Parker Pens – The Timeless Classic

Parker Pens

Anyone with a passion for writing will know that fountain pens give an outstanding writing experience. Despite existing since the 17th century, the fountain pen still has a robust audience and a widespread following across the world. That is why fountain pen enthusiasts celebrate Fountain Pen Day on the first Friday in November each year.

At the Parker Pen Company there is over 125 years of history in pen making, with the fountain pen being the very first pen patented by George Safford Parker, the founder of the company. As such, it is only right that we take a look at the history of Parker pens to see what has made them a timeless classic to celebrate Fountain Pen Day.

Take A Step Back In History

George Parker originally entered the pen business when he started to sell pens for the John Holland Pen Company. This was to help supplement his income as a teacher. However, after the pens he sold kept breaking, he felt obliged to repair them.

George Parker

George Parker

This resulted in his first patent in 1889. This led to the 1894 patent for the “Lucky Curve” feed, an anti-leak system. It drew excess ink back into the pen when it was not being used, preventing the ink from accidently leaking out.

The popularity of Parker pens began to increase thanks to innovative products, exquisite and unique designs and great marketing. While products such as the sterling silver or gold Parker Snake Pens were designed to awe, Parker also became involved with war efforts by producing the Trench Pen from 1914 till the end of World War One in 1918.

Trench Pens were specifically designed with soldiers and the war in mind, as they used dry ink tablets that could be activated by simply adding water. But skip forward three years to 1921 and one of the most influential launches of the Parker Pen Company occurs with the release of the Duofold pen.

It had been inspired by the Roaring Twenties and is still produced today, solidifying the fact that Parker produces some of the most reliable and dependable pens available.

Parker Pens At The Forefront Of Innovation

Anyone who uses a Parker pen today may be familiar with the name ‘Quink‘, but many may not know where this name came from. In 1931, the research department of Parker released its first product, formula #1022 which was a quick drying ink, hence the name Quink. This was incredibly important as it dried fast and required no blotter.

One of the most popular fountain pens in history is the Parker 51 pen which was created to celebrate the company’s 51st anniversary. Launched in 1941; it won numerous design awards including the Academy Award for Best Design. It was produced for thirty years and generated over $400 million dollars in sales, becoming one of the best pens of the 20th century.

An interesting fact about the Parker 51 pen is that it was used in the signing of the German surrender in World War II due to General Dwight D. Eisenhower being given a pen by Kenneth Parker, his friend.

A Royal Confirmation

With such a rich and extensive history in the pen manufacturing business, it is not surprising to find out that the Parker Pen Company holds two Royal Warrants. The first is awarded in 1962 by Queen Elizabeth II, ensuring that Parker becomes the Royal Household’s official supplier of writing instruments.

Their second Royal Warrant was issued in 1990 from High Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales. In keeping with this royal theme, Parker released a Limited Edition Parker 105 to celebrate the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Over 125 Years and Still Going Strong

The Parker Pen Company celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013 and is still continuing to work towards the future, solidifying its place in history as one of the leading, and most well known, pen manufacturers in the world.

Have you ever used a Parker fountain pen? We’d love to hear which pen you have! Why not take a look at the range of Parker pens and accessories we have available on OPInfo?

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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