Parker 51 vacumatic dating dating fun activity site
In 1950 a new system for the date coding was introduced where the two digits only indicated the year, not the quarter hence "50" means made in 1950, this system was used in the US until 1955 and in Canada a few years longer..
It has been assumed that Parker began marking some of their pens on the trim or cap bands to allow for dating in 1970.
Some Duofolds had pearl handles and caps, veined with black plastic.
Apple green and "Modernistic blue" were other popular colors, as were moiré-patterned fountain pens, which ranged from pink to blue. These pens held twice as much ink as those that had preceded them (102 percent more, to be specific), and, for the first time, the clip on the cap was shaped like an arrow, which would become a symbol of the Parker brand. Some had horizontal layers of silver alternating with translucent plastic, which allowed the user to see how much ink was left in the pen.
So far the earliest date coded pens found have had the code NL for 1979, and all of these pens were made in the US. Hence a "47" marking on a 1930's pen indicate that the pen was produced in the fourth quarter of 1937, not 1947, which is a common misconception. In the second quarter of 1938 this system was however changed to save production time, and a new date code, using a system of dots, was adopted. By contrast, the Vacumatic came in amazing laminated plastics, made up from sheets of alternating solid and pearlescent colors.Taking advantage of the new filler design, these pens were translucent, allowing you to see how much ink remained in the pen at any point (the ravages of time and ink exposure have made most surviving Vacs rather opaque, although you will still find lightly-used or new-old-stock examples with good transparency).
The smart new arrow clip was fixed to the top with a handsome jewel screw, and a similar bit of trim was found on the blind caps of most of the earlier Vac models (the arrow clip and top jewel would remain a Parker hallmark through the 1970s).