Obviously this student newspaper reflects the microcosm of the
university which is however affected by world events such as WWII.
As early as 1939 the newspaper reports on the adventure of a student was "escaped" from Germany where he was studying German
(http://www-tech.mit.edu/archives/VOL_059/TECH_V059_S0154_P001.pdf ) as well as the arms embargo and the neutrality act.
And while the news from the war become more prominent in the Tect as time goes, it is not till the Peal Harbor attack that the US joins the action.
Immediately things change. Military research takes over. Whole buildings are now devoted to military research. The MIT Radiation Lab
improves the radar and helps install them on planes that are patrolled the Atlantic for German Submarines. In 1943 the Institute goes into a
year round schedule of training Army, Navy and Air Force personnel.
While the war dominates the life and the thoughts of people fountain pens are
made and sold and advertised
The most prominent advertisements of this period are focusing on Parker 51.
According to www.parker51.com
"development of the Parker "51" was completed in 1939, the 51st anniversary of
the Parker Pen Company, thus its name. Pre-production models were test-marketed
in Venezuela and other Caribbean countries in early 1940, before the pen's
general introduction into the U.S.... Later in 1940, from August to
November, three store tests were conducted stateside in Chicago, Philadelphia
and Champaign, Illinois with great fanfare and success. This was followed by
further introduction in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver and the state of
Wisconsin. The world premier took place in January 1941".
The first "51" ad in the tech appears in 1942 where the pen is shown next to a Vac. The ad has clearly a military theme. "Off to camp - Off to Campus"
The ad also points that both 51 and Vac carry a military clip. Also note the quote: "Parker pens contain no rubber sac" Really?
A number of ads during this period focus on Quink, the Parker made ink. With a typical
approach this ad of 9/30/1941 shows that together with
a bottle of Quink you get a Walt Disney Book of 100 Songs....
But soon the tone of advertisements change. While Sheaffer got into
manufacturing artillery fuses and bomb components, Parker used "fear" tactics in
See examples below!.. "PEN REPAIR MATERIALS MAY SOON BE UNOBTAINABLE", "QUINK PROTECTS YOUR PEN AGAINST WARTIME FAILURE",
"FOUNTAIN PENS ARE RATIONED". "SHORTAGE OF PENS IS INCREASING" ...
Also notable in the two last ads is the list of colors for Quink: 7 permanent
colors (microfilm, blue-black, Royal Blue, Green, Violet, Brown, Red) and two
washable (black and blue).
I love the "V.... -MAIL" expression, as if they are so superstitious that do not dear to spell it out.
From 1943 to1946 there are no ads of fountain pens at MIT. Another
victim of the war, I guess.
At the end of 1946 Parker returns strong. Parker has always been using celebrities to advertise its pens.
In the ads below refer to Lauritz Melchior, Albert Spalding, and Arthur Rubenstein, all three important music personalities of the era.
Parker 51 dominates the holiday advertisements (even if some of them are a bit early).
In 1948 the picture of the Cuban ambassador to the US signing the 1947 Inter-American Reciprocal Defense Treaty completes the Parker 41 ad.
Even Jefferson Declaration of Independence, Washington's Fairwell address
and the Gettysburg address find their way in the ads.
I did not know that they were written with the Parker 51
PARKER 51 AEROMETRIC
Parker aerometric makes its appearance in the Tech in February of 1949 few months after its official introduction.
It is not a surprise that the "51"-like targeting the student
population were very quickly and prominently advertised in the Tech.
The 51 Special, the 21 and even the Parkette - the ONLY lever filler produced by Parker, can be found in several ads in the early 50s.
Special emphasis was placed on 21 as a student pen. Several versions of 21 ads were posted.
Sheaffer had almost disappeared during this period. Only two ads appear in 1953
and 1957. They were not placed by Sheaffer but by the MIT Coop (bookstore).
The first ad in 1953 toots the FINELINE which is a cartridge pen. The second appears in 1957 and promotes the Snorkel.
Entering the1960 and the swan song for the fountain pens started to be heard around. The decade opens with an ad for sales of Snorkel pens. Like Christmas cards after Christmas, they are 1/3 off .
one more installment to go .....
Edited by antoniosz, 10 July 2007 - 16:22.