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Please Help Me Date This Vacumatic!


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16 replies to this topic

#1 ThirdeYe

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:25

Hi everyone! I was at an antiques market today and found some good deals on a few pens. Apparently it was from an estate of a collector and there were over 700 excellent pens, including many Sheaffer, Parker, Waterman, Conway-Stewart, Eversharp, etc.

 

I ended up grabbing a few with the little cash I had on hand, including this Vacumatic. All of my Vacumatics are the plastic filler from the 1940s, but this one had a lockdown filler that intrigued me, plus I have a matching pencil for it that I've had for a few years already. I also enjoy the way these double-jeweled pens look. This one isn't in the greatest cosmetic condition, but the nib looks straight and smooth and it'll be a good user-grade pen. I know it also needs restoration, but for $32.50, I can't complain. 

 

I've been trying to date this pen and I'm completely confused. The nib says "36" with no dots. I assume this means 3rd quarter 1936. No real confusion there. However, the imprint on the barrel is ".47.", I was under the impression that the only 2 digit date codes with dots were from the late 40s/early 50s? I have a few Vacs in my collection with single digit date codes with dots, but nothing like this. I am also aware that some Vacumatics had 2 digit date codes, but all of the sources I'm finding say nothing about dots along with 2 digits... just one. Could anyone help with this? I have attached some pics, hopefully they turned out as it was hard to get my phone to focus that closely. 

Thanks! I really appreciate it. 

 

20150531_211102_zpsj2xyjxtt.jpg

 

20150531_210707_zpsrpybhaxh.jpg

 

20150531_211208_zpszwnj92dq.jpg


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#2 icardoth

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:37

4th quarter, 1937.



#3 ThirdeYe

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:46

4th quarter, 1937.

 

That's what I was kinda thinking, but the dots threw me off. I'm also guessing that the nib is 3rd quarter yet the pen is 4th quarter, maybe made around the time they did the changeover for that quarter? 


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#4 penmanila

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 09:29

The dots just narrow things down to quarters, so I don't mind them too much. It's really the general shape and features of the body (cap, barrel and blind cap) that will tell you the Vac generation, and the imprint will then yield the year. Mastering Vac taxonomy takes a bit of learning given all the variants, but it's not rocket science ;) nice pen (a Major) you got there for a great price.

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#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 18:27

+1 on what pen manila said about the price.  I have a Silver Pearl Major (don't recall the date code offhand) and I paid more than twice what you did a couple of years ago on Ebay.  Mind, it didn't need to have the diaphragm or any other repair work done when I got it.  

I also paid a little under that for an Azure Blue Pearl Debutante or Sub-Debutante (opinions vary) but with the refurbishing costing more than I paid for the pen it ended up being more expensive than the Major (OTOH, I got the pen on Saturday at DCSS two summers ago, and on Sunday got it overhauled with a new diaphragm at the Indy-Pen-Dance table -- on the spot with no waiting).  :thumbup: 

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#6 JotterAddict62

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 19:32

Nice catch. Just don't tell everyone where the shop is, the pens will disappear on you if you tell.



#7 ThirdeYe

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 02:29

It was in a very populated antiques market that happens once a month. I'm sure most of the pens are gone by now. Perhaps some other members here were lucky to pick up a few. The table was crowded and I was hardly able to really take a good amount of time to sort through them all properly.

 

Also, about this pen, based on the date codes wouldn't the nib be 3rd quarter 1936 and the pen itself be 4th quarter 1937? I'm guessing these have to be mismatched, unless there's something else I'm missing.


Edited by ThirdeYe, 02 June 2015 - 02:29.

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#8 penmanila

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 05:02

these "mismatches" between nib and barrel are pretty common with vacs and aren't a big deal. an earlier nib means they had some left over, and put them on the newer pens. the more important consideration, for correctness' sake, is that nib and body should belong to the same generation, as yours do.


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#9 ThirdeYe

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:46

I stand corrected on the nib. After looking at it more closely, the nib says "37" not "36", so I believe the pen to be from the last quarter of 1937 after all. That makes more sense than a 36 nib being paired with a 47 date coded body :) Thanks for the help everyone. 


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#10 RamonCampos

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 09:25

Some questions about  barrels and nibs date code with 2 digits and dots.

 

Until at least the second quarter of 1938 we can observe this code system.

