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How Many '51's' Is Too Many?


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Hi All-


I fairly recently came back to fp's and didn't search too long (fortunately for my wallet) before I found the '51' - I wasn't even interested in vintage pens at all and then one day woke up wanting a '51'. Bruce in Ocala did an amazing job guiding me on my first one (thank you Bruce!!!), so I think the '51' kind of came to me. Now, I ONLY use the '51'(s). I first got a demi and figured that that would suit me best, and it is true. I also have a couple of standard size, but the demi feels better for me, and I am addicted to them! There I said it out loud :) the aero/demi is my thing! I am not a collector, but would like to someday have one in each of the demi/aero colors... So, my question is, because I am interested...and to know when I have a problem...LOL


How many '51's' do you have and how many is too many? I would also be curious the number of vac or aero's and the number of standard or demi and maybe which pen is your favorite. You can certainly be less specific like: less than 10, more than 5, less than 100, more than 100 :)


For me, my favorite is a 1948 plum demi that writes like a dream, I'd love to know what you have



Edited by octatonic


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There is no such thing as too many.

I only have two 51's so far.My first is a green aerometric given to me by a co-worker a few years ago.It had been her mothers and had been sitting in a box for decades.The breather tube had decayed but that was all I had to repair to have a wonderful pen.After I fixed it I made sure to bring it to work before the person who gave it to me retired so she could at least write with it.She wrote her name and said,"my mother never let me touch it.".....it was an interesting moment.She felt so weird handling the pen she had been forbidden to use....

My other 51 is a nice grey aerometric I got cheap because the connector was cracked and the nib is wonky.I managed to get it working with some MEK and a lot of nib tinkering.It will never be perfect but both tines at least lean together to one side instead of trying to cross.A great carry pen.




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I totally agree you can never have too many pens. Like Octatonic i have recently discovered fountain pens. i wen to by a pen which thaught i was a parker jotter ballpoint however it was a fountain pen, which lead me to get 1 er 2 errr 3 no better make that 5 vintage pens. By this point my wallet is no longer talking to me :yikes: . Having read great things about the 51 i have purchased a 51 Special. Definitly i would like to get a vac as well. I cant wait to try out this pen when it arrives tomorrow.


If i had my way i would have 1 of every model of 51 i could get my hands on :D

Edited by brendonsie
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How many is too many? When you can no longer get into your pen room.




Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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I have mixed feelings about the 51 as I find the nib is just a tad too well hidden for me always to be writing with it in its sweet spot. Lamy 2000 and Parker 45 with a semi-hooded nib are much easier to use.


But... let's see; my favourite, dove grey with gold filled cap, my Year One vac in black, my 1946 vac in black, my two black aeros, my Kullock vac and aero demos, and my battered and dinged gold-filled 51 (fat broad nib).


I must like them a lot more than I'm letting on. :)


The great thing about the 51 is the breadth of collecting you can do with a single pen. Aeros or vacs for instance.Single jewel/double jewel, regular or demi. All the different colours. And the Kullock 'fantasy' 51s, Brad Torelli 51s, and so on... I must admit I like the Kullocks a lot, so I think a couple more may be in my future...

Too many pens, too little time!


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I think it is going to vary per person. Some want to collect all of the colors, etc. . . Some people just like rare ones. Some want them just to use.


As I stated in the how many pens is too many thread, I feel a need to use all of my pens. I'm not the type of person that can flush out a pen and put it away for weeks or months at a time.


Right now I have 3 "51s." I love them all and they all write fantastically. But I'm trying to get down to 10-12 total pens and my ultimate goal would be to sell or trade the 3 I have now for one single 51 in plum. A guy can dream. . .



Carpe Stylum!

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There I said it out loud :) the aero/demi is my thing! I am not a collector, but would like to someday have one in each of the demi/aero colors... So, my question is, because I am interested...and to know when I have a problem...LOL


For me, my favorite is a 1948 plum demi that writes like a dream, I'd love to know what you have




Thank you for the kind words Dave, the pleasure of being pen friends with you has been all mine.


I believe this is the exact pen that is your favorite.




Normally, I would Never consider selling even One of my 51's. Except that it was clear to me that You Needed this Demi Plum MORE than I did. If someone somehow manages to get even More happiness from a pen than I do, perhaps they are the one who should own it.


You made me go count. That I could find, I have 11 and most of a 12th (Cocoa Aero, GF cap)


1 Cedar Blue Vac, BD Lustraloy, 1 Midnight Blue Aero with a Sterling Vac 51 cap, the rest are all Aeros. Only 1 other Demi, a Black/Lustraloy that I got to replace one my Father gave me when I was about 13. (That I promptly lost because I thought compared to my Sheaffer clear Blue School pens, was boring.)


