While searching for the perfect matching desk base trumpets for his special Parker Vacumatic and radio desk set, Jaime A. found this great ad from 1936. We love these classic Vac desk sets from Parker. The 1930s might have been a miserable time to live, with the economy in the tank, but, man, they had style.
Not too long ago we were approached by a radio restoration expert named Jaime A. for help on his special 1938 Detrola radio desk set. One of the two Parker Vacumatic trumpets had broken and he needed a replacement. We just so happened to be lucky enough to have a replacement trumpet set.
The set fits perfectly, but he wants to get one of the rarer chrome-based, ribbed trumpets to better match what originally came with the set. He also wants matching Parker Vacumatic desk pens (or a matching pen and pencil for such a desk set.). If you can help him out, please reach out to us in the comments, and we will hook you guys up.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on this set. Jaime completely refinished the wood and stain, replaced the vacuum tubes in the radio and got the clock and weather station portions working. That’s a lighter in the center of the wooden base!
Clearly, those Sheaffers are not the original pens for the set. They are just temporary place holders until he can find the right set of Vacs.
Still, it is one of the rarest and most handsome desk sets we’ve ever seen!
It has been a while since we updated these pages, but we’ve been extremely busy putting together 3 huge acquisitions of vintage and modern pens. We have tons of vintage Sheaffers, Parkers, Conklins and Waterman fountain pens as well as preowned pens by Mont Blanc, Parker, Caran d’Ache, Pelikan, Waterman and many others.
You will soon see more than 300 writing instruments available…once we restore them all to their former glory. We have great pens ranging from a Parker 20 1/2 Jack Knife Safety pen to red Wahl-Eversharp Dorics to early wide-bodied Sheaffer TouchDowns to half a set of oversized Sheaffer Balance Lifetimes with their original nib stickers including Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and STUB!
The Mont Blanc pens include a Writer’s Series Agatha Christie and many bargains on the standard Meisterstucks!
We are heading back to the Atlanta Pen Show this weekend. We had so much fun meeting our Southern customers last year, we can’t wait to see them again.
If you are planning on attending, we’ll be there with a table all day Saturday and Sunday! With us will be more than 200 pens that are fully restored and ready to write. We might even have a few fun extras that fit with a pen-themed weekend.
Be sure to swing by and say hello!
You have successfully put a new diaphragm into your Parker Vacumatic. The celluloid and gold trim gleam from expert polishing. Now, how do you go about making the finishing touch and repainting the old blue diamond in the clip?
Some clips still have their enamel…or at least some of it. Most these days, do not have it.
Some purists say you should never paint in the blue diamond. Other experts say it is no big deal.
Me, I like finishing the look of the pen as close to factory fresh as I can make it. If you have an ultra rare model with partial paint, perhaps you should leave it as is. But for most of the working pens I deal with, fresh paint won’t effect the value.
The big trick is finding the right color paint to get the blue diamond as close to accurate as possible.
Having spent all of my teen years as an avid model airplane builder, I ran straight to the nearest hobby shop to turn to trusty Testors paints. I took a handful of clips with me and began comparing and contrasting the paint options.
That is when I noticed not all blue diamonds in the Parker Vacumatic clips were the same. Some were lighter and some were darker blue. I let the remnant paint/enamel in the old diamond guide me. I finally settled on two Testors blue paints from their myriad shades.
If you look on the bar code sticker on the back of the paint bottle, you will notice the name of the color and a number. That color number should be universal in any Testors paint display.
For the lighter blue diamonds, I found that the 1110 Blue by Testors is a near perfect match. The next shade darker Â is the 1111 Dark Blue, which is a near perfect match for the darker blue diamonds. It sounds intuitive, but there are so many blues from which to pick.
Painting the diamond takes a steady hand and only a teeny-tiny amount paint. You can use a single-hair brush, but I find I prefer using a toothpick that I’ve whittled to an extra-fine point.
Dab in the paint until you have filled in the diamond. Use a magnifying glass to make sure you have filled in the corners. There is bound to be some spillage outside the raised lines of the diamond. I try to clean it up with the dry edges of the toothpick by rubbing a clean, dry edge of the toothpick along the edge of the diamond. If the paint gets down into the feathers of the arrow logo, a little paint thinner on a Q-tip can help get it out before it sets. Remember to make sure the Q-tip is not sopping wet with thinner, as spilling the thinner into the wet paint of the diamond can mess things up, too.
