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Why '-Fold'?


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#1 MercianScribe

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 17:55

Duofold, Slimfold... any other 'folds'? Why were they originally 'folds'? What does it mean?


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#2 PaulS

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 18:44

regarding the original 'Duofold' name  ............   according to Shepherd and Zazove, "there is no authoritative explanation to the provenance of the name.     All of the proposals are speculative"  -  so your guess is probably as good as anyone else's.     It came originally, apparently from Lewis M. Tebbel, in 1921, with the intention to distinguish it from other pens.

Other much later names like 'Slimfold' were simple adulterations based on rather obvious features  i.e. slimness etc.


Edited by PaulS, 18 July 2017 - 11:30.


#3 joss

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 19:22

check also David Nishimura's thoughts on the Duofold name here (bottom of page):

http://www.vintagepe...r_Duofold.shtml



#4 RocketRyan

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 21:14

I always thought it was to do with the rigid nibs being able to write on carbon copy paper, a sort of twice folded. Could be very wrong.

#5 mariom

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:44

I have read somewhere (or possibly imagined....) that the marketing idea was that the pen was twice as good as any other - a two-fold improvement in fact. Two-fold became Duofold.

 

Make sense in a twisted marketing sort of way.


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#6 PaulS

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:29

if anyone can provide provenance to substantiate their suggestion, that would be great  -  nothing quite like hard evidence to clinch the deal - failing which it seems we shall have to remain in the dark.

Certainly the comment about firmness of the original nibs appears to be correct  -  some (or perhaps all) of those first pens apparently had large stiff No. 6 manifold nibs, firm enough for making carbon copies and capable of withstanding heavy pressure - I would like one of these early pens. :) 

Who knows what was going through Mr. Tebbel's mind when he came up with the name.



#7 Beechwood

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 11:52

I have read somewhere (or possibly imagined....) that the marketing idea was that the pen was twice as good as any other - a two-fold improvement in fact. Two-fold became Duofold.

 

Make sense in a twisted marketing sort of way.

 

 

This was my understanding too. And the intention was for the the pen to be called DUFOLD, a special order for an agent in the San Fransisco area who wanted a pen that would outsell the popular maifold type pen in the area, the name was changed by one of the Parkers to be Duofold.

 

Edit: I should do my research prior to posting, if you have the Duofold book by Shepherd/Zazove this naming is described in greater deatil on page 34.


Edited by Beechwood, 18 July 2017 - 11:55.

How many people does it take to comment on a question on FPN? One to give advice and make suggestions. Another one to repeat everything that the first poster has said. Fourteen to share their own experiences of their pens and comment on how the original advice was flawed.
Seven who just want to increase their post count. One to say that they have no regrets about doing anything and people should follow their example. Another to say that if there is anything wrong with the pen it is just down to using Diamine Shimmer ink. Six to argue over whether its a worth doing anything with it and the OP should just throw it away and buy their Parker 51. Another six to condemn all of the above as being  stupid and anyway they would rather be on FP Geeks. One to say that the pen is cheaper where they live. Five people to post pics of their own pens. One to say that if the OP had Faith then the pen would work - and gets banned very quickly.

Finally, one to close down the thread because it has lost its way.
 


#8 joss

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 12:29

Again, I think that David Nishimura's thoughts on this matter are quite useful for this discussion. I quote from his website www.vintagepens.com/Parker_Duofold.shtml

 

NOTE: there is much misinformation on the origins of the Duofold name. Some claim that it denotes that the pen could be converted into a desk pen, or used as an eyedropper, or that its nib could be used upside-down. Yet not one of these supposedly key features was so much as mentioned in early Duofold advertisements or company literature. In fact, the "Duo" prefix was very popular at the time, being used as a marketing superlative for a wide range of products (paralleled by the ubiquity of "super" in the postwar era). "Duofold" would have suggested that the new oversize Parker was twice the pen competitors could offer – consistent with its pricing, which pushed existing market norms -- while the "-fold" suffix both carried through the comparative reference (as in "twofold") and alluded to the mass and rigidity of the Duofold's large, manifold-style nib ("manifold" being the term for stiff nibs made for use with carbon paper, with which one could make manifold copies of a document).



