Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Seeking Tips On Purchasing A First Parker 51

parker 51

  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#21 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,836 posts
  • Location:Tecumseh, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 19 December 2019 - 18:05

 

Re the WS clone of the 51 - how does it compare with a real 51 with regard to sturdiness and feel? I recently picked up a 51 and was quite struck by how sturdy in the hand the pen feels - much, much more than my 45 by comparison. 

 

For the longest time I resisted the 51 allure. I never cared for the hidden nib look and wasn't overly fond of the partially hooded look either. But a recent need for some retail therapy induced me to seriously consider a 51, if only to see what the hype was all about. As luck would have it there were several listed in the FPN classifieds and they were reasonably priced in my opinion, so I decided to take a chance. And the rest is history, consider me a convert! I may eventually try to pick up another or two. In the meantime I may look into the WS clones.          
 

 

The claims for the Parker 51 are not hype.


"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 . . .


Sponsored Content

#22 JotterAddict62

JotterAddict62

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,235 posts
  • Location:Delavan, Wisconsin
  • Flag:

Posted 19 December 2019 - 23:31

If you want to get a P51 knockoff then try a P21 for a hooded nib pen.



#23 Glenn-SC

Glenn-SC

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts

Posted 20 December 2019 - 00:53

The OP never said that they wanted a "Parker "51" Knockoff".

They want a "51".



#24 crescentfiller

crescentfiller

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 650 posts

Posted 20 December 2019 - 01:24

In a forum, people do feel empowered to offer various options.  The WS pen I bought, a Parker 51 Vac imitation, cost a dollar.  Still, I would rather buy a 51 aerometric.  After you clean it up and flush it, you might make money if you sell it.  There are all the naysayers but this is a forum.  Lots of gadflies.  Isn't it great?

 

I have bought a number of 51 aerometrics from ebay.  They are so resilient that worrying about reputable sellers isn't necessarily necessary., but you should learn what to look for.  I never really had any trouble, but I did have to put one back together.  However, spend more from a dealer if you are uncertain or afraid.  If you are buying a Vacumatic, send it off to be restored or buy a restored one. 

 

 

I completely agree with Pajaro on both points!

 

You can certainly find a fantastic Aerometric 51 on ebay for a fraction of what you'd pay for one from a dealer. 

Just be sure that there are good photos of the nib--from a couple of angles--as that is really the only thing that's likely to be a problem. You want plenty of tipping material and aligned tips.

Happy hunting!



#25 Biber

Biber

    ...but that was another lifetime

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,443 posts

Posted 20 December 2019 - 13:54

 

The claims for the Parker 51 are not hype.

 

They certainly are if you have no interest in or experience with a Parker 51. 


"What? What's that? WHAT?!!! SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" - Ludwig van Beethoven.

#26 Glenn-SC

Glenn-SC

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts

Posted 20 December 2019 - 13:58

They certainly are if you have no interest in or experience with a Parker 51.

Neither "interest in" or "lack of experience with" anything changes the basic facts of it.

I may have no imterest in diamonds, but that doesn't change their properties, appeal or usefulness.

Edited by Glenn-SC, 20 December 2019 - 13:59.


#27 Aysedasi

Aysedasi

    24 Heures du Mans and Oblique Addict

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,205 posts
  • Location:New Forest, England
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2019 - 14:00

Buy one from eBay.  There are always dozens available.  I must have bought 20+ over the years and other than having to flush out dried ink, I've had no problems at all.  The pen is such a rock solid workhorse that you have a very decent chance of landing a good pen first time out - and there are many nib sizes out there too.  Don't be afraid, dive in! 



#28 Biber

Biber

    ...but that was another lifetime

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,443 posts

Posted 20 December 2019 - 15:00

Neither "interest in" or "lack of experience with" anything changes the basic facts of it.

I may have no imterest in diamonds, but that doesn't change their properties, appeal or usefulness.

