Parker Duofold (1940)

1940 Parker Duofold pencil, black and silver/violet pearl stripe

1940 Parker Blue Diamond Duofold, black and gold stripe (one cap band missing)

The Duofold name disappeared from the radar briefly during the mid-1930s when Parker was trying to get everyone to move up to the new Vacumatic, but Parker later reintroduced the Duofold as a companion line to the Vacumatic.

The mechanics of this large, handsome 1940 Duofold pen are very similar to those of the Vac, but the styling is perhaps a bit more conservative (striped instead of ringed). The blue diamond was Parker's mark indicating a lifetime guarantee. The very striking appearance of these pens was created by alternating bands of black and pearlescent celluloid, laboriously formed into tube stock and machined by hand into shape.

The pencil (from the same year, but not a match) is a very eye-catching multicolor stripe, with an interesting "kink" or barber-pole effect in the stripes.


Parker pens and pencils from the 30s and 40s can usually be very reliably dated: using a magnifying glass, look somewhere near the barrel imprint (usually to the right side), and you will find a single digit surrounded by from zero to three dots. The digit is the year (you'll have to figure the decade for yourself), and the calendar quarter can be figured by subtracting the number of dots you see from four (these have a "0" with no dots, so they're from the fourth quarter of 1940). As the story goes, Parker would start out each year with dies having the year digit and the three dots; as each quarter went by, one dot would be ground off the die.

This file last posted on:
2005-Jan-20 17:50:26 CST
MCMVIII, the red network