Weekend article. The history of the Parker Jotter pen in one collection

Despite the fact that the Parker Jotter pen series is now a budget series, it has a rich 65-year history and is of great interest to collectors. Some models in this series are so rare that they can cost even more than one thousand dollars, not to mention serial models, the prices of which can reach an average of $80 or even more.


A little background

Late 40s - early 50s. The past century has been a time of exploration for Parker Pen. During this period, the company tries to enter new markets for itself, for example, the market for gas lighters, which was opened by the French company Quercia with the first Crillion butane lighter model. Parker Pen licenses this model of lighter from Quercia and establishes the production of Parker Flaminaire lighters in its homeland in the USA:

The main disadvantage of this lighter is the high price and disposable replaceable gas cartridges.

At the same time (1950), Parker Pen decides to enter the market of ballpoint pens, which its competitors (Eversharp, Reynolds) have already begun to conquer, releasing its first ballpoint pen model - Hopalong Cassidy Pen under the budget brand Parkette:< /p>

This pen used the motif popular in the 30-40s. westerns with the hero of the same name and with William Boyd in the title role - his head, in fact, adorned this pen.

Operation Scramble

By mid-1953, worldwide sales of ballpoint pens surpassed that of fountain pens. Parker was not present in this market (the Hopalong Cassidy Pen was discontinued in 1952). Therefore, the company's management decided to launch the production of ballpoint pens as soon as possible and the beginning of the "Operation Scramble" program, the essence of which was to develop and launch its first ballpoint pen under its own brand within 90 days.

The main points of the program, which went under the motto "Only a durable ballpoint pen" (The only lasting ballpoint pen), were as follows:

  • Lasting Point - the smoothness of writing that never changes while writing
  • Long-lasting ink supply - the pen should write six times more than the closest competitors
  • Durable retractable mechanism - should be no problem cocking
  • Durable nylon parts - indestructible and wear-resistant
  • Durable design - beautiful and prestigious
  • A long-lasting name that linked a strong quality assurance to the Parker brand

As a result of the efforts of many specialists, by the end of 1953, a commercial sample of the same Parker Jotter was obtained, whose design exists to this day. The start of sales of the first version of the Parker Jotter took place on January 5, 1954:

The body of this pen was made of durable nylon, had longitudinal stripes, and there was no metal protective cap at the end. The handle clip was in the style of the early Parker 21 - in the form of a groove, and all internal parts were made of brass. It is also worth noting that until 1983 the threaded connection of the handles had a fine thread pitch.

The early Parker Jotter rods featured no markings, a brass body, and sharper rounded edges. Naturally, modern rods fit those pens without any problems:

But old rods do not fit modern pens - over time, in new models, the inner diameter has become slightly smaller, and the old thick rods no longer fit.

First years

In this form, pens were produced until 1956, when the bodies began to be made of plastic in the same design, but with an expanded range of colors:

Then during 1957-1958. a protective cap appears on the body of the pens, the design of the clip changes (it becomes in the form of an inverted ā€œVā€ and with a clip in the form of a ball):

The final design of the Parker Jotter was formed in 1959 - in the form we are used to (an arrow-shaped clip and a smooth plastic body with a metal protective cap on the end). The exception was the cocking button - it remained with a rounded end until 1973, when the company logo began to be applied to the upper end.

Here is a vivid example from the distant 1961 in the form of a set of Parker Pardners pen and mechanical pencil:

In 1958, Parker introduced the women's line Jotter - Parker Princess (models with gilding and various engraved patterns):

Parker Debutante budget version (white metal):

By the way, Parker Debutante was also for desktop sets, where the lower part was made of metal and had a spring:

The upper part in such handles was made of plastic and did not have a cocking mechanism. Similar pens were also produced for banking institutions, where a ball chain was attached to the end of the handle:

At the end of the 1950s, Parker introduced a new women's line of Parker MINIM jotter pens to the market, the most expensive Jotter series, which included pure gold models. It was produced for a short time until the early 60s. Designed by in-house designer Don Doman:

As an example, the Imperial modification (gold plating):