 

Your "facts", while undoubtedly shared by a great many, are wholly subjective. Why take this so personally? It's a pen for crying out loud. One is allowed to have a differing opinion. Rather than dwell on and take offense at one word (a silly thing to be sniping over, really), perhaps delight should be taken that one more person has become an admirer of and appreciates something that a great many admire. 


"What? What's that? WHAT?!!! SPEAK UP, I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!" - Ludwig van Beethoven.

#29 WarrenB

WarrenB

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 178 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2019 - 16:41

I've tried hooded nibs and like them, though my only straight-up P51 clone is a Jinhao 51A. I find it pretty good, comfortable to hold and write with, so if the original is universally agreed to be much better, I'm there.

But if I didn't already have that Jinhao, I wouldn't spurn any advice to try a cheap but reliable copy first. I'm all for dipping the toe before any kind of investment, even a £20 pen. And a web forum should be all about different opinions and advice, hn?

To be honest, my biggest gripe about this topic and the 'modern/vintage EDC' topic is that I told myself "no more new pens 'til 2020", and here I am, bidding already.

But thanks to Melissa for starting it anyway!

31182132197_f921f7062d.jpg


#30 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,836 posts
  • Location:Tecumseh, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2019 - 20:04

 

They certainly are if you have no interest in or experience with a Parker 51. 

The objective truth of the claims is not changed by your not knowing that they are true, to put it in the least unfriendly way.  Please understand that many people feel such enthusiasm for the Parker 51 that their emotions are aroused by naysayers, gadflies and belligerent commentary, all of which happens from time to time.  There was a time when I thought the only pen worth using was a Parker 51.  I then admitted the Montblanc 144, Sheaffer Touchdown imperial and Cross Century to the acceptable circle, after the passage of a few years.  I have not decided about Chinese pens of any sort, having had issues with them.


"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 . . .


#31 melissa59

melissa59

    Lots to Learn

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 561 posts
  • Location:Inland Empire, Southern California
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2019 - 22:24

Buying a cheap knock-off is not bad advice for someone who has never used a hooded nib pen. But I already own one. It is a Hero 616.

 

I asked the original question because I thought the Parker 51 might have some quirks or some types of damage that was common to the model. You know, the types of things a newbie might not think to look for or ask about when shopping for a 51.

 

Several years ago a (former) FPN member (Bruce in Ocala) gave me some good tips on purchasing an Esterbrook J pen. He told me that if the photos are not clear, then I need to ask the seller if the jewels are cracked or chipped, as this is a common type of damage for that pen. He also told me to look for signs that the pen might have had too much heat applied to the celluloid. Another thing he said to watch for is a loose clip, which won't show in any photos. He said to ask the seller if the clip is solid or if will move around the cap with a gentle push. Unfortunately, there were a couple times that I did not ask the questions and just trusted the sellers -- including one well-known seller here in the FPN classifieds. The result was one Esterbrook with a chipped jewel that was carefully hidden in the photos and the other was an Esterbrook with a clip that spins around the cap.

 

As for some of the other comments, let's just say that I enjoy a good DEBATE. Disagreements often (not always) provide new or additional insights to the subject at hand. When I read and pay attention to the debate, I usually end up learning a few things, which helps me to make a better, more informed opinion of my own.

 

That said, I greatly dislike arguing for the sake of arguing, nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking -- such as the childish debate about what constitutes "damage" in a post I left in the Inky Thoughts forum last week. When I read irrelevant and/or nitpicking comments such as those, at first I get my feathers ruffled and grumble about why they bother to reply in the first place. Then, like I did with my thread in the Inky Thoughts forum, I laugh aloud as I envision a bunch of quasi-intelligent nerds childishly attempting to prove they have the biggest. . . well, let's just say "brains" of the nether region.

 

Edited to add that "nerd" is not an insult! I think most of us here are somewhat nerdy. At least I am!


Edited by melissa59, 20 December 2019 - 22:27.

