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The Most Interesting “51” In The World…

custom 51 parker vacumatic t-1 61

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18 replies to this topic

#1 RalphP

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 20:48

Or not ~~ interesting, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

 

 

This custom "51" features the following: 

 

Four “quick change” threaded cap top jewels:  1)  a Solid Gold Crown – ideal to have on the pen in your pocket when going to see the dentist – this one is also of course known as the Crown Jewel;  2)  .45 solid lead – ideal for high caliber meetings;  3)  9mm Brass Jacket suitable for lower caliber meetings or casual writing;  4)  146/9 Mont Blanc White Star - ideal for highly pretentious meetings with status conscious individuals or groups…  etc.

 

 

 

51-ConGlom-1_zpspccwzy8j.jpg

 

 

The stainless steel cap has been bead blasted and strongly resembles titanium.  The war time Vermeil Blue Diamond clip is bent in such a fashion that it would hard if not impossible to duplicate – it is definitely crooked… but, I have not ever found it to be dishonest in any respect.   The hood or shell is dark blue and the barrel is black – reminiscent of two-tone cars in the ‘50s & 60’s.  The filling unit and blind cap are oversized slightly.  The longer than standard ink pump rod is brass and is housed in one excellent red anodized bushing.  The added vacuum pressure sort of supercharges the filling system.   The end of the rod contains a silver disc with the Parker Halo encased in translucent red plastic from the Parker Model Shop – the same exact red plastic used to make the Parker T-1 red jewels – it took way too long to make but that’s just hindsight.  The nib is an 18k 61 nib which was made in the UK.  Don’t know the reason why but 51 and 61 nibs made in the UK are just better writers and smoother than those made in the US – just a fact.

 

 

51-ConGlom_zpsgushbfne.jpg

 

 

Like it – Love it – or Hate it – you’ve got to at least agree it’s interesting…?

 

Life’s too short to always take Pens too seriously.

 

 

ralph prather



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#2 GardenWeasel

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Posted 24 September 2019 - 23:03

That custom clip has me wondering if I can duplicate it. Kinda snazzy looking. :)
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#3 Glenn-SC

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 12:33

An honest work of art.
Love it!

#4 crescentfiller

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 13:59

The creative descriptive work is as good as the technical work!

 

Nice job!



#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 14:01

Honestly, I'm not a fan of this.  Any more than I'm a fan of the Ariel Kulloch "fantasy 51s".  

One of the things I like best about Parker 51s is that they are understated.  They don't have to be screaming "Look at me!  Look at me!" the way so many "high end" designs do.  They are the ultimate of "form follows function".  Every design element and R&D decision was for one goal -- to make the pen a superb writing instrument.  You look at a 51 and they don't look old-fashioned.  The hood was to prevent burping at changes of altitude.  The filler system was designed to hold a lot of ink so you don't have to refill as often.  And you NEVER hear complaints about the step-down between the barrel and the section because there isn't one.  Perfect size, perfect weight, and (if you get lucky) a range of nib widths.  They were the flagship line for something like 20 years -- and there's a reason for it.  They were considered expensive pens in their day -- but Parker stopped counting how many came off the production line after 12 MILLION of them.  They are still readily available in the wild decades after they stopped being made -- often for decent to great prices, even for the rarer colors of the Aerometric models (I paid $2 US for a Forest Green one at an estate sale around a year ago.  Flushed it out and it was good to go; paid another $20 a couple of weekends ago to have some nib work done because the EF nib was a bit scratchy.  So my cash outlay was $22.  I've paid more for modern pens that aren't as good as something that's probably older than me (I should work so well when I'm 70+ years old...  :rolleyes:).

This, on the other hand, seems to be bling for the sake of bling.  I don't need a pen that is pretending to be a MB with a splat finial on it.  Why would I?  I have a bunch of the finest fountain pens ever made!  Sorry, RalphP, but I'm not impressed.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#6 RalphP

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 16:21

Thanks for your detailed and honest evaluation of the pen Ruth - I agree completely with you.