Favs? Hmm.


I do have a little bit of a flashy side that stays hidden, tucked away, most of the time. Every now and then it escapes. For those times my fav is probably this one. It has (just) a very smooth, wetter Findium nib in it, not even ground, but it came from Kullock writing So Close to Precisely how I like my 51's to write it was astounding. I have absolute no desire to change anything with it. (Ok, Other than the fact the it Really Needs a Chevron Vac Major cap band on it.)




But on the majority of the days, when I want Just. The. Best. Writing. 51, that too is an easy choice. It started looking like this.




Then, I lost it's beautiful GT cap. :crybaby: (No, I'd rather not discuss how. Yes, I Do Need a GT cap. Really.)


For now, it's wearing this cap.




Ryan Roossinck refinished this cap, I call this configuration, The Confederate. No matter what hat it wears, it and it's Cedar Blue twin with a nearly identical Masuyama CI, are the 2 I grab first from the burning house.


Octatonic, maybe we should reactivate Special Ops Team 51 for a Forest Green 51 Aero Demi , GF cap for you. :puddle: We didn't miss that nice one here on FPN by much...


Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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I have three working, currently. I have my best writing pen (to date) in my '51 teal aero, and also a very nice burgundy aero. I have a '47(?) vac that writes really well, but I need to sparkle it up a bit. I have two more vacs waiting for repair.


I'm also babysitting a nice black vac until it's ready to go home.

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I like Aeros with lustraloy caps, and always with matching pencil.


Already have Black, Teal blue, Burgundy, and Forest green. Working on the rest...

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I currently own 10 Parker 51s.


The break down is:

7 Aeros

3 Vacs


8 Standard sized

2 Demi's


Even though, I own quite a few, each one is a different color, cap or filling mechanism and I'm always on the look out (in the wild) for a variety that I don't yet own.

Oh yes, and I forgot, my favorite is a plain black 51 Aero with a Lustraloy cap with a fine/medium nib. It was my first 51 and I paid $5 for it from a local pawn shop. It always has Montblanc Royal Blue in it.


You really can't have too many 51s :)

Edited by Florida Blue

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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One... I got lucky. I purchased one off ebay for around $30.00. It was listed simply as "Parker Pen". The pictures were too blurry to see if it was a 21 or 51. Like I said I was lucky. Beautiful dark blue aero 51 with lusteroy cap. Writes like a dream. It gets as much use as my other 25 Parkers combined.


When I get my next promotion maybe I'll pick up vac with gold blue diamond clip.

Owner of many fine Parker fountain pens... and one Lamy.

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I have 16. Of those, two are full sized Plum and one is a Demi Plum. They're my favorite

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die.

-Bill Waterson

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Thanks Bruce, and yes you are correct that she is my favorite!!!


I have 65. And I know someone who has 350.

WOW, I guess I am in no immediate danger of overdoing it! :)


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Cocoa demi m & grey full size f, with a burgundy (full size m?) in the mail. All aeros. I'll consider it too many when I run out of nib size, cap, & color combinations.

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Bruce also walked me through my first Ebay 51s :notworthy1: (a burgundy 51 Special, and a Teal Aero with a gold-filled cap). I *thought* I was good with four of them, plus the Special). I had previously found a 21 in an antiques mall, and I liked it so much I understood why people wanted the "real deal".

So after the Teal Aero, I got a Plum Demi and a UK made black 51 Vac the same weekend :excl: last spring, then last fall I got a black Aero with an EF nib (sort of for my husband) from Pendleton Brown, and thought I was good to go. I mean, four 51s is enough, right? Especially with the Plummer being such a sweet writer.

Apparently not. About a month ago I got my "sumgai" bragging rights badge with a Cedar Blue 51 Vac and an early 1960s Burgundy Aero Mk II (from what I've been told) that I found in two separate booths at a local antiques mall: both with non-51 caps so the dealers apparently didn't know what they had (but I sure did... B); is it telling that the spell corrector on my MacBook Air keeps wanting to replace "sumgai" with "smug"? :lol: ).

So now I'm thinking "six -- six 51s is enough, right?" :huh:

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."

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I don't believe there is a such things as "too many 51s".


Right now I have 15 51s.


8 Vacs. 7 Aeros, 2 of which are Demi's.


I also have 2 41s which are pretty close to 51s.


I'm missing a few colors and caps, so I hope to one day own 1 of each, long shot, but we can dream, right? I continue to buy multiples of what I already have, because I just can't pass up a 51.

Write Again

-Paul K


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