Best of luck on painting your diamonds blue!
One of the coolest parts about owning a pen business is learning about people’s “other” pen collections. Every pen collector has their collection of daily users and museum pieces often built around brands such as Sheaffer, Parker, Mont Blanc and all of the others. But many collectors have special side project collections, too.
Mine is built strictly around a single day. I love keeping an eye out for pens that were given as gifts on Christmas day 1926. Why that Christmas? I have no idea. I just found myself one day with a curious handful of pens that all happened to have some inscription on them from 12-25-26. The photo is of my favorite, a black senior Parker Duofold. The full inscription reads, “P. M. Curtis 12-25-26.” There was an Eversharp Doric that read “X-mas 1926.” Ever since acquiring those two pens, I’ve been on the hunt for more.
Friend of ThePenMarket.com, Elizabeth J., has two odd-ball collections. One is for any sterling filigree pen with an engraving. The other, my favorite, is a collection of pens with really weird names engraved on them. “Sam Jones” will not impress her. “Gladys Oleander Gardner” or “Aloysius P. Frankenheimer Jr.” will win her over every time, even on a junker Wearever.
Keith L. loves green pens. Vintage, modern doesn’t matter, as long as it is a clean, distinctive green.
Francis B. zeroes in on pens made in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area in the 19teens and ’20s. Tommy U. does the same with oversized pens made in Chicago during that time period.
What quirky collection do you have? Please tell us, so we can help you keep an eye out for those pens.
And please, let us know if you have any of the pens listed above. We’d be very interested in buying them!
A close friend of the blog sent us a card that is ideal for a pen collector. It is the 1900 Parker advertising campaign, and we thought you might get a kick out of it.
It would appear that Parker once again funded the jolly old elf for another year to use his likeness.
Also, time is running out to get your orders in on time for Christmas! In conversations with customers and Postal Officials, a backlog of deliveries is starting to push back the time it takes for a package to arrive via Priority Mail.
When the post office gets a little behind, we cannot guarantee anything, but it would appear your best bet is to have orders ship via priority mail by Dec. 17. The closer you are to Chicago, perhaps the more you can fudge it, but it would be best to have your orders in to us on the 16th to go out with the mail on the 17th.
Seriously, how effective was this catty Parker Duofold ad from 1931?!
The ad headline reads like a movie synopsis for a cheap melodrama about a bunch of bitchy women who haven’t got much else to complain about in life. In case it is too small on your computer or mobile device it reads: “She laughingly apologized whenever she borrowed a pen, but she left a trail of ill will.”
It is hilarious for all of the wrong reasons.
The copy block only gets better…I mean worse:
“She had an ‘inexpensive’ pen, but it never seemed to work. In buying it, she thought she was saving money. But she only ran into people’s debt by borrowing pens.
“Because her request always met a courteous smile, she little suspected herself of being a nuisance.”
Is it any wonder Parker stopped making “Lady’s” pens not long after this ad came out in 1931?
As bad as the marketing was, the Lady Duofolds were and still are remarkably good pens. They write smoothly and are easy to maintain. We have a very nice one for sale, if you don’t mind aÂ little discoloration. It still works perfectly. CLICK HERE to see this fully restored vintage pen.
When was the last time you saw a poet getting the opportunity to endorse any luxury item?
This Parker ad from 1957 might be it. The legendary Carl Sandburg eyes a brand new Parker 61 and its mess-free filling mechanism in this classic ad.
You would think modern pen makers would be hitting poetry slams across America looking for popular writers to promote the use of their pens. You, unfortunately, are a logical person. We don’t even see best-selling authors getting endorsement deals for pens, computers or anything.
How did the people who famously use these tools the most get left out of the conversation. One would think that any brand of pen or laptop Stephen King, Nora Roberts or J.K. Rowling chose to promote would sell off the shelves.
Tell us: Aside from the Mont Blanc writer series (those writers are dead and have no say), when was the last time you saw a living poet…or any writer in a pen ad?
They say the third time’s the charm, but I’m not buying it. Today I received a photo of General de Lattre de Tassigny’s Parker fountain pen from Musee de l’ Armee in Paris. It is this lovely 1930ish Parker Duofold with an aftermarket replacement clip.
This is not the vintage pen I saw in Paris! I am certain it was a Parker 51, which the museum claims not to have. To keep from boring you on the top story space, I’ve revised the revised version of the story below with all of the new details. Enjoy!