 

But, to put this project in context, it was not planned but grew out of the desire to put other wise unusable parts from the parts boxes together in such a way to make a fully functional pen and a good reliable daily writer.

 

It will always remain sort of a "one of a kind" oddity which just happens to be an incredibly smooth & reliable writer & components sort of poke a bit oft well intended  fun at various things (like thinking we have to have a perfectly straight clip to functional and attractive).

 

I guess humor is also in the eye, or ear, of the beholder. (no bling intended)
 



#7 Glenn-SC

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 19:11

I would also point out that Parker produced solid gold "51"s and pens with solid gold caps that were very much "Look at me!" items.

Rainbow "watermellon" three color gold caps?

Princess pens with inset jewels!?

Edited because I can't seem to spell today. Sorry.

Edited by Glenn-SC, 25 September 2019 - 23:53.


#8 CS388

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 20:20

Very interesting indeed.

 

The threads on the Montblanc jewel look too large to fit the cap, compared to the rest of them?

 

Congratulations on your impressive workmanship and dedication - and thanks for sharing.



#9 RalphP

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 21:27

Very interesting indeed.

 

The threads on the Montblanc jewel look too large to fit the cap, compared to the rest of them?

 

Congratulations on your impressive workmanship and dedication - and thanks for sharing.

 

Very keen eye & attention to detail. 

 

Here's reason for that - all the other posts are the standard Parker size - something like 5-40 - the MB was a bit smaller maybe 3-56 so it has its own dedicated bushing attached to the rod - still quick change but just not quite as fast...



#10 pajaro

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 03:16

To me this pen doesn't look like a 51 until I look at the innards.  The caps aren't like a 51 at all to me, and those caps make the pen look more like a Sheaffer.  Generally the Prather designs are 51ish and beautiful, but I think this design tries to do too many things.  This has little to do with Ariel Kulloch's work.  His 51 fantasies at least have the same shape as a 51.  The Kulloch pens that I have are color variants on the 51, color being what I was after.  The other Prather designs I have seen have color and interesting materials to offer in a Parker 51 shape.  My first thought about this was a Sheaffer variant. 


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#11 pajaro

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 04:53

Or not ~~ interesting, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

 

 

This custom "51" features the following: 

 

Four “quick change” threaded cap top jewels:  1)  a Solid Gold Crown – ideal to have on the pen in your pocket when going to see the dentist – this one is also of course known as the Crown Jewel;  2)  .45 solid lead – ideal for high caliber meetings;  3)  9mm Brass Jacket suitable for lower caliber meetings or casual writing;  4)  146/9 Mont Blanc White Star - ideal for highly pretentious meetings with status conscious individuals or groups…  etc.

 

 

 

51-ConGlom-1_zpspccwzy8j.jpg

 

 

The stainless steel cap has been bead blasted and strongly resembles titanium.  The war time Vermeil Blue Diamond clip is bent in such a fashion that it would hard if not impossible to duplicate – it is definitely crooked… but, I have not ever found it to be dishonest in any respect.   The hood or shell is dark blue and the barrel is black – reminiscent of two-tone cars in the ‘50s & 60’s.  The filling unit and blind cap are oversized slightly.  The longer than standard ink pump rod is brass and is housed in one excellent red anodized bushing.  The added vacuum pressure sort of supercharges the filling system.   The end of the rod contains a silver disc with the Parker Halo encased in translucent red plastic from the Parker Model Shop – the same exact red plastic used to make the Parker T-1 red jewels – it took way too long to make but that’s just hindsight.  The nib is an 18k 61 nib which was made in the UK.  Don’t know the reason why but 51 and 61 nibs made in the UK are just better writers and smoother than those made in the US – just a fact.

 

 

51-ConGlom_zpsgushbfne.jpg

 

 

Like it – Love it – or Hate it – you’ve got to at least agree it’s interesting…?

 

Life’s too short to always take Pens too seriously.

 

 

ralph prather

 

I agree with this observation.

