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Very Special Parker 61 Incoming

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#1 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:26

This one is a very special pen to me. Its my great Uncle Maurys Parker 61 with a rainbow gold filled cap and rage red body. He passed away back in 1964 due to a mess up during surgery for a basic procedure.

He was a very positive influence on my Grandfather who grew up in an orphanage and later ended up becoming very a successful businessman back in the 50s-60s despite having no formal education other than service/schooling as an electrician in the Navy during WW2. My great Uncle was, by all accounts, a very smart businessman and pharmacist in San Francisco and one of the nicest and generous people you could meet. Ive heard stories of him all through my childhood despite never meeting him. I never heard a bad thing about him. Even my life over 50 years after his passing has been positively influenced by him.

I first heard of this pens existence from my cousin during a family funeral a couple years ago. Ive been trying to get a hold of it ever since and I was finally able to have the pen in my possession this past week! The fountain pen came in a ballpoint set. The ball point started right up after decades of being socked away in a drawer! The line was a little light but it wrote without a skip! I was pretty amazed. The fountain pen had been stored inked and the feed had a good amount of dried ink. I soaked the nib in water and dipped the capillary cell for a while and the pen started right up. I was actually able to write with the same blue ink for a brief time as my great Uncle did back in the 60s. I only got a few sentences in but it was a very interesting moment. Writing with the same ink as a sentimentally historic family figure from decades ago. I refilled the pen with my go to Omas black for mild inks and the pen is running great with a blue/black line. I also polished the cap and pen body so the pen looks like new. I still need to do some restoration on the ballpoint though. Both caps had been heavily tarnished.

It would have been very interesting to have talked with my great Uncle about the pen set. The case has the value noted at $35 for the set on the lining. Thats close to $300 today and tells me he had a commitment to fine writing instruments back when he owned the pens. This is the only fountain pen that Ive heard about that he owned. It may have been the last one he bought actually. Any others are long gone and hopefully being cared for in the fine collections of fellow enthusiasts. The Parker 61 sounds to have been very innovative at the time. Honestly I had never heard of a capillary filling system and had to do some research beyond reading the instruction pamphlet. This is the only vintage pen in my collection at the moment. A pen that fills itself, by itself?? Thats crazy talk! Even by todays standards. Im honestly amazed it was so easy to get the pen running after 50 years in storage. No replacement parts needed at all. Just some water and ink. Its a great writer and Im very pleased to have it after several years!

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#2 Chrissy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:35

Congratulations on receipt of your Great Uncle's pen set.  :)  I hope it brings you many years of use.

 

The first Parker 61 pens were "self-filling pens" fitted with the capillary filler. Sadly the fillers can clog up, are difficult to clean, and difficult to use if you like to change ink colours.

 

Later versions of the Parker 61 were fitted with a cartridge/converter system and they became so much more popular that Parker changed over their customers pens to the newer version.

 

You can still change them yourself. You need to buy a new section adapter that replaces the metal screw threaded adapter in the section and you're good to go with cartridges or converters. It's a popular fix especially when the capillary filler no longer works.



#3 Parkette

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:54

Gorgeous pen.

 

I wouldnt change the capillary, they can be made to work and are an essential part of the Parker 61.

 

Another key component is the small gold dart above the nib, very easy to lose during cleaning.

 

In view of the family connection and the pens condition, one to be treasured.



#4 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:57

Congratulations on receipt of your Great Uncle's pen set.  :)  I hope it brings you many years of use.
 
The first Parker 61 pens were "self-filling pens" fitted with the capillary filler. Sadly the fillers can clog up, are difficult to clean, and difficult to use if you like to change ink colours.
 
Later versions of the Parker 61 were fitted with a cartridge/converter system and they became so much more popular that Parker changed over their customers pens to the newer version.
 
You can still change them yourself. You need to buy a new section adapter that replaces the metal screw threaded adapter in the section and you're good to go with cartridges or converters. It's a popular fix especially when the capillary filler no longer works.


It does seem like it would be extremely difficult to change colors quickly. I can see why Parker went to a converter on later pens. The capillary cell is a novelty to me and it would be great to keep it as long as possible. I figure the pen only had a few years of use since new before being put in storage. I’m hoping I can get some use out of the current filler. Doing some research it seems the capillary cell has a rolled perforated sheet inside? Did anyone make a replacement or is there a method to refurbish the original if needed??
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#5 Tanipat

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 08:57

 So envious of you!

 

giphy.gif



#6 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:07

Gorgeous pen.
 
I wouldnt change the capillary, they can be made to work and are an essential part of the Parker 61.
 
Another key component is the small gold dart above the nib, very easy to lose during cleaning.
 
In view of the family connection and the pens condition, one to be treasured.



