1896 parker catalog

The underfeed was introduced in 1896 in models #18 and #2X and was produced concurrently with overfeed in other models. Later, in these last models, both options would be offered if desired.
1896 Parker Pen brochure.
Silver Dollar on its box photo-restored. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.

Silver Dollar, -later, from 1900 onwards it would also be supplied under the name of «Palmer Pen» if desired-, over or underfeed, without curve tubular feed, a plain, black hard rubber or mottled, with 14k nib. With straight cap.  “It is with pleasure that we offer to our friends a pen that can be retailed at the popular price of One Dollar. No attempt has been made towards ornamentation, yet the fountain is beautifully finished and burnished, and the fittings are perfect.”

Special, overfeed, without curve tubular feed, plain or chased, black hard rubber pen with straight cap. Special Pens are the best pens obtainable for the prices. Just the Pen to meet the demand for a popular price. It was $1.50.

#1 was marketed plain black or mottled. Without ornamentation but are “made for service”. Overfeed and straight cap. It was $2.00.

Parker no. 1 plain barrel raven black and red and black mottled. Price $2.00, originally selling for $1.50. A neat little pen. Has the "Lucky Curve." Screw Joint. Does not have the Anti-Break Cap. Over feed. A very good pen and warranted. It is the lowest price of any Parker “Lucky Curve” made.

#3 Overfeed, the #3 was offered in two sizes, regular and ladies. No. 3 Ladies’ was chased with three stars on the body and had tapered cap. Regular has two versions; a No. 3 regular with taper cap and chased as Ladies´ pens but with a diagonal pattern instead of stars, and No. 3 straight cap, slightly larger barrel and made in a great variety of patterns on barrel. These pens were $ 2.50.

Parker overfeed model no. 3 barrel chased. It could be furnished with straight or taper cap and regular or ladies' size upper or lower feed. Price, $2.00. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.

Numbers 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 have three staggered twist rings chased, separating the body and section for a better grip.

Parker no. 5 Twist red mottled overfeed taper cap. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.

#5 Overfeed the #5 had a spiral body and tapered cap. It was marketed in two chased, Spiral and Twist. The nib was made larger than in No. 3, and the pens can be furnished in either black or mottled rubber. Its cost was $3.00.

Parker no. 6. Gold trimmed.

#6 Overfeed, like the No. 3’s was offered in two sizes too. Have twisted designs and two ornamented gold bands, featuring a tapered cap. It was $3.50 and $3.00 regular and ladies´ size, respectively.

Parker No. 8 Hexagon. Price $3.00

#8 Overfeed. Hexagon pen with its peculiar shape in black or mottled with a less tapered cap than the one that came mounting until then.

Parker no. 9 overfeed gold mounted. Two different sizes from Tsachi Mitsenmacher collection.

#9 Overfeed No. 9 is an enlarged edition of No. 3. Was offered in two versions: one with chased body at price of $3.00 and, other, with two ornamented gold bands at $4.00.

Parker no. 10 Twist red mottled.

#10 Overfeed No. 10 incorporated this year with Twist rope chased diagonal bands in either Black or Mottled Rubber. Furnished with straight cap. Its cost was $3.50.

#11 Overfeed, the #11 was offered in two sizes, regular and ladies. No. 11 Ladies was designed with a metallic floral motif in anodized aluminum at $5.00. According with Jonathan Steinberg and his Collecting Fountain Pens book, aluminum was considered a precious metal in those days. The men size has a twist cable chased gold or silver overlay at $6.00. All of them with a black, tapered cap.

Parker No. 11. Aluminum. Price, $ 3.50. Richly engraved in a variety of patterns. Upper or lower feed as desired.
No. 11 in silver pattern, $6.00. This is a most beautiful pen. The barrel is covered with 14k rolled gold of rich design. Same design in Sterling Silver. Photo-composition by the author.

#12 Overfeed, the #12 is out of the ordinary with its inlaid mother of pearl barrel limited by two bands gold trimmed and black tapered cap.

The Parker´s underfeed was introduced in 1896 in #18 and #2X pens. George S. Parker remembered it that way in SYSTEM, The Magazine of the Business a few years later.