In this system of two digits, we only can see three options(*), namely: without dot, with 1 dot and with 2 dots, so my theory is that, in these cases, the DOTS MEAN MONTHS of quarter, so, e.g.:

  27   June-1937  (third month of the second quarter of 1937)
 .37.  July-1937 (first month of the third quarter)
  37.   August 1937 (second month of the third quarter)
  37   September 1937 (third month of the third quarter)
 .47.  October 1937 (first month fourth quarter)

...

 

.18. January 1938

 18. February 1938

 18  March 1938

.28. April 1938

 

(*) In contrast to code date single-digit that there are 4 options (0, 1, 2 or 3 dots) as many quarters.

 

Some examples:

 

Lazard_Parker_Vacumatic_2digits_dots.jpg


Edited by Lazard 20, 09 June 2015 - 10:39.


#11 crescentfiller

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 11:44

après cela le déluge



#12 corgicoupe

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 23:22

I would like to know how you take those closeups.

 

The first one has a single digit code 3 followed by one dot, the long blind cap, and a black section. The jewels on both ends of the pen are black.

 

Perhaps one of you can help me date these Vacumatics. The second one has no date code, and has the short blind cap with the lock-down filler, and the section has the same pattern as the cap and body. The third photo shows the jewel on the short blind cap, and the jewel on the pen cap is the same. There is a name E.C. Brown nicely engraved in cursive along the body of the pen, but is only visible with a lens.

 

 

Attached Images

  • Parker Vacumatics 006.JPG
  • Parker Vacumatics 005.JPG
  • Parker Vacumatics 009.JPG

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#13 RamonCampos

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 07:09

I would like to know how you take those closeups.

 

The first one has a single digit code 3 followed by one dot, the long blind cap, and a black section. The jewels on both ends of the pen are black.

 

Perhaps one of you can help me date these Vacumatics. The second one has no date code, and has the short blind cap with the lock-down filler, and the section has the same pattern as the cap and body. The third photo shows the jewel on the short blind cap, and the jewel on the pen cap is the same. There is a name E.C. Brown nicely engraved in cursive along the body of the pen, but is only visible with a lens.

 

 

 

The first one has a coherent barrel with the third quarter of 1943. I would like to see a photograph of the blind cap because "the jewels on both ends.."

 

The second one will be prior to mid 1934 when the coding system appears (the oldest imprint I've seen with code date is third quarter of 1934).

 

As others curiosities the clip has "wide feather" both above and below consistent with first vacs, the "misalignment" of alternating layers of celluloid is also typical of the first vacs, the thread of the blind cap will in the celluloid -not in a metal cover- and in the imprint we can read MADE IN USA with PAT. (PAT disappears one year later).


Edited by Lazard 20, 10 June 2015 - 07:13.


#14 corgicoupe

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 15:10

More photos addressing your points. The first two show the jewels on the two pens; all are conical. The third is what I assume you mean by "wide feathers". Both blind caps are threaded in the celluloid.

 

 

Attached Images

  • Parker jewel 001.JPG
  • Parker vacumatic 007 cropped.jpg
  • Parker feather 001 cropped.jpg

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

                                                         Robert Frost


#15 RamonCampos

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 21:21

The 1943 barrel have imprint MADE IN USA or MADE IN CANADA?

 

About lockdown with "rectangular" clip (first and like yours) vs "trapeze" clip (later) and blind cap threads directly on celluloid (first and like yours) vs blind cap with threaded metal inserted (later), here you've got a comparative images.

 

About lockdown blind caps:

 

PARKER_LOCKDOWN_2_TYPES_BLIND_CAP_LAZARD

 

(If they are different, you can appear to be a soothsayer with a friend less informed :) about what vac lockdown is prior to another -without to see code date- just watching the blind cap )

 

About lockdown clips:

 

Standard model feather measures

PARKER_VACUMATIC_LOCKDOWN_CLIP_LAZARD.jp

 

 

PARKER_VACUMATIC_LOCKDOWN_FIRST_CLIP_LAZ

 

PARKER_VACUMATIC_LOCKDOWN_2_TYPES_CLIP_2

 

You can read at the following link an approach to the dates on which these lockdown small changes arise:

 

http://www.fountainp...-tell-us/page-1


Edited by Lazard 20, 10 June 2015 - 21:49.


#16 BOOGIT

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 15:35

Is it possible this pen has the incorrect blind cap ?
I find it very odd that a new colour introduced 2 years after production of VF ,s ceased would be stamped with an Old model imprint. They were trying to sell Vacs so why would you offer a customer a brand new colour with an old model imprint?
Other possibilities - production error , prototype made earlier but with later alterations ie the blind cap

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#17 BOOGIT

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 20:36

Oops
Wrong thread
Sorry






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