Parker 51


About This Model

The Parker 51 is generally agreed to be one of the genuinely iconic fountain pens, for its timeless design, revolutionary construction, efficiency, unparalleled durability, and for being a great writer. It is also among the most sold pens of all time, having been available from 1941 until the early 1970’s, manufactured in plants around the world, and sold millions. Within each major model there are myriad combinations of color, cap, and other details that have made collecting 51s a serious sport around the world. 51s are available in two lengths: the typical 51 is 5.4" long, but demis, a half-inch shorter in cap and barrel, were also produced. They are excellent writers, hold a great deal of ink, and are great shirt/jacket pocket pens. Parker 51s are readily available today, although some of their colors and cap patterns are rare.

About This Pen

This is a a very nice Vacumatic-filling double-jewel pen. It is also a Parker-history delight because of its unusual assemblage of parts, which I believe is all factory-made. Although its date code is T6 (2d quarter), i.e. made in 1946 in Parker’s transitional factory in Janesville, one might think at first glance that this pen was a treasured 1941 “First Year Pen” from its clip, aluminum tassie and blind cap jewel. With a bit of examination, one can see that the blind cap does not have the brand imprint of the 1941 pens, the Vacumatic filler is post-war, and the cap under that early clip is also post-war. So, is it a retrofitted First Year Pen or a 1946 pen with some earlier parts? My conclusion is the latter: 1946 was a transitional year for Parker (for all industry), they were building a new factory, and they had a long history of using up parts.  Also, why would anyone with parts of a First Year 51 fit it out with later parts?   Esoterica aside, the pen shows some wear but cleaned up very nicely. There are a few non-trivial scratches in the blind cap, a bit of cap wear on the hood, and a few larger-than-micro scratches along the barrel, but nothing that detracts from its overall appearance. The Lustraloy cap has an embedded gold ring and it is dent-free but shows some use. The Vacumatic mechanism fills well. The nib writes a nice fine line. Overall, an interesting and affordable double-jeweled pen that can be used every day forever and comes to you with a bit of unanswered history!

Price: $50 Sold

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