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Cribsheet To Help Dating Parker 51S



sherbie

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Folks

 

Since 2009, i have been compiling notes on how to date Parker 51s. Now this is a rough guide to be sure, as information has been gleaned from Dave Shepherds excellent book, the forums and my own reasearch ( now having amassed over 130 P51s)

 

Now Im absolutely certain that the guide below can be refined and polished (and would welcome any corrections, amendments, comments and/ or additions), but at least its a start, and has helped me date some of mine

 

Cheers paul

 

 

 

Parker 51 Chronology

 

1941

P 51 vacumatic double jewel (DJ) introduced in USA - distinct features could include: cap with high imprint near cap jewel, Aluminium jewels, speedline filler, imprint on blind cap, a range of unusual first year caps etc. First year SJ models with date code 1 are known, but are rare.

 

1942-1948

DJ and single jewel (SJ) made concurrently

 

1943

Parker started dating P51 nibs

 

1946-1947

P51 red band made

 

1947

Superchrome ink introduced

Demi vac introduced

England started production of P51 Vac in limited colours -india black, cedar blue, dove grey and cordovan brown ( have seen Q3 47 stamped on English pen, and i also have an english P51 vac in aero navy grey colour where the nib was stamped Q1 1949 and the barrel stamped with reg tm 640244, but the date stamp is impossible to find)

blue diamond clip discontinued due to FTC ruling against lifetime warranty

Plain arrow clip introduced (so called transitional clip 42 mm - intro Aug 47? - replaced blue diamond, 15 groves each side)

 

1948

USA ceased making P51 vacs

USA start making aerometrics both in full and demi size

Filler system had Press six times use superchrome ink

 

1949

England stopped making P51 vacs ( have seen one stamped Q4 1949)

Presidential, Signet and Flighter ( with gold cap band) introduced in USA in Oct 49

P51 aero plum discontinued (made in 1948-9 only)

 

1950

P51 Special introduced with black jewel (black, usa burgundy, navy grey, teal blue. forest green added later, and so rarer)

England started making P51 aerometrics in April 1950 - 4 colours were black, burgundy, teal and grey ( i also have an English P51 aero made with USA burgundy lucite)

Press 4 times filler introduced

Demi with the hooped filler system introduced

 

1951

Arrow clip shortened to 36 mm (number of feathers reduced to 12 each side)

 

1952

rolled silver cap with gold filled clip introduced in Englande

 

1953

No more dating on lucite aero barrels in USA

Electropolishing of P51 nibs begins

 

1954

Jotter ball point introduced

USA pens started stamping made in USA on aero caps

 

1955

Liquid lead pencil introduced (LL with diamond)

 

1956

Last year for English P51 aero lucite f pen and pencil barrels to be dated (latest seen is 6. = Q3 1956)

Parker 61 introduced

 

1957

Signet renamed Insignia

Use Superchrome ink removed from metal filler sleeve - now stamped either: use parker ink or use Quink ink

Rotary pencil introduced

 

1958

Bandless flighter introduced (no gold filled cap band)

Change of corporate logo ( to the halo logo - essentially 2 Ps back to back on a central vertical arrow shaft)

Cartridge filling system introduced

P51 Special renamed Standard

 

1959

Last year of Dating nib and metal P51 barrels in England

Vent hole moves to side of barrel ( 1959-60)

 

1960

parker halo logo appears on P51 caps

P51 Special cap changed - now has matte lustraloy finish, halo logo and clear jewel

 

1961

Demi models discontinued

 

1962

P51 Cartridge filler discontinued

4 finger clutch introduced ( inside cap)

 

1964

P51 imprinted on caps

Cap lip removed ( from late 50s onwards, lipless caps were used in USA)

 

1965

New one piece metal filler sleeve introduced ( ie black plastic end piece now removed)

 

1969

P51 mark II introduced - with P61 type cap (with pearl jewel, longer clip with more feathers - 11 each side but longer) greater barrel taper with a flat end

 

1971

P51 mark III introduced - as Mk II, but with chrome jewel

 