«There was a good deal of discussion among the pen makers as to whether the under-feed pens really were better;  -and I suppose it is still a debatable  question. But that was not the point.  The public had shown it wanted the under-feed pens and was satisfied with their service.

More than one manufacturer went out of business on the issue; and although  we were not first to adopt the  under-feed plan, the fact that we were  quick to adopt it, once the demand  had appeared, clearly sent us forward,  when we might have gone back. «

#18 Underfeed, No. 18 is a plain chased pen in raven black or mottled with straight cap that cost $2.00.

#20 Underfeed, No. 20 is a plain chased pen in raven black or mottled with straight cap that cost $2.75.

#24 Underfeed No. 24 is fitted with extra quality No. 4 gold pens, fine, medium or stub points, and long or short nib. Plain barrel black or mottled with straight cap.

#25 Underfeed No. 25 was a #24 larger version.

Parker no. 024 black and red mottled. Price $4.00
Parker overfeeds. No. 3 chased. No. 5 Twist and No. 9 regular and ladies size. In collaboration with Tsachi Mitsenmacher and from his collection.
Parker imprint of the time.

IMPRINTS.

The two-line barrel imprint «GEO. S. PARKER FOUNTAIN PEN  PAT. JUNE 30.91.JAN.9.94» is the characteristic of the time. The first patent corresponds to a overfeed with a straight bar. The second one also overfeed, is the Curved Tubular Feed, which would soon be adapted as underfeed and will acquire the legendary name «Lucky Curve» with which we know it today.

The overfeed nibs are smooth, without marks, while the underfeed nibs are engraved «PARKER FOUNTAIN PEN» over the corresponding nib number.

Parker patents.

Parker, who had been manufacturing underfeed since the previous year in model series # 2X, knew how to see new trends and customer tastes and filled on July 26, 1897 a patent by redesigning his overfeed Curve Tubular Feeder endowing it with a better capillary ink conduct and a finger bar with groove for vent under the nib.

The Parker feed that had been known as Curve Tubular Feeder until then, at the end of 1896, will acquire its own name, Lucky Curve.

It would not be a drastic change and the Parker pens would continue being manufactured overfeed on the cheaper lines and, optionally, on other models.

1897. Parker Curved Tubular overfeed vs new Parker Lucky Curve underfeed
Parker ad in Penman's Art Journal. July, 1896. Same as catalog, note "Curved Tubular Feed".
Parker ad in Penman's Art Journal. December, 1896. Note "Lucky Curve of the feeder".

THE NEW STYLE HOLDER.

In the middle of the year 1897  Parker introduced a new style holder. One of the problems of hard rubber was caps on fountain pens will in time wear loose. It must be remedied heating the end of the cap over a lamp, or gas jet, just enough so it will be slightly. To solve this problem Parker presented a new style with tapered nozzle and barrel end, slip-fit type of outer cap. This was a major improvement because previously the caps fined only onto the «section». His new cap slipped over the barrel and fined snugly because of the joint at the junction of the nozzle and barrel is perfectly smooth, and both ends of the barrel are graduated, so that the cap is always tight, no matter how much it may become worn. 

Parker pens would continue being manufactured in both styles.

Old Parker pen style holder vs new style.
First ad Parker new style holder. Penman´s Art Journal ad. August 1897.

THE PARKER SHOW CASE OFFER.

«With your first order for four dozen or more Parker Fountain Pens, at regular rates, we will take pleasure in sending you, with our compliments, one of the handsomest little show cases ever made for the purpose of displaying fountain pens. This case is trimmed in oak, cherry, walnut, or nickel, as you may desire. This handsome show case displays one time four dozen fountain pens. The case is fitted with a Yale lock with two keys, has a drawer in the bottom for scratch paper, ink, surplus stock, etc., will make one of the neatest accessories to your store that you can possible imagine. After you have had it in store for a month or two, you will wonder you ever consented to get along with one of these.» Parker Side Talks.

SOURCES:

  • 1896 Parker illustrated priced catalog.
  • Fountain Pen and Pencil. The Golden Age of  Writing Instruments. G. Fischler & S. Schneider. Ed. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 1990.
  • Tsachi Mitsenmacher pens collection.
  • Plumas Estilográficas. Jonathan Steinberg. Ed. Edimat Libros. 1998.
  • Parker Side Talks; 1896, 1897 and 1898.
  • 900 Parker ads. Pre-Duofold.
  • Parker patens US 512,319 and US 606,231.

