THE parker giants

Photo courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Giant vs "51" sizes comparison.


In February 1908, Parker announced to its dealers that they were preparing to place on the market «The Red Giant», a big fountain pen so big and startling they will guarantee a broad smile from you when you see it. The pen would be made entirely of a maroon hard rubber, fitted with a No. 10 pen, and the price would be $10.00. Big as it is, strange to say it is an easy, restful pen with which to write. The salesman in any store selling fountain pens, who would carry this and show it, would never fail to have an interesting audience. They would be ready to fill orders for it about February 10.

Finally, the pen is supplied with a formidable #12 nib. The color definitely would be denominated cardinal red.

The Red Giant pen is an eyedropper filler made in hard rubber, furnished with a slip cap and joint threaded section, and very approximate measurements of 148 mm long capped with a diameter cap 19 mm. The Parker Giants is not made as a self-filler owing to its extraordinary ink carrying capacity and infrequent need of filling.

Parker Red Giant. Courtesy of Gary and Myrna Lehrer.
Parker Red Giant details. Courtesy of Stilusaurea. See more photos by clicking on the image.

These pens mount the famous Lucky Curve «Christmas tree» feed made in red hard rubber.

In those years prior to its washer clip, at an additional cost of 25 c. nickel and 50 c. gold covered, Parker could apply to their pens the clip patented by Levi Van Valkenburg to the cap by special machinery. This clip, marked “Parker VV Pat. Feb. 12, 07″ are applied to some Red Giants.

Its three-line barrel imprint is: to the left, GEO S. PARKER – JANESVILLE – PAT.JAN.9.94. At center, the LUCKY CURVE BANNER. To right, FOUNTAIN PEN – WIS. U.S.A. – JUN.28.98 JAN.3.05 JUN.6.05.

Parker Red Giants imprint
Parker Giant Lucky Curve feeds and nibs. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Giant Lucky Curve feeds and nibs. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Giants. Courtesy of Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Giants. Courtesy of Luiz Leite.

PARKER BLACK GIANT. The King of pens.

Parker Side Talks. March 1914. «THE RED GIANT. Price $10.00. Furnished Red or Black. The king of pens. Not everyone would care for such a pen, but there are many who do. This pen fills the want of those who want «the biggest pen you make.» The gold pen is a No. 12 and the barrel Is big enough so you can drop into it an ordinary sized pen and almost lose it. If you like a big pen, here you are.»

This big pen is known as the Black Giant with its 155 mm length and 19 mm cap diameter. It is fitted with a No. 12 gold pen. The price is $10.00. One does not realize its immensity until he compares it with an ordinary-sized fountain pen.

Almost all Parker “Black Giant” pens have the Jack-Knife Safety screw cap. Some of these are stamped “Black Giant” on the cap, some are stamped “Jack Knife Safety” on the cap but neither stamp is needed to identify or authenticate the pen. Its size itself is all the authenticity required.

As we can see in the photo below, a few “Black Giant” pens have slip caps and these are presumed to be earlier than the screw cap version.

Parker Giant clip just punched blank. Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Black Giants with nickel and gold-filled washer clip and without them. Slip-fit and threaded caps. Courtesy of PBA Galleries, Berkeley, CA. (photos © Justin Benttinen).
A Parker Black Giant inside its box case. Courtesy Tsachi Mitsenmacher.
Parker Black Giant Sidetalk

«Parker especially recommends this pen to insurance agents, and salesmen, to anyone, where the question of salesmanship is involved, as regarding the signing of an order, or contract, commenting to its dealers that the immensity of the pen will invariably call forth a pleasant smile and break down the resistance of your prospective buyer. As a sales assistant – along these lines, it is an asset of splendid possibilities.

The Daddy of Them All; this is the title sometimes given the big Black Giant Fountain Pen. It certainly is a wonder and do you know that there are many lawyers, merchants, or insurance men, who like just such a big pen, in fact we sell several thousand of these black, or red, Giants in the course of a year.

If you had one of these pens in stock, it would help you raise the average price of all the fountain pens sold. If you wanted to make a man smile who came into your store, get him up to the pen case and hand him the Black Giant. It will take a man out of the grouch class unconsciously and put him among the sunshine’s.»

Parker Black Giant regular pen compared with a short size.
A short-size Parker Black Giant furnished with a cap band.

The Black Giant three-line barrel imprint is: to the left, GEO S. PARKER – JANESVILLE – PAT.JAN.3-05.APR.11-05 At center, the LUCKY CURVE BANNER. To right, FOUNTAIN PEN – WIS. U.S.A. – APR.25-12. JUN.4.12

Parker Black Giant imprint.

In 1918 the Red Giant was discontinued, remaining the Black Giant, at least, until 1921.

Towards 1920 was introduced a short version of the Black Giant. We can find these pens in a double version; with a smooth cap or furnished with a ½” wide band.

There are Black Giant Trench pens with storage for ink pellets under the blind cap.

Parker Giant ads from1920 November & December. The Rotarian.


In the Michael Fultz Collection index says they have a Parker Giant Bakelite barrel, but unfortunately there is no photo … a pity!


At one point, George S. Parker, perhaps tired of hearing about Waterman’s “World’s Smallest Pen” from his salesmen. He decided to double the bet ordering the production of an ultra-giant pen, about 224 mm. (8 ¾”) long. Really «The Daddy of Them All» –as Parker called their Giants-.  At the end of the barrel was designed a plug to cap a hollow space separate from the ink. This end piece unscrews to reveal a hidden Parker Red “Baby» miniature eyedropper-filler fountain pen, measuring 47 mm. with a tiny, unmarked nib.

According to Fischler & Schneider, this pen was probably used as a salesman sample. Although a working pen, fitted with a #12 nib, it is too large to use.

According to Michael Fultz, there were two series or groups of these pens made. The first was around 1912 and came with Parker #12 Lucky Curve nibs for the giant pen and unmarked nibs on the tiny pen. Both pens had Lucky Curve feeds. Sometime later, perhaps as late as 1940, a second group of pens was made too in hard rubber. However, the giant pen has a nib without a number. He speculated that the first group contained only about a dozen pens while the second group was somewhat larger.

A rare Parker "ultra-Giant" auctioned in December 2017. (© Bonhams)

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