The Vacumatic was created by Parker
. Originally named "Vacuum
," it became the Vacumatic (or just "Vac") in 1933. This pen
replaced the Parker Duofold, and was succeeded
by the Parker 51
The Vacumatic used a relatively unique filling system. Most
fountain pens that predated the Vac held its ink in a
sack. This sack was compressed, typically by a pressure
bar. Release the bar, and a vacuum is created, and ink is
pulled into the sack.
The problem is that, even for a large pen, the ink supply is
limited. The Vac found a way around this. To increase the ink supply, it is stored directly in
the barrel of the pen. A diaphragm at the end of the barrel,
manipulated by a plunger, draws in the ink. By eliminating
the sack, much more ink is kept. Early pens have an aluminum
plunger. During World War II, it is replaced with
plastic. Production of the Vac ended in 1948.
The pen itself is made of celluloid. The usual pattern is
striped perpendicular to the barrel. The plunger is hidden
under a bit of the barrel that unscrews, called the "blind
cap." The clip is described as being (in some early
advertisements) a "Military Clip," as it makes the pen ride low in the pocket.
The Vacumatic brought forth several quintessential Parker
- It introduced the arrow clip. To this day, Parker pens
have an arrow clip. The arrow logo is stamped on the nib,
which is also present on many Parker pens.
- The configuration of the clip with a "jewel" is repeated on
many Parker pens. The Parker 51 and 61 both have it. Even the
Sonnet could be said to have it.
- The "Blue Diamond Lifetime Warrantee" is introduced on
this pen. The Blue Diamond is seen on the clip.
My first two vintage pens are Vacumatics (a 1945 and 1944).