1898 parker catalog

Never before in the history of The Parker Pen Company had there been an avalanche of business like in the Christmas season of 1897, in which urgent last-minute orders had to be rejected due to the impossibility of supplying them. Parker pen business was achieving considerable success, further increased by winning large contracts with the U.S. government. George S. Parker was drawing his own trajectory of the American Dream.

In line with this expansion at the end of 1998 Parker acquired the 3 upper floors of the McKey Building Block at 17-19 South Main Street in the heart of Janesville´s downtown. Operations moved into this building in the middle of 1900. This edifice would have on the side a large-scale ad, where they could read: «The PARKER PEN COMPANY, Home of the JOINTLESS FOUNTAIN PEN

The new year began precisely with its Jointless announcement so, in Side Talks’ January, where its magazine let it be known they are manufacturing new models for to supply the public with a fountain pen without a joint. Parker were working in a fountain pen that they expect to place on the market just as soon as they had enough stocks. This holder promised to revolutionize the trade of fountain pens. The fountain pen without a joint patent 622,256 was filed on March 7, 1898 and in April the Parker Jointless were already commercialized.

1898 04 07 Parker Jointless first ad. The Youth' s Companion.
1898 04 07 Parker Jointless first ad. The Youth' s Companion.
Sectional view "Jointless" showing "Lucky Curve" and "Spring Lock".
Jointless section view.
Parker Jointless. Note the absence of joints.

THE 1898 PARKER CATALOG.

A year of great diversity where coincide pens over and underfeed, old and new barrel style, straight or tapered caps and joint and jointless models.

Silver Dollar with box photo-restored. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Silver Dollar pen.

Silver Dollar, -later, from 1900 onwards it would also be known as Palmer Pen-, over or underfeed, a plain, black hard rubber or mottled, with 14k nib. With straight cap.  “It is with pleasure that we offer to our friends a pen that can be retailed at the popular price of One Dollar. No attempt has been made towards ornamentation, yet the fountain is beautifully finished and burnished, and the fittings are perfect.”

Special, overfeed, plain or chased, black hard rubber pen with straight cap. Special Pens are the best pens obtainable for the prices. Just the Pen to meet the demand for a popular price. It was $1.50.

Silver Dollar and Special do not have the Lucky Curve feed and are made in old style nozzle. Parker guaranteed them to be the best pen on the marked that can be purchased for the money.

#1 was marketed plain black or mottled. Without ornamentation but are “made for service”. Overfeed and straight cap. It was $2.00.

Parker no. 1 plain barrel raven black and red and black mottled. Price $2.00, originally selling for $1.50. A neat little pen. Has the "Lucky Curve." Screw Joint. Does not have the Anti-Break Cap. Over feed. A very good pen and warranted. It is the lowest price of any Parker “Lucky Curve” made.
Parker overfeed model no. 3 barrel chased. It could be furnished with straight or taper cap and regular or ladies' size upper or lower feed. Price, $2.00. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.

#3 Overfeed, the #3 was offered in two sizes, regular and ladies. No. 3 Ladies’ was chased with three stars on the body and had tapered cap. Regular has two versions; a No. 3 regular with taper cap and chased as Ladies´ pens but with a diagonal pattern instead of stars, and No. 3 straight cap, slightly larger barrel and made in a great variety of patterns on barrel. These pens were $ 2.50.

Parker no. 5 Twist red mottled overfeed taper cap. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.

#5 Overfeed the #5 had a spiral body and tapered cap. It was marketed in two chased, Spiral and Twist. The nib was made larger than in No. 3, and the pens can be furnished in either black or mottled rubber. Its cost was $3.00.

Parker No. 8 Hexagon. Price $3.00

#6 Overfeed, like the No. 3’s was offered in two sizes too. Have twisted designs and two ornamented gold bands, featuring a tapered cap. It was $3.50 and $3.00 regular and ladies´ size, respectively.

#8 Overfeed. Hexagon pen with its peculiar shape in black or mottled with a less tapered cap than the one that came mounting until then.

