Parker Fountain Pens... help?


I bought these two fountain pens at a "white elephant sale" back in college... I'm guessing I paid a dollar or two for both. (seeing as I was a poor college student studying art). I found them while digging through some junk recently.

Can anyone give me advice or instructions on determining if they are useable?
Also, does anyone have any idea what 'models' they are by looking at them?

I'm secretly hoping one of the DIY crew is an avid pen worshiper. :o)

Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Go Here

join the Fountain Pen Network
They will ID your pens, tell you how to clean them and see if they still work. There are even people that repair. They may want to know how long they are ??
If the nibs are ok you have a couple nice pens.
I'm a newbie FP user, so I can only tell they are Parkers... but you knew that ;-)


Thank you so much for the link! I signed up this morning and there are already replies to my post :D ... looks like another great online community!

So it appears that the silver barreled one is a Parker 45 and the black barreled one is a 51. I'm still learning what all this means but I'm excited :o) I'm so glad I didn't throw them away during my great relocation a few years ago.

Thanks again wbb ♥
my artwork

Parker 51 :O

Hi Sara

Nice find :) The black pen with a 'silver' cap looks like a Parker 51 with 'aeromatic filler'. A very nice (and collectible) users pen. The sacks were made of a synthetic material, which unlike latex does not not perish. I would flush with warm water. (Suck it up, squirt it out) and try writing with it. :) As for avid pen worshipers, I know Flexiblefine collects pens and I was using a fountain pen at school before you were born. :D


I'm actually giddy about getting these two pens back up and writing! Everyone's talk about fountain pens on this site gave me the itch... and I thought I was out of luck financially... now I have the means to scratch that fountain pen craving itch ♥ :D

I wish we had fountain pens to use back in school... would've been better than those darned erasable nightmares they made us buy >.< hehe
my artwork

Test Pilot...

Hi Sara

Thank you for the hugs and sorry about this morning, I was rushing as usual. :S I have had another look at your pictures and IMHO The Black pen with the metal cap is a Parker 21 Deluxe (gold plated clip) rather than a 51 and the other is a 45 'Flighter' (Stainless steel), Both nice pens, the 21 is an 'aeromatic' and the 45 should be a cartridge/converter pen. Although do not tug at it to see ;) As I said earlier, flush and go. Or, if you need a test pilot for your Flighter... :D

I am not surprised you are giddy, both pens are from the 1960s (pre-Sanford) and your Flighter is highly collectible. Now you are in luck financially. Although I suspect you will want to keep them both. :) Hmmm, think I will have to 'adopt' as another internet daughter... :D

Off topic I know, but have you seen Daniel's Pocket Organisers.I thought they were Moleskines until I read the blurb. :O


Sooo... Sard... what do you think the value of these lil beauties could be about?
I have some bigger pictures : PhotoBucket Slideshow

Oh and off topic is my specialty! I love those organizers. We have 'corner rounder' punches here at work ... I have to admit I'm getting BIG ideas for my own little journal. I hope this weekend is very productive!

my artwork

Cat With Pens...

Hi Sara, I love your cats. However, I think they may have hidden you pens. :D

By value do you mean if you sold them or if you replaced them?

In good condition 25 - 30 USD each, which may not seem a lot until you look at the price of a new Lamy Safari (20 USD), Al-Star (30 USD) or a Waterman Phileas (40 USD).

However, if you wanted to buy a near mint version:

Parker 21 Fountain Pen and Pencil Set 83 USD or Parker 45 Flighter Fountain Pen and Ballpoint Set, boxed 77 USD Plus shipping.

Of course you may not mind owning a new style Flighter, in which case:

Parker Classic Flighter, boxed. 83 USD

As you will see from the pictures, price is not always an indicator of quality. :)

One last pen to show you, a Parker 45 Classic, boxed. (53 USD), before I ask for a hug. ;) Now I am giddy too :D

DOH >.<

ROFLMAO ... correct link HERE . Sorry about that!

There are SOOOOO many beautiful fountain pens! I have a rather large collection of ballpoints, rollerballs and gels that I need to use up... I have a hard time resisting things with big squishy grips. I have tendonitis in both hands and I get "writing fatigue" rather quickly... For skinny pens, I slide on one of those squishy grip thingies (thats the technical name).

**sigh** so many pens, so little time~!
my artwork


Hi Sara.

