The company has also owned Sheaffer, another pen manufacturer, since 2014.
The company was founded in 1846 in Providence, Rhode Island. It initially manufactured gold and silver casings for pencils, reflecting the Cross family's history as jewelers. The company was founded by Richard Cross, who passed it on to his son, Alonzo T. Cross.
The company developed many innovative new writing instruments, including forerunners of the modern mechanical pencils, and the earliest stylographic pens. In the 1960s, the company moved its headquarters to a large facility (about 155,000 square feet) in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
After trading on the NASDAQ for five years (under the now-defunct symbol ATX), the company was sold in 2013 to Clarion Capital Partners, LLC, but it retained its headquarters in Lincoln, Rhode Island. The Sheaffer pen company was acquired by A.T. Cross in 2014.
In May 2016, with its headquarters in Lincoln becoming too large, the company accepted a set of tax credits and incentives in exchange for moving its headquarters to Providence, Rhode Island. The new headquarters, measuring about 4200 square feet, is located at The Foundry, the former Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company Complex at 299 Promenade Street in Providence. Most employees were moved to the new location by October 2016.
On November 16, 2017, Transom Capital Group, LLC announced that it had bought the assets of A.T. Cross Company.
Cross is well known for its writing instrument lines, beginning with mechanical pencils, and it produced the first stylographic (a technological forerunner of the modern ball point pen) pens in 1879. The current product line includes fountain pens, ballpoint pens, gel pens and mechanical pencils. The first Cross fountain pens were likely produced in 1930, but not again until the 1980s.
Cross writing instruments are generally sold in the mid-range of the market, rather than the extreme luxury end. However, they became a "must-have" accessory for the rising professional during the 1970s and 1980s.
Most Cross writing instruments are now made in China, although some of the work for customized pens for presidents and politicians is done in New England. The company also manufactures a range of wristwatches, cufflinks, desk accessories and leather goods such as pen cases, portfolios, and other items often targeted at the gift market.
In late 1997, Cross and IBM teamed up to introduce a digital writing pad, called the CrossPad, which was discontinued in 2004.
According to wikipedia