Parker no. 9 overfeed gold mounted. Two different sizes from Tsachi Mitsenmacher collection.

#9 Overfeed No. 9 is an enlarged edition of No. 3. Was offered in two versions: one with chased body at price of $3.00 and, other, with two ornamented gold bands at $4.00.

Parker no. 10 Twist red mottled.

#10 Overfeed No. 10 with Twist rope chased diagonal bands in either Black or Mottled Rubber. Furnished with straight cap. Its cost was $3.50.

Parker No. 11 in silver pattern, price $6.00.

#11 Overfeed, the #11 was offered in two sizes, regular and ladies. No. 11 Ladies was designed with a metallic floral motif in anodized aluminum at $5.00. According with Jonathan Steinberg and his Collecting Fountain Pens book, aluminum was considered a precious metal in those days. The men size has a twist cable chased gold or silver overlay at $6.00. All of them with a black, tapered cap.

#12 Overfeed, the #12 is out of the ordinary with its inlaid mother of pearl barrel limited by two bands gold trimmed and black tapered cap.

#18 Underfeed, No. 18 is a plain chased pen in raven black or mottled with straight cap that cost $2.00.

#20 Underfeed, No. 20 men and lady sizes is a plain chased pen in raven black or mottled with straight cap that cost $2.75.  Furnished Joint and Jointles.

#23 Underfeed, No. 23 is a plain chased pen in raven black or mottled with straight cap that cost $3.00.  Furnished Joint and Jointles.

#24 Underfeed No. 24 is fitted with extra quality No. 4 gold pens, fine, medium or stub points, and long or short nib. Plain barrel black or mottled with straight cap. In versions Joint and Jointles.

#25 Underfeed No. 25 was a #24 larger version. Supplied Joint and Jointles.

These fountain pens was fitted with the finest quality regular shape gold pens, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Any of these pens can be supplied in the old-style holders if desired.

THE JOINTLESS.

Parker no. 024 Jointless red mottled. These first Jointless have a spiral finger grip in front part of the barrel.

Jointless. Parker listed the Jointless line as the same number as its threaded section model counterparts but leading a zero, #020 men and lady, #023, #024 and #025, were furnished in almost any style of best Point—fine, medium, coarse or stub. These pens were supplied in Raven Black, Mottled Green or Red. In six short months the demand had been such as to double the ordinary output of Parker factory and to necessitate greatly enlarging its plant to take care of the great volume of trade. This pen was used by Judge Day, President of the Peace Commission, for affix his signature to 1898 Paris Peace Treaty with a Geo. S. Parker No. 023 Jointless Fountain Pen furnished him by the Department of State at Washington, which in common with other Departments, was a large buyer of the Parker Jointless Pen.

February 16, 1899. Ad in Washington's Birthday number of Youth's Companion.
February 16, 1899. Ad in Washington's Birthday number of Youth's Companion.

In 1897, Augustus Hafner patented a thermometer and fountain pen with a thermometer inserted into the end of a fountain pen. The pen had two concentric chambers with the outer chamber acting as an ink reservoir and the inner chamber acting as a receptacle for the thermometer. Parker, always attentive to innovations, incorporated its particular «Physician’s Fountain Pen». Almost 4 decades later we would see a new Parker thermometer in Vacumatic version.

Parker, who since its inception had shorthand’s schools and business colleges among its priority target, where in addition to users it looked for live representative agents, soon offered a large pen to this specific market segment.

1898 Parker pen inks

In 1998 Parker supplemented its catalog with writing and office products; inks, scratch and carbon papers, liquid glue, mucilage, typewriter ribbons and a protective vest-pocket pen holder.

SOURCES:

  • Fountain Pen and Pencil. The Golden Age of  Writing Instruments. G. Fischler & S. Schneider. Ed. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 1990.
  • Plumas Estilográficas. Jonathan Steinberg. Ed. Edimat Libros. 1998.
  • Tsachi Mitsenmacher pens collection.
  • Luiz Leite pens collection.
  • 1896-1898 Parker Side Talks, the Parker´s dealer magazine.
  • 800 Parker ads. Pre-Duofold.
  • Parker patens US 512,319, US 606,231 and US 653,818.

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