History Of The Parker Duofold Fountain Pen
There are many different inventors who hold the claim to inventing the first pen that carried its own ink supply. However, not many of these early inventions were very practical until John Jacob Parker came along in 1831 with his patent for the first self-filling fountain pen which made writing simpler for everyone.
Even after the invention and mass production of the ballpoint pen, the fountain pen still holds a place in today’s marketplace. These pens are no longer just considered to be writing instruments but have to meet the criteria of the fountain pen connoisseur.
The Parker Pen Company (created by Jacob John Parker) has been improving upon the original pen design ever since. Fountain pens were not infallible and were prone to a number of different faults chief among these being ink blotches appearing on the page. Blotting the nib was also a necessary and messy part of writing for decades.
The introduction of the Duofold fountain pen by The Parker Pen Company in 1921 changed this, providing a more user friendly option. Originally the pen was made from hard red or black rubber and there are very few of these left in existence today making them highly collectible.
This is mainly due to the change to plastic being made in 1926 which further revolutionized the industry. The earliest models of these pens came in a range of different colors (though red was still the defining color at the time) and although they were manufactured on a large scale, they are still a great addition to any collection.
All these improvements as well as the enhancements that were made later to the Duofold fountain pen is what still makes the Parker model one of the best available on the market today. There are a variety of different Duofold models to consider before investing in a Parker fountain pen.
The Black tip Jade pen is another great collectible item from 1926. This pen is unique in that Parker decided not to print Duofold on the pen but simply stick with the Lucky Curve Logo. While this may not have been the best decision at the time, (people were unsure whether it had all the benefits of a Duofold) it is the main reason this pen is now so collectible.
Another change that Parker made in its marketing strategy at this time was to introduce the pen models in different sizes. These three sizes were the Senior, the Lady and the Junior versions. The main aim was to focus on making writing more comfortable for people with smaller hands.
The Lady was generally slightly smaller than the Senior with the Junior being the smallest of the three. Generally, small differences in the weight of the three different pens can be detected. The marketing of the three sizes was so successful that The Parker Pen Company kept introducing special edition sizes as their product range grew and changed.
Uniquely to the Duofold Lucky Curve, a further size model was introduced namely the Juniorette. The Juniorette did not really differ from the Lucky Curve Lady except for the placement of the cap band level with the pen. The Juniorette was a very limited edition.
Keeping in style with the success of the Black tip Jade fountain pen, Parker introduced a range of different color combinations and styles. These were unique at the time and are still highly prized. The color combinations include Green Jade, Blue Marble, Discolored, Big Red and Mandarin Yellow.
While all three of these color combinations are collectible one stands out from the rest. When the blue marble was first introduced it used two different shades of blue to create the marbling effect. These are more collectible as they were produced earlier and only a limited number were manufactured before the formula was changed to include opaque white in the marbleizing.
Two additional model sizes were added for the above-mentioned ‘five color collection’. The first of these was slimmer than the senior while retaining the same length. The second size fit somewhere between the Lady and the Junior without differing much in width from the senior.
Upon the inevitable phasing out of the Lucky Curve model came the debut of the Duofold De Luxe. This pen had the unique Pearl and Black coloration and is very popular among collectors.
Supply and demand plays a huge role in the popularity of the Duofold De Luxe Pearl and Black model as so few of them are in good condition today. To get the almost iridescent look perfectly right, fish scales were added which also contributed to the pen becoming discolored through use. Due to this, one of these pens in mint condition may be considered to be the most rare Parker Duofold Fountain Pens by some collectors.
Just before the stock market crashed and The Great Depression began, The Parker Pen Company introduced the more streamlined version of the Duofold fountain pen. The pens tapered at both ends and although they are later models of the Duofold, they are still highly collectible.
Unfortunately, the Parker Duofold fountain pen was not long for this world as the company dropped the line to phase in the new Vacumatic range. Production of the line was officially halted in the United States in 1933. However, the Duofold was not going to go away that easily and production continued in both England and Canada into the 40′s. These later versions are great collectibles but can be difficult to find in the United States.
Before the introduction of the plastic or Permanite Duofold pens, The Parker Pen Company provided its customers with a limited 25 year manufacturer’s guarantee. The company was so confident in its new design that for the first time it offered an unlimited guarantee on its Duofold range.
Obviously they were quite right to do this as the pens are still in existence today and are continuing to provide great writing experiences to their owners. In the unlikely event that something does go wrong with your Parker Duofold fountain pen, simply contact The Parker Pen Company to find out about repairs.