Parker 51 Fountain Pen
Parker 51 History
In 1941 the company introduced the Parker 51, which is widely recognised by experts to be the most popular and influential fountain pen ever made. Described in adverts by the company as “The World’s Most Wanted Pen”, the Parker 51 was a high-end luxury pen that was years ahead of its time.
In a poll organized by the Illinois Institute of Technology, it was voted the fourth best industrial design of the 20th century.
It was created by the Hungarian designer Lazlo Moholy Nagy in 1939, to commemorate the company’s 51st anniversary. It offered a number of technical innovations such as a concealed tubular nib inside an ink trap, which offered a smooth ink flow and meant the nib took far longer to dry out without its cap.
Many pen collectors agree that the Parker 51 is the finest fountain pen ever produced, and it remains highly popular in all its variations. To date, the pen has accounted for $400 million in sales worldwide for the Parker company, making it the most used Parker fountain pen of all time.
Throughout its history the Parker 51 has appeared in a number of varieties. These include:
- Parker 51 Vacumatic Filler ‘First Year’ model: 1940-1941
- Parker 51 Vacumatic Filler Blue Diamond Clip: 1942-1947
- Parker 51 Red Band Filler: 1946-1947
- Parker 51 Vacumatic Filler Plain Arrow Clip: 1947-1948
- Parker 51 Demi-sized Vacumatic Filler Plain Arrow Clip: 1947-1948
- Parker 51 Aerometric Filler: 1948-1969
- Parker 51 Jotter: 1954-1969
- Parker 51 Converter: 1961-1963
- Parker 51 Aerometric MKIII: 1969-1972
Each of these models was issued in a number of colours and finishes, and are all popular with collectors. Many Parker pen collectors specialise in nothing but 51 models, due to their high quality and wide variation of designs.
Unrestored Parker 51 models can be found for around $30, but rare examples in top condition can often sell for thousands of dollars.
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