Cross is one of the oldest manufacturers of writing instruments, dating back to the mid-1800's. In the modern era, it was a major innovator in mechanical pencils, having introduced propel-repel pencils in 1879. There were also early fountain pen nibs labeled AT Cross, but probably not complete working fountain pens.
The Century, the pen and pencil that became the standard professional and executive instrument from the 1970's on, appeared in 1946, the successor to Cross's slim black-banded pencil and fountain pen line from 1930. These were followed in 1953 by the ubiquitous Century ballpoint and the 1966 desk sets.
Cross continued with numerous later models, became the standard pen for Presidential signing ceremonies, and continues today in Rhode Island after 170 years in Rhode Island, although most of its current production is in China.