I read about that in researching the pen. I’m very glad the arrow is there though. It’s a difficult pen to orient right off the bat and it does seem to rotate in the hand. I find myself looking for that arrow often. I believe my pen has a fine nib and it seems to be sensitive to rotation otherwise it becomes scratchy. I’m happy that Mr. Doman insisted that the arrow be present!
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#7 Chrissy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:07

It does seem like it would be extremely difficult to change colors quickly. I can see why Parker went to a converter on later pens. The capillary cell is a novelty to me and it would be great to keep it as long as possible. I figure the pen only had a few years of use since new before being put in storage. I’m hoping I can get some use out of the current filler. Doing some research it seems the capillary cell has a rolled perforated sheet inside? Did anyone make a replacement or is there a method to refurbish the original if needed??

 

The question about the capillary filler has been asked before so there may be other threads about it. I don't think there's a way of refurbishing it, although there are methods listed about how to clean it.

 

It might be OK if you only use one ink. One problem is that it will already contain the remains of whatever ink was used in there before. The other problem is that you don't know how well it's working, if at all, or how much ink you have left in there.  :(

 

I once had a Parker 51 turquoise with a rainbow cap. It was a perfect pen apart from the awful capillary filler. On reflection, perhaps I should have done the conversion rather than sell it. I didn't know much about it then, or how easy and cheap it was to buy the small conversion section.  :unsure:



#8 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:08

 So envious of you![/size]
 
giphy.gif


Thank you Sir! I’ve really been enjoying the pen the past few days at work.
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#9 Parkette

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:18

I read about that in researching the pen. I’m very glad the arrow is there though. It’s a difficult pen to orient right off the bat and it does seem to rotate in the hand. I find myself looking for that arrow often. I believe my pen has a fine nib and it seems to be sensitive to rotation otherwise it becomes scratchy. I’m happy that Mr. Doman insisted that the arrow be present!

 

 

Lovely pen and you seem to be getting the most out of it, pleased that you are enjoing the pen just as it is, capillary filler and all,  as Steve says 'I wouldnt change a thing'.

 

The nib can be smoothed a little, either by yourself or professionally, there are loads of resources on line showing you how.

 

Great pen.


Edited by Parkette, 03 March 2018 - 09:19.


#10 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:32

The question about the capillary filler has been asked before so there may be other threads about it. I don't think there's a way of refurbishing it, although there are methods listed about how to clean it.
 
It might be OK if you only use one ink. One problem is that it will already contain the remains of whatever ink was used in there before. The other problem is that you don't know how well it's working, if at all, or how much ink you have left in there.  :(
 
I once had a Parker 51 turquoise with a rainbow cap. It was a perfect pen apart from the awful capillary filler. On reflection, perhaps I should have done the conversion rather than sell it. I didn't know much about it then, or how easy and cheap it was to buy the small conversion section.  :unsure:


I’ll do so more research on the capillary cell. I’m really hoping to keep it. I saw a YouTube clip on disassembly and it looks like the cell could be disassembled from there but the section is bonded tight to the threaded adapter to the body. The writer warned of cracking when removing the section so I’m hesitant to remove the section from the threads right now. I guess when it stops working will be the time to roll the dice.
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#11 sub_bluesy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 09:40

Lovely pen and you seem to be getting the most out of it, pleased that you are enjoing the pen just as it is, capillary filler and all,  as Steve says 'I wouldnt change a thing'.
 
The nib can be smoothed a little, either by yourself or professionally, there are loads of resources on line showing you how.
 
Great pen.


Thanks! I’m hoping to leave it as is for as long as I can. Cosmetically I was able to bring it back pretty close to new and mechanically it’s running at the moment. The nib is interesting. I don’t have a nib that small and looking at it under magnification, it looks to be on the verge of babies bottom. I’m really hesitant to touch it since it’s totally out of my comfort zone of working on pens. It is super sensitive to rotation so I guess I’ll just have to follow the arrow for the time being! When the nib is square to the paper it writes awesome with a very nice amount of feedback.
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#12 Noihvo

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 10:12

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#13 shamwari

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 10:51

What a wonderful story, and so nice that your Great Uncle's treasured 61 is still in the family and being appreciated all over again.

I'm a newcomer to the wonders of the 61 having only got my first one on Wednesday (with a second one in the post to me!) - part of the appeal to me was the capillary filler and if it was me I would definitely keep it as a capillary filler.

From my researches, it is important to flush them regularly to keep them trouble free and also to be selective in the ink that is used - avoid saturated inks which are more likely to clog the works. Using an ear syringe bulb, with the stem cut back until it slides over the back of the capillary filler is a great help although be careful as the Teflon coating on the capillary filler is delicate. From what I've read, don't use the bulb on the nib end of the pen to reverse flush it as this can dislodge the arrow - similarly, don't use an ultrasonic cleaner on the nib section for the same reason. Also, when flushing, flush into a closed container, not a sink or basin, just in case the arrow decides to part company with the pen body, at least you can easily retrieve it from the container.

