Originally an American
maker of writing instruments
, Parker is now
based in the United Kingdom
. Parker is one of the better-known pen
companies, and created some of the best known fountain
The company got its start in 1888, by George Parker. Parker was
frustrated with the fountain pens of the day. Though they were
somewhat of an improvement over dip pens of the day, they
did tend to leak, be messy, and were temperamental. Parker's innovation
was they "Lucky Curve." In the feed was a small curved tube. This
prevent a blob of ink from spilling out on the paper.
In 1921, the Duofold was born. Until the Duofold, pens were mostly
made from black hard rubber. The Duofold first introduced a
red-orange hard rubber. These pens are known as "Big Reds."
It was a hit.
Parker followed the Duofold with the Vacumatic. The Vacumatic was
innovative in that it provided a filling mechanism that allowed the
complete diameter of the barrel be used to store ink.
In 1941, Parker introduced what would be regarded as the best
fountain pen ever produced: the Parker 51. The 51 had very modern
styling (even by today's standards), and very reliable. This pen was
produced into the 1970s. They were so popular that some would by
just the cap, to give the appearance they had the 51.
Today, Parker is still manufacturing fountain pens, as well as other
writing instruments. They updated and reintroduced the Duofold in
the late 1980s, and more recently have done the same with the Parker
For collectors, Parker is very fun to collect. Over their
hundred-plus-year history, they have produced a wide variety of pens,
with each era having a very distinct look.
http://www.ettnet.se/~boris/ An excellent Parker reference