Parker Parkette (1950s version)

A familiar shape catches your eye, and you thrust your hand into the shoebox full of four dollar pens and come up with...yes...a Parker 51! But wait a minute...why is it two tone? Why are the point and feed so large? Why is the clip straight and not arrow shaped? Why is the cap done in cheap shiny nickel plate with only a breather hole in the top, rather than a satiny Lustraloy with a pearly button? You turn the pen over, and, horrors! it has a lever fill! Fetch the smelling salts!

The mystery is solved when you read the discreet imprint near the mouth of the cap. This is a Parkette, from the second line of low-priced steel-pointed student pens to be sold under this name. Both those from the late '30s and this one from the early '50s had straight clips and -- highly unusual for Parker -- lever fill (which was an innovation of arch-rival Sheaffer, seldom seen on any Parker product). This pen is in an interesting cinnamon color.

The visual resemblance to the 51 was quite intentional, to be sure, but hold the pen in your hands and you can tell that we aren't talking heirloom here. Still, it only cost $3.50 (vs. $15.00 for the least expensive 51 at the time), so you can't complain (hey, I paid four bucks for mine -- maybe I should complain).

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