This model is the shortest handle that uses standard Parker refills - comparable in height to the refill itself:

The handle is cocked to the working position as standard - by pressing the button on top:

To hide the rod, you need to press the button on the side:

The following pressure spring is used in the cap of the pen:

Golden Age

The sixties were the most successful years for the company. At this time, in my opinion, the most interesting Jotter models were produced. For example, the Parker Jotter Imperial series is completely made of gold-plated metal:

There were also slightly cheaper Parker Jotter Imperial Custom models in a plastic case, but with gold-plated ends:

Or here is another Parker Jotter Imperial, made entirely of yellow metal and bearing the Chevrolet car logo, whose assembly plant at the time was in the same city as Parker's manufacturing facilities and its headquarters, in Janesville, in southern Wisconsin in USA:

This gold-plated Jotter was part of a special salesman kit where each type of sample was numbered and the salesperson would look into his paper catalog and quote a price for it. For example, Jotter Imperial was listed as ITEM #J-5 in the vendor's kit. And regular Jotters were marked as ITEM J-1 JOTTER:

While for the Parker 21 Jotter with cap cocking mechanism and "depressed" top part, "ITEM J-9" was indicated:

It is worth noting that you can determine the date of manufacture of Parker pens before the system of marking the date on the body of pens in 1979 was launched by their packaging, as in the case of this Parker 21 Jotter corporate set for Motorola:

As you can see in the photo, the set was made in July 1962. This set consisted of a cap-operated pen and a mechanical pencil with the old type of "cock" swivel mechanism into the working position. In Parker mechanical pencils, the caps are usually removable and allow access to a miniature eraser.

The 60s were a time of experimentation for Parker Pen. The company produced this set of Parker Jotters with measuring tape (October 1964):

Parker also ordered telescopic pointers, which, when folded, were something very similar to the Parker Jotter pen:

This miracle was made in Japan. When unfolded, the pointer was 45 inches in size (when folded, it is slightly smaller than the usual Jotter).

It is worth mentioning separately such works of engineering that are not yet in the collection, such as a screwdriver in the form of a pen, called the Parker Jotter Screwdriver:

In fact, it was an ordinary pen, only instead of a regular pen, a miniature screwdriver of the appropriate shape and size was used for writing.

It's rare for a collector to get a Parker Me-Ta-Sweet Pen like this saccharin dispenser, made in the form of the same Parker Jotter pen, each press of the cap of which sends a calorie-free sweetener into a cup of tea:

Parker Pen engineers also created phase indicators in the form of ballpoint pens and even replaced the usual buttons with miniature spark plugs:

From "Jotter: History of an Icon" by David Shepherd; Graham Hogg; Geoffrey Parker; Dan Zazove

In 1967, Parker Pen launched the Parker Jotter Tiara gift sets for women, complete with imitation pearl beads. The handle itself stood out in the upper part with a characteristic decoration in the form of a tiara:

This model is distinguished by a shortened women's size and the absence of a clip. There were also models with a clip, but they are even rarer.

And this is how the showcase with Parker Jotter Tiara handles looked in the original:

It is customary to celebrate any significant date in our daily life - at the table, with friends, with family or just a note on the calendar. Apparently, in order not to miss such dates, Parker releases Calendar Jotter pens:

This pen has a perpetual calendar, whose design consists of a swivel metal window with the days of the week printed on the top and numerical inscriptions on the body of the pen. To set the correct calendar for the current month, it is necessary to unscrew the handle a little (as when changing the rods) and turn the metal window to the desired numbers so that they coincide with the correct days of the weeks. Then the handle must be tightened again. The pen is dated April 1968.

Another similar pen from the mid-70s of the last century:

For the Hispanic inhabitants of the planet Earth, a separate Parker Jotter was issued with an abbreviation of the days of the week in Spanish:

In England, Parker also produced the so-called Felt-tip pen (felt-tip pens in our opinion, but with replaceable rods - the progenitors of the modern Parker Ingenuity), which, unlike American models, are made under Jotter (there are fake buttons available) , and also have a smaller inner diameter, which is why modern roll rods are not suitable for them