You mentioned Tendonitis.. I have the same, on occasion. In case you have not already been bludgeoned with advice by doctors and physical therapists, I have a few tips that help me a lot.

1. Know your ergonomics. Read up on ergonomic positioning, and spend the money to get good, adjustable equipment. I'm short, so I need an adjustable chair without armrests, a foot rest, and preferably an adjustable height keyboard drawer. The armrests are a kicker--they always irritated my sore tendons. Anyway, knowing what good ergonomics is will help you identify the problem spots in your own situation.

2. Wrist braces. I bought a set of the velcro & metal wrist braces--the slightly more expensive ones. I use them to 'retrain' myself when I start feeling the pain. I put them on for a day or two and take note of which activities are difficult with the braces on. These are the activities that need to be re-mapped. My problem is generally mousing and keyboarding. So when I get the pain, I figure out what exactly is wrong with my positioning by using the braces. Over the Christmas holiday I was in agony. I used the braces to figure out that the trackball and keyboard I was using were wrong for the height of desk I have now (it had changed a month or so before). I bought an inexpensive ergo-keyboard and dug out a regular wheelie mouse and now I'm no longer in agony.

3. Stretches & rest breaks. These are tougher to make work for me, but they do highlight what needs to be changed. I have actually lost range of motion in my right wrist over the years--it won't bend 90 degrees anymore. It is good to have rest breaks and do the wrist, arm, and back exercises.

4. Don't let your employer wiggle out of responsibility/help. Depending on the size of your company, they will generally be required to provide accommodations for injuries and chronic conditions--especially if you have a doctor's diagnosis. You will have to ask for it, though. At the office I have a special chair, another footrest, and a whole collection of keyboards, mice, and trackballs I used to trade out from time to time. Whenever I got sore typing on one set, I'd switch out for a set of a different shape.

I am assuming that you have already learned all of these wonderful bits from your doctors, but I post it in case someone else needs these little snippets. Tendonitis is serious stuff, especially when it's caused by the way you make your living. It doesn't get better unless you change what you're doing. But if you do change, it *can* get better.

shris the sore

the ouches

I find that the wrist braces help A LOT ... and of course avoiding the repetitious movements that cause the pain. Luckily my current job doesn't have me number crunching like the last one. I was so sore by the weekend, I could barely move my wrists... and there were many sleepless nights.

Now I know I'm over-doing it and watch for the first warning signs... If I have to keep on doing the activity, I break out the ugly brace I bought. It is a hideous shade of gold... so I decorated it with HelloKitty buttons.

Lately, I think my problem may be the start of arthritis... Crocheting for longer than a half an hour is impossible. I've also noticed an increase in joint pains... **sigh** I'll have to add that to the list of issues to ask my doctor about.

take care of those wrists Shris! ((and I adore reading your comments around the site. I cannot imagine having twins~ you are a strong woman~!))

my artwork



Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but isn't crocheting a series of small hand motions performed repetitively for an extended period of time? :) That is to say, just asking for trouble? :)

I am, of course, no better. I type long-drawn-out comments all day at work in email, type up long instructions or descriptions or presentations to send in email, and then post long-winded wheezes on websites..

I might have the same ugly gold/tan braces, but I bought the lefty AND the righty. :) This is the Futuro Deluxe Wrist Stabilizer. Mine are undecorated. I suppose I could bust out the fabric paint, but I don't think there's really any way to make it look like anything but what it is. And the fabric paint might interfere with the velcro, dunno. Interesting thought, anyway. Do you suppose the paint would stick to the vinyl pockets that house the stays?

You might ask about the supplements--what is that stuff, chondroitin or somesuch? I'm not a rabid proponent of alternative meds, but it seems like the joint-related stuff has a better reputation than a lot of other supplements.

As for strength, well, I can't imagine going back and getting preggers a second time after having one (set). :) Some women have five or six or even 16 children--aigh! I am too old and tired to go back to the well again! :)


Sara & shris,I've also

Sara & shris,

I've also flirted with tendonitis and carpral tunnel. No fun. I found that practicing yoga helped with my aches and pains (and also pretty much cured my chronic neck and lower back pain... guess where I carry all my stress?!).

The best health advice I got from my yoga instructor was, "Drink lots of water. Water's good for you, yes, but drinking a lot of it will make you have to get up and use the bathroom, which forces you to take a break!" I stretch out my arms and wrists everytime I use the restroom, and I swear that was what finally helped me!!

