Michael has written,
From what I can gather, the brothers Meissner owned Salamander; sometime in the 1930's they moved the factory to southern Germany and renamed their product Rackete (rocket) to keep up with the times.... hard to know what the war did, as it seems that K. Meissner is the only brother identified in the later Columbus invoices. It seems that Columbus was a separate small company that Meissner(s) took over after the war. It had nothing to do with the Italian Columbus pen maker.
Rick, thanks for providing that very clear history of these different brands. That seems to take care of many of the questions I had.
This is such an interesting company, it seems like it was a first tier brand and that Salamander and Rakete were as well. These are no doubt much less known, and harder to find than the ever popular and also first tier Montblanc and Pelikan pens of the same eras.
On another note, good to know German Columbus was an entirely separate company from Italian Columbus, both seemed to have made beautiful pens though!
If anyone else has a Columbus/Rakete/Salamander pen to share, please do post pictures!