The new beginning
After the end of the Civil War in 1940, the founders of the company resumed their activities and, despite great difficulties, built a new factory in Calle Blas Echebarria 3 in Eibar. They were soon able to put their range back on the market and by the 1970s they had once again become the national market leader. Their products achieved cult status in offices all over Spain.
From the Seventies until today...
The oil crisis at the end of the 1970s, the liberalisation of markets and the end of protectionism required a reorientation and the company faced up to these challenges. The steady increase in imports required a new strategy to promote exports, and in the 80s and 90s the company worked in two directions: Chilean designer Guillermo Capdevila was recruited to design high-quality but affordable desk products based on the use of ABS plastic as a raw material, and a collection with new finishes such as 23.4 carat gold was started to serve the exclusive stationery and gift market.
Today, El Casco products are sold in over 40 countries and are available in the world’s finest stationers and luxury shops. Our practical and elegant items can be found in the offices of heads of state and high-ranking decision-makers in many countries.
At the end of 2010, the company moved to a new factory in Elgeta, in Spain’s Basque Country, where production processes were optimised to further improve the products and maintain their legendary mechanical reliability and impeccable design. The products continue to be manufactured entirely in Spain.