And shris, I know what you mean about having more kids. Twins!! You have my undying respect. I just have one about-to-turn-four-year-old, and he's *plenty*. We talk about having another, but keep saying, "Next year." :)


Some people hear voices in their heads.
Writers take dictation.

Thank you for the link Sara.

Thank you for the link Sara. If you look at the clip on your 21 it is an unusual shape. The 51 has a clip in the shape of an arrow just like your 45 and the 17 has an arrow clip and a plastic lid. :)

May I ask, have you had chance to try your pens yet? I am curious to know if you find them easier than ballpoints to write with. :)

As for your excess of ballpoints, you do know about the pen fairy I assume? If one leaves a pen, any pen, on the side of a desk long enough the mysterious pen fairy will remove it. :O I always found it odd that there is not a corresponding pencil fairy. Although mechanical pencils sometimes walk too... :S


I work in a small print shop and I "donated" several of those cheap ol plastic pens everyone seems to accumulate over the years... somehow they all end up back on my desk >.< I moved them to the pen cup near the register... hopefully the customer will walk off with some.

I haven't had a chance to get the fountain pens going. Yesterday I ran to OfficeMax and was saddened greatly. They don't carry any inks and only one pack of three disposable fountain pens in the entire store :( I was too sad to even browse the planner aisle. I'll keep you posted on the progress... first I have to find some ink...
my artwork



A thought on pens you don't want anymore--cap them up and bag them up with the clothes or small gewgaws you're donating to the less fortunate. Or sell them in a lot at a yard sale. Don't keep them around if they don't make you happy. If you work in an office, put the pens you don't like back in the office supply stash for someone else to use.

Do not keep old stuff just because you bought it or used it or got it as a gift. Get rid of it. That kind of stuff just weighs you down. You drag it around from place to place, telling yourself you have a reason to keep it when you know you don't want to use it again. Just get rid of it!

I have a stack of clothing I'm working on--stuff I actually like, but is too small since the kids were born. As I put the stuff on and determine it's wrong, I throw it on the stack. In the not-too-distant future I'll have a garbage bag full to take off to somewhere to get rid of it. Might consign it, might sell it, might donate it or freecycle it. But I refuse to continue to grant space to crap I can't or won't use. It's taking up space and money I could use for crap I WILL use. :) In the case of these shirts and sweaters, my closet is too small to admit any new stuff until I get rid of at least ten or twenty old things. So I have a vested interest in getting this stuff OUT!

Do not allow stuff to occupy space it doesn't deserve! Get rid of the crud and get good stuff instead!


Great find!

Hi, Sara,

I have a Parker 51, a black Vac, and it's one of my favorites. Mine's a medium nib and is one of the smoothest writing pens I have.

The fountainpennetwork is a great place. :D I've learned a lot over there and really enjoy the camaraderie and the occasional, er, strong opinion. lol


I have to admit with ballpoint pens, I loathe fine points.

Is a fine point on a fountain pen going to be bothersome? Or probably a better question, is the smoothness of the writing effected by the size of the nib?

my artwork

Great finds...


In general, larger nibs tend to be a little smoother than very small (fine or extra-fine) nibs because they have more surface contacting the paper. Also, a wet nib (one that flows ink generously) will feel smoother because the ink acts like a lubricant. The ink itself migh have an effect. But, not a guarantee that larger sizes will be smoother. Some nibs are smooth regardless of size. If you feel that it is "scratchy", the nib might be out of alignment (try looking at it with a 10x magnifier) or damaged. There are a number of pen repair experts who specialize in smoothing and tuning nibs. Perhaps a local pen shop can help.

You might also go to and post there for more information.

As Sardonio noted, those are good workhorse Parker pens from an earlier era. You can pull the converter (the squeeze to fill ink thingie) out of the Parker 45 Flighter and use standard Parker cartridges. (The ink sac unit in the Parker 21 does not come out) You can also fill either pen with some of the hundred plus colors of ink in bottles available from a multitude of suppliers nowadays. Fountain pens are thriving nowadays. If you do a search for fountain pen information, you'd be amazed how many sites come up.

BTW, Noodler's Ink has a number of permanent ink colors that won't smudge after they're dry.

Have fun with your pens!


Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
B. Banzai