Finally, I've also read that the 61 likes to be used frequently and one that is used daily usually is trouble free. So enjoy using you Great Uncle's pen whenever you can!

Edited for my poor spelling!

Edited by shamwari, 03 March 2018 - 10:53.

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#14 Parkette

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 11:01

What a wonderful story, and so nice that your Great Uncle's treasured 61 is still in the family and being appreciated all over again.

I'm a newcomer to the wonders of the 61 having only got my first one on Wednesday (with a second one in the post to me!) - part of the appeal to me was the capillary filler and if it was me I would definitely keep it as a capillary filler.

From my researches, it is important to flush them regularly to keep them trouble free and also to be selective in the ink that is used - avoid saturated inks which are more likely to clog the works. Using an ear syringe bulb, with the stem cut back until it slides over the back of the capillary filler is a great help although be careful as the Teflon coating on the capillary filler is delicate. From what I've read, don't use the bulb on the nib end of the pen to reverse flush it as this can dislodge the arrow - similarly, don't use an ultrasonic cleaner on the nib section for the same reason. Also, when flushing, flush into a closed container, not a sink or basin, just in case the arrow decides to part company with the pen body, at least you can easily retrieve it from the container.

Finally, I've also read that the 61 likes to be used frequently and one that is used daily usually is trouble free. So enjoy using you Great Uncle's pen whenever you can!

Edited for my poor spelling!

 

 

Excellent and comprehensive advice, especially on the ink front, keep to easily washable inks such as Parker and Watermans.



#15 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 12:47

Very beautiful pen, with a cap of subdued class.

 

I'm happy for you, and happy you can honor an honorable uncle.


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#16 FarmBoy

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 20:37

Parker switched to a converter/cartridge fill in part due to the cost of manufacture.

 

Don't disassemble the capillary filler.  Flush it with water. It will require filling and letting it sit.  You can try KohINor pen cleaner as well.  No need to soak the entire pen and I don't usually advise taking 61s apart.  You do not remove the hood from a 61 body, if you need to take it apart you unscrew the connector from the hood and you do it in a way that doesn't damage the teflon coating on the filler body.

 

Changing ink is quite easy if you don't let the ink dry up in the pen.


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#17 gregamckinney

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 21:06

Beautiful pen and a great history.

It may be the photo, but your pen looks more like the 61 color Maroon than Rage Red, which always struck me as more of a primary red.

It matters little, as it was the owner, not the color that mattered, but I'm curious.

 

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#18 JonSzanto

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 21:41

As has been said already: a great pen with a worth deepened even further by it's history. Enjoy the gift and thank you for sharing the story.


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#19 shamwari

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 22:30

It may be the photo, but your pen looks more like the 61 color Maroon than Rage Red, which always struck me as more of a primary red.

Rage Red or Maroon?

This is something I've been trying to work out in respect of my own 61 which looks very similar. Like my pen, the OP's appears to be a Mk II (which came in in 1962) as it has the thicker clutch ring. The Mk II was in production until 1969 when it was replaced by the Mk III which had a cartridge/converter rather than the capillary filler. This narrows the OP's pen to 1962-1964 when his Great Uncle died.

Looking at the Parker 61 Profile on the Richard's Pens site, in the plastic colours it shows Rage Red (1956-1969) with the only other red colour being Maroon (1959-1982) but there is a suggestion in another FPN thread that there is a typo in the Profile and that the Maroon colour came in in 1969 not 1959.

This would tie in with the Parkerpens site which lists Rage Red as being one of the barrel colours offered at the introduction of the 61 in 1956 along with Black, Grey Charcoal, Surf Green, Vista Blue Turquoise. The site says that Surf Green was withdrawn in 1959 and that in 1961 the colours offered were Black, Blue, Red and Charcoal Grey. It goes on to say that 1969 saw the introduction of new barrel colours. Caribbean Green and Rage Red was discontinued and the colour line-up was Turquoise Blue, Black, Maroon and Grey. This appears to suggest that Maroon was only introduced in 1969 but does not show any other new colours. However, the Richard's Pens site shows Midnight Blue as being introduced in 1969. No mention is made on the Parkerpens site of when Caribbean Green (withdrawn in 1969) was introduced but Richard's Pens site suggests it came in in 1959 when Surf Green was withdrawn. Richard's Pens also indicates that there were two greys, Charcoal to 1959 and then Grey from 1959 onwards.

So I still can't decide whether it's Rage Red or Maroon!

Edited to add last sentence and correct spelling

Edited by shamwari, 03 March 2018 - 22:44.

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#20 sub_bluesy

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 02:00

I took a pic of the pen outside in the sun today. It looks red but Ive never seen another 61 in person.

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