Dating a parker duofold
Different, Yet Still the Same Although there were several design changes, some minor and some quite significant, the Vacumatic line remained in Parker U. A.’s stable until about 1948 and perhaps as late as 1953 elsewhere.On a pen with its date code missing or otherwise illegible, differences in features can help you to narrow the possible years of its manufacture.For comparative reference, here are several of the most common models, together with their principal dimensions.These are most of the Vacs you’re likely to find at antique shops, flea markets, and other sources “in the wild.” Years shown are approximate, as transitions from model to model did not happen at the beginning of any particular calendar year.When the Vacumatic went on the market in March 1933, the Standard line was offered in black, Burgundy Pearl, and Silver Pearl, while the Junior line, introduced in June, was offered in black, marbled Grey or Burgundy, and Crystal.
The Junior, dressed in celluloid designs of marbled colors, Shadow Wave, Crystal, and the famous “Golden Web” (called simply by Parker), bore a plain gold nib, and gradually the gold nib appeared on striated pens such as the Major. Their attractive appearance and the fact that they are less common make plated nibs more desirable; and because the plating wears as the nib is rubbed to clean it, plated nibs in good condition are highly prized.
Beginning in the Vacumatic era, Parker pens bore date codes on their barrels.
For instructions on reading this code, refer to Parker’s Date Coding System.
As it happened, the new look was more streamlined — and the buying public, conditioned to expect cutbacks due to the exigencies of all-out war (and ready to sweep Art Deco under the rug anyway), seems not to have objected to the loss of that small bit of trim.
This uncommon 1942 Shadow Wave illustrates the single-jewel design.