James Perry was originally an educator. In the early 1800's he began making steel pens by hands to give out to his students as he was so dissatisfied with what was available in the marketplace at the time. James Perry & Co. was established in 1824 in Manchester, making pens, as well as a variety of other stationery products. The business eventually relocated to London. As of 1829, all of Perry's pens were actually being made by Josiah Mason, considered to be the finest pen maker at the time. Sometime after 1847 the company was renamed "Perry & Co.".