Parker 61

1958
About This Model

The Parker 51 was a hard act to follow, but Parker in the 1950s was determined to move ahead with a technologically advanced successor. So, starting in the mid-1950s, Parker developed prototypes. Parker and Sheaffer both thought clean filling was the next step, so while Sheaffer created the Snorkel, Parker went for a capillary filling unit in the 61. You turn the pen upside down and dunk the filler end into ink; it absorbs ink; you wipe it off and put the barrel back on. It was a wonderful idea that really never succeeded, although one can’t tell today if the problem was the filler or the 51’s durability or continued success.
At any rate, the MKI appeared in 1956, with small decorative shields riveted to the caps; rainbow “Heritage” caps also appeared then. These were luxe pens. Over time, more ordinary versions appeared, with plastic barrels and Lustroloy caps. In 1962, a slighter more slender version, called MKII, appeared; then MKIII in 1969, when the capillary filler was replaced by a cartridge/converter unit. 61’s were made in diminishing varieties and quantities through the 1970s, and were finally discontinued altogether in 1983. It was a highly successful model history, but that success was dwarfed by the 51 and the contemporaneous 45.

About This Pen

Parker followed its super-successful 51’s with three lines, two as budget pens and the 61 as a technological successor with similar appearance but an all-new capillary filler. This pen is a 1958 Grey Charcoal Parker 61 MKI capillary filler with a Heritage “rainbow” cap. In nearly flawless condition — there are a few tiny marks along the barrel, and a few tiny dents on the cap; none of these are readily seen. Both jewels are intact and clear; the 61’s characteristic gold arrow is clean. There is a wear mark on the capillary filler’s exterior surface; this will not be seen or affect the pen’s filling. The gold nib, a fine, writes well.

This pen is not for sale.