1972

P51 ceased production in England

 

1978

P51 ceased production in USA

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  • sherbie

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Thanks - I got the 1960 date from David Shepherd’s book. They are both very respected experts - so you pays your money and take your choice

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There were 51s (especially English made) that came with MKI like round ended (but shorter) barrels with same connector threads as on MKI but with thinner MKII/MKIII clutch rings and 61 like (plastic jeweled) caps/clips. The internals on these pens were also mixed ones. While the collectors and connectors were the same as on MKI, the filler shrouds, as on MKII/III, were the all metal ones without the black plastic ends. Where shoud one put these pens in the MK designations?

Khan M. Ilyas

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Thanks, Paul, Very informative.

 

Were all 51's Lucite, until the MkIII? (1969?) Then plastic? (Not including the metal models, obvs)

 

Thanks.

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Hi Mitto, Shepherd still calls these MK II - page 63. he suggests that the thin clutch with rounded barrel end was just a transition model, and then came the thin clutch with the flat end ( and p61 type cap with grey jewel). The mark III is the same, but now came with the metal cap jewel.

 

Its all very confusing to be honest, as you could have so many sub types within each Mark class - differentiated by vent hole (placed at end or side of barrel), threads (coarse, thin, with or without o-ring), filler (black ended, all metal or hooped, cartridge, then all the different writing phrases used over the years etc), etc etc

 

Hi CS388 - not sure, but i think the Mk II and III were not lucite - both feel like P61 type plastic to me

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Hi Mitto, Shepherd still calls these MK II - page 63. he suggests that the thin clutch with rounded barrel end was just a transition model, and then came the thin clutch with the flat end ( and p61 type cap with grey jewel). The mark III is the same, but now came with the metal cap jewel.

Its all very confusing to be honest, as you could have so many sub types within each Mark class - differentiated by vent hole (placed at end or side of barrel), threads (coarse, thin, with or without o-ring), filler (black ended, all metal or hooped, cartridge, then all the different writing phrases used over the years etc), etc etc

Hi CS388 - not sure, but i think the Mk II and III were not lucite - both feel like P61 type plastic to me

 

Yes, but these transitional pens have the same connector/barrel threads as on MKI. And, thus, one can put the MKI barrel on these but not the MKII barrel. Further, the hood profile is the same as on MKI and, hence, interchagable with MKI hood but not with MKII hood. And, I have a few of these transitional pens that came to me from their previous owners (if not from the factory) with the MKI wide clutch ring and with the later production MKI four finger open clutch caps and not with the P61 like MKII caps. How can one put them in the MKII category with so much similarities in parts with the MKI and so much differences with the MKII?

 

Another feature of these transitional pens is that these have the vent hole at the barrel end and not at the barrel side and the barrel and hood seem to be lucite and not injection moulded plastic. Though, the round ended barrel is shorter in size than the barrel on MKI. Confusing they may be but I personaly am inclined to not include them in the MKII category.

 

Let me put it another way. Disassemble one of these transitional pens. Take out the one piece filler shroud and replace it with a MKI black plastic ended sac guard, take away the thin clutch ring and replace it with a MKI wide clutch ring and put a MKI 51 barrel and cap on it. And this transitional pen has now effectively turned into a MKI pen. On the other hand, you can't do any of these part swap with the proper MKII (flat ended barrel, thin clutch ring and P61 like cap) pen.

 

In such a case would it be rational to classify these transitional pens as MKII?

 

Just food for thought. :)

Edited by mitto

Khan M. Ilyas

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1950

P51 Special introduced with black jewel (black, usa burgundy, navy grey, teal blue. forest green added later, and so rarer)

England started making P51 aerometrics in April 1950 - 4 colours were black, burgundy, teal and grey ( i also have an English P51 aero made with USA burgundy lucite)

Press 4 times filler introduced

Demi with the hooped filler system introduced.

 

 

England was also making forest green by at least 1952, I have one dated second quarter 1952 ( .2. ).

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Thanks Baz, never knew that, and have never seen an English Forest Green

 

Cheers paul

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