"You have to be willing to be very, very bad in this business if you're ever to be good. Only if you stand ready to make mistakes today can you hope to move ahead tomorrow."
Dwight V. Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer.

#32 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,253 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 20 December 2019 - 23:11

@ Glenn-SC and pajaro -- I do understand the point that Biber was making.  The guy that runs the mailing list for my local pen club is not interested in 51s either -- he doesn't like the look of hooded nibs.  But I see that attitude as being all to the good from my point of view: "Oh, good -- that many more 51s for ME!"  :P 

I did start with a 21.  I liked the size and weight, but eventually the lower grade plastic on the hood cracked.  That's when I knew that there was no substitute for a "real" 51.

My caveat to new people is like what someone else said earlier in the discussion -- 51 Vacs often need to be repaired (replacement diaphragm), whereas Aerometric models usually just need a thorough flush out -- then they're good to go.

And the recommendation to check about the condition of nibs is a good one.  I have a couple that have EF nibs and they invariably needed a bit of work to make them not scratchy (other widths I've had no issues with, and once the nibs on a Cedar Blue 51 Vac and the estate sale sumgai Forest Green Aero had the tines opened up a bit, they both write well (in fact that Cedar Blue 51 Vac is my go-to pen for when I'm doing serious research and have to take copious notes.

@ Melissa59 -- I got similar advice from Bruce (OcalaFlGuy) when I decided that I needed a 51 in my life.  He was an amazing help in scoping out pens on eBay and giving me tips on what to look for (and also what the pen was likely to go for in bidding).

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."

#33 Freddy

Freddy

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,488 posts
  • Location:Gold Coast, NY
  • Flag:

Posted 21 December 2019 - 00:05

melissa59...........Purchase from a reliable upstanding citizen............who will back your purchase with a warranty...

there are many who do this........................................................................................................

 

                           Fred

chow time......................Get Ready.......Rare Earth.........................

who has a "51" with him every day..................................................


Edited by Freddy, 21 December 2019 - 00:08.


#34 pajaro

pajaro

    Amblin along like I had good sense.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,836 posts
  • Location:Tecumseh, MI
  • Flag:

Posted 21 December 2019 - 01:18

When I got out of college and bought a new fountain pen in 1970, the P51 was still on the new pen market, and buying a Parker 51 was a different proposition from what it is now.  Now the 51 is older and vintage, and putative 51 buyers are looking at old and generally well used pens and comparing them to other new pens or pens not as old as the 51.  So, those of us who used 51 through our careers and have a lot of good feeling about them might consider that others don't have the experience level we have, and some people might feel iconoclastic towards what they see as a 51 paper tiger.  I have had a lot of 51s in my time, but what do you think I usually use now?  Let's see, Lamy 2000, Sheaffer Touchdown Dolphin, Pelikan M300 and a few Montblanc 144Rs, the Bordeaux color.  These pens are getting old, though.  Starting to use a Sheaffer 1996 Holly ballpoint and a 51 ballpoint.  Old too.  Heck, I am old.   


"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 . . .


#35 mitto

mitto

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,269 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 21 December 2019 - 03:48

I will buy a P51 in any condition if in case the price is good. At least I would be able to salvage some good parts.

P51 parts are getting costly if one goes shopping these from restorers' sites or even from eBay.
Khan M. Ilyas

#36 CraigR

CraigR

    Bibliophile, Writer and Philosopher

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,854 posts
  • Location:Hudson, NC
  • Flag:

Posted 21 December 2019 - 05:07

Desk view of today's carry users. Both are vacs from 1940s. Fine nibs, one filled with Watermans Florida Blue and the other with Noodlers Burgundy.

 

 

 

fpn_1576904771__parker_51s.jpg

fpn_1576905266__parker_51s_open.jpg


Edited by CraigR, 21 December 2019 - 05:15.

A consumer and purveyor of words. 