#9 Beechwood

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:30

Its all speculation but that seems to make sense, particularly with reference to manifold nibs and the idea that DU (perhaps meaning hardness or durability or even a superlative)  or DUO made them sound ahead of the competition.


How many people does it take to comment on a question on FPN? One to give advice and make suggestions. Another one to repeat everything that the first poster has said. Fourteen to share their own experiences of their pens and comment on how the original advice was flawed.
Seven who just want to increase their post count. One to say that they have no regrets about doing anything and people should follow their example. Another to say that if there is anything wrong with the pen it is just down to using Diamine Shimmer ink. Six to argue over whether its a worth doing anything with it and the OP should just throw it away and buy their Parker 51. Another six to condemn all of the above as being  stupid and anyway they would rather be on FP Geeks. One to say that the pen is cheaper where they live. Five people to post pics of their own pens. One to say that if the OP had Faith then the pen would work - and gets banned very quickly.

Finally, one to close down the thread because it has lost its way.
 


#10 PaulS

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 13:40

I get the impression that they were ahead of he competition, literally, with or without the Duofold name, but it's disappointing that posterity hasn't been spared all this speculation - nothing like finding the correct answer for putting the mind at rest.

I could certainly go with the idea of that Latin prefix coming via the benefits of the carbon paper duplication.  



#11 peterg

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 21:51

I can't add to the debate but would question why such an oversized, upmarket and ostentatious pen would be pushed as a manifold (an office clerk's job) pen?

 

Twofold meaning twice as good converted to Duofold makes a degree of sense. It could also be trade marked, unlike two fold which was a term of language, and we know that Parker's spent a lot of time litigating to protect the Duofold name.



#12 Beechwood

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:10

From the Parker/Zazove book it is noted that pens with manifold nibs (nothing to do with the style of the pen or whether the Duofold was oversized, upmarket and ostentatious or not) were selling well and the Dufold was a special order by a Parker Agent in San Fransisco in order to have some of this market.

 

All speculation perhaps but given that Parker/Zazove had access to Parker records including letters and orders from Agents then this seems much more plausible than the comments raised in post #11, but if peterg has some evidence on the word Twofold becoming Duofold then please share.


Edited by Beechwood, 19 July 2017 - 04:42.

How many people does it take to comment on a question on FPN? One to give advice and make suggestions. Another one to repeat everything that the first poster has said. Fourteen to share their own experiences of their pens and comment on how the original advice was flawed.
Seven who just want to increase their post count. One to say that they have no regrets about doing anything and people should follow their example. Another to say that if there is anything wrong with the pen it is just down to using Diamine Shimmer ink. Six to argue over whether its a worth doing anything with it and the OP should just throw it away and buy their Parker 51. Another six to condemn all of the above as being  stupid and anyway they would rather be on FP Geeks. One to say that the pen is cheaper where they live. Five people to post pics of their own pens. One to say that if the OP had Faith then the pen would work - and gets banned very quickly.

Finally, one to close down the thread because it has lost its way.
 


#13 MercianScribe

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 14:58

Interesting, all, thanks. Unfortunately I have nothing to add!


Hi, I'm Mat

This week's EDC: Pilot Penmanship (demo, B italic, Iroshizuku Old Man Winter/Pilot Blue mix), Preppy (red, 0.3), Preppy (green, 0.3), 

This week's home rotation: Watermans 12 PSF (XF-3B wet noodle, Diamine Red Dragon), Watermans 3J (B-4B broad flex stub, Pilot Blue)


#14 mitto

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 16:59

Interesting topic and interesting information.
Khan

#15 peterg

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 16:24

I was commenting on Joss' post 8.

 

According to Shepherd & Zazove the name was made up by Lewis Tebbel, the Washington sales manager who devised the original pen, although there is an apocryphal story of 'Twofold' being mis typed by a Parker clerk as Duofold.

 

Edward Davies, the San Francisco sales manager, was brought in by Kenneth Parker to spoof George Parker into agreeing to the Duofold on his arrival in San Francisco, as Tebbel was held in very low regard and the project could have been killed off as a result.








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