Was known as A. Hammer Pencil Company until around 1930. Founder Armand Hammer was a shrewd American businessman and avid art collector who capitalized on personal relationships with top Soviet leadership, including Lenin himself. A New York Times article had this to say: "[Mr. Hammer] negotiates with them in their own language, using what a Russian diplomat tactfully described as “fluent but not entirely flawless Russian” acquired during his sojourn there from 1921 to 1930." However, after Stalin came to power, the foreign-owned pencil company was no longer welcomed on Soviet soil. Mr. Hammer was bought out, and the company became Sacco & Vanzetti Pencil Factory.