 

The pen reminds me of a Sheaffer Balance.  The ends.  The Balance is not my favorite Sheaffer.


Edited by pajaro, 01 October 2019 - 04:56.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#12 Doug C

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Posted 01 October 2019 - 18:29

Honestly, I'm not a fan of this.  Any more than I'm a fan of the Ariel Kulloch "fantasy 51s".  

One of the things I like best about Parker 51s is that they are understated.  They don't have to be screaming "Look at me!  Look at me!" the way so many "high end" designs do.  They are the ultimate of "form follows function".  Every design element and R&D decision was for one goal -- to make the pen a superb writing instrument.  You look at a 51 and they don't look old-fashioned.  The hood was to prevent burping at changes of altitude.  The filler system was designed to hold a lot of ink so you don't have to refill as often.  And you NEVER hear complaints about the step-down between the barrel and the section because there isn't one.  Perfect size, perfect weight, and (if you get lucky) a range of nib widths.  They were the flagship line for something like 20 years -- and there's a reason for it.  They were considered expensive pens in their day -- but Parker stopped counting how many came off the production line after 12 MILLION of them.  They are still readily available in the wild decades after they stopped being made -- often for decent to great prices, even for the rarer colors of the Aerometric models (I paid $2 US for a Forest Green one at an estate sale around a year ago.  Flushed it out and it was good to go; paid another $20 a couple of weekends ago to have some nib work done because the EF nib was a bit scratchy.  So my cash outlay was $22.  I've paid more for modern pens that aren't as good as something that's probably older than me (I should work so well when I'm 70+ years old...  :rolleyes:).

This, on the other hand, seems to be bling for the sake of bling.  I don't need a pen that is pretending to be a MB with a splat finial on it.  Why would I?  I have a bunch of the finest fountain pens ever made!  Sorry, RalphP, but I'm not impressed.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

I'll have to post a photo of my Prather 51....

Now that is a pretty pen.


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#13 da vinci

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 19:03

Love out or hate it, Ralph is an amazing craftsman, so it is inevitably well put together, and certainly an interesting take on an iconic pen! :)

 

Personally, I like it. Its very different, got people interested and expressing views. It is definitely not boring like so many pens today. Well done Ralph for creating a pen that has got people talking :D



#14 Wahl

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 19:55

Not for me !



#15 pajaro

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 08:05

Beautifully crafted. You could have a lot of fun with this pen. A 51 with a snowcap. Bringing together two favorite designs. Why be too fussy about orthodoxy?

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .


#16 Honeybadgers

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 08:49

giphy.gif


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#17 Glenn-SC

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 14:55

Why not?

#18 RalphP

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 22:13

But Why?

 

Very Clever...  but, a bit repetitive.

 

One of the many answers is found in the last line of the post (which I somehow managed to duplicate).

 

Appearance in pens can be like judging a book by the cover.

 

About 20 years ago I picked up a "30's lever fill" pen at a flea market for $1.00.  It did not appear to be in good condition but did have a 14K warranted gold nib.

 

When a new sac was installed (much to my surprise) it was (is) an amazing writer.  The nib is as smooth as any, expressive, and highly reliable.  As can be seen in one of the photos the pen barrel is terrible crooked - almost looks like it is in pain.  It may have been left out in the hot sun at the flea market.  At first the way it looked  bothered me - but- by adjusting the section to fit my hand it became an ergonomic wonder... easiest pen to hold and write with you could ever imagine.

 

Several years later Waterman came out with a curved pen (for a few dollars more that mine) - I think they copied the curve of my pen.

 

Anyway - a pen can be anything or express anything you want - but if it's an exemplary writer that's just a real bonus!

 

 

Cr-C_zps85i2uyig.jpg

 

 

Gr-C-1_zps8ce8rdps.jpg

 

 

ralph



#19 pajaro

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 02:28

Very pretty.


"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

They took the blue from the skies and the pretty girls' eyes and a touch of Old Glory too . . .






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