 

Co-editor and writer for Faith On Every Corner Magazine

Magazine - http://www.faithonev...m/magazine.html

 

 

 


#37 PenThing

PenThing

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 281 posts
  • Location:Europe
  • Flag:

Posted 21 December 2019 - 07:15

I have bought my first P51 some 15 yrs ago, used. It was an Aerometric, for little I knew the P51 comes with a vacumatic filler, at the time. To be honest, even if I knew that, I would have bought that pen, too beautiful to miss. I got charmed by its appearance instantly :)

 

Now, I have to say that the reason (well, the first one at least) was that it stirred memories from my childhood: living in the communist Romania, I did not get Western pens in the stores. Some of those more fortunate, such as the children of people who had a chance to travel outside the country, had some Czech, Hungarian, French, Italian or even English/American- made pens. However, as said, these were not available in stores, for the import of Western goods was almost nil, and in any case, the imports were altogether scarce and little. Anyways, as a child of the "proletariat", I could hardly get one; my parents had no such opportunities, And you know what? Never felt the need for a fancy pen at that time, I was too busy living fully my childhood, such as it was during those dark years.

 

So, one had to make do, and the Romanians made do with the Hero fountain pens, or other Chinese brand ( Hero was quite well known, especially the 10K gold nibs, much sought for). And I got one of these as a gift, while in the elementary school. It wrote like a charm, and it was a good pen, burgundy with steel cap. 

 

Later in the high school years, got myself another Hero, steel nib, India black with lustraloy cap. That was the most I could aspire to, given the times and circumstances. As luck would have it, this one was a good writer and I enjoyed having it, using it, and flaunting it :). I considered myself fortunate to have a pen which was coveted and scarce (yes, even those Hero pens were not in enough supply, no idea why was that. But then again, in the communist Romania, nothing seemed to be in sufficient numbers).

 

Years passed, and when I got the chance, I have purchased an aero P51, because it was looking like a Hero from my past. Interesting isn't it? To buy a genuine item, for the sake of the copy you once had. I believe this to happen the other way round too. Life is such, I guess.

 

I do now have several Parker 51's, all vacumatics from the 40's. They're nice and I do enjoy to take one out and keep in the rotation for a while, for the sake of the old times. Looking at them, makes me feel good, and the fact that I have lived to see so many Western pens in my cabinet is a good feeling. And I no more discriminate against knock-offs or replica or copies...somehow this just doesn't seem to be important. They're just there. I do not buy such copies, but I manage to acknowledge their existence and live with it.

 

What about that first aerometric ? Well, it sits and enjoys tales of old in the same case with the two Hero pens. I guess they have a lot to reminisce about, East and West (or East vs West, as it was during those years), the 60's, and whatnot. 

 

I do hope this text makes sense, I just felt I should use this opportunity to say things aloud :)

 

Melissa, whatever Parker 51 you'll get as your first, do enjoy it. They are wonderful tools !!!

 

Regards,

 

JT


Edited by PenThing, 21 December 2019 - 08:20.

Sometimes we forget that the vintage of now is the new of the yore days...

 

d.jpg  flaro-titan.jpg

 


#38 Barry Gabay

Barry Gabay

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,214 posts

Posted 21 December 2019 - 17:42

You have received excellent advice here. I agree with everything pajaro has written. The 51 is indestructible, reliable, and comfortable. The aerometric version, as several writers above have said, is a good 51 to begin with, as there is less chance of its needing service. There are always several filled & in the cup on my desk. I carry one almost every day. At the moment, I have filled a second- quarter 1945 cedar & sterling vac-fill, a cocoa & lustraloy aero with "8" date code, and a UK teal & lustraloy aero with date code completely worn off. All are great writers! You can not go wrong with a 51. Good luck in your hunt. 



#39 Glenn-SC

Glenn-SC

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,250 posts

Posted 22 December 2019 - 23:50

The objective truth of the claims is not changed by your not knowing that they are true, to put it in the least unfriendly way.

 

+1







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: parker 51



Sponsored Content




|