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Vacumatic Store Display - Modifying Pen Tray



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I have been debating whether or not I should modify the pen trays to display Vacumatics. The wood display is untouched, and the trays  look original, including the fabric. It appears the pen slots are spaced to display a pen and pencil set. The problem is there isn’t enough space between the slots and the glass to accommodate any Vac model larger than a standard - but that is only if the clip is turned to one side. I would like to display Vac Max and Oversize in the case, but I would need to plane down the back of the lower tray and replace the slots of the upper trays. Is it better to keep the display original and keep searching for a display? I don’t feel it is appropriate to modify the case just for my purpose, since there is no damage and restoration is not needed.

Please provide your insight and opinion. Suggestions or recommendations are welcome.

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Paul-in-SF

If I understand correctly, you are balancing the value of the display case in its pristine and unaltered state, vs. your desire to be able to use it to display pens for which it was not originally intended. So I ask: does the display case have historical and cultural value, or is it "only" collectable because people are willing to pay for it, possibly competitively at auction? One measure of historical or cultural value is whether any museum would like to have it and to display it. Would such a display be interesting or educational without something like the original pens in it? There may be other measures, I can't think of any at the moment.

 

Not knowing the answers to my questions, nevertheless I am leaning towards saying it is better to revise and re-use something from the past than to have it empty and unused, unless it is truly a rare object worth preserving in its original condition. You're not planning on making it a travesty by painting it and adding sparkles, you are just re-purposing it to accommodate different pens. I see nothing wrong with that. 

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JotterAddict62

Nice display. How about making new trays to hold your pens and keeping the originals as is.

 

Ken

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How rare is this display model? When is the last time you saw one like it?

 

Perhaps using a modern display and adding tastefully done custom graphics would be an option?

 

I'm speaking from the perspective of a purist. :D

 

- Sean  :)

https://www.catholicscomehome.org/

 

"Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven." - MT. 10:32

"Any society that will give up liberty to gain security deserves neither and will lose both." - Ben Franklin

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I would opt for a reversible adaptation. For example you could substitute the pen trays storing the original ones.

 

Alfredo

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I have been very singular in my thinking of keeping the case original. The display will have a life beyond the time I own it, so I am reluctant to replace or modify it. That said, it is simply a utilitarian object intended for use; so I appreciate people’s thoughts on adapting the trays to maintain the appearance of the display, which I did not consider but am thankful for the suggestion. The trays have a “Vacumatic” logo and layers of patina/grime, so it would be difficult to replicate the trays with reproductions. Storing the trays and only using the case, is similar to separating siblings. It would also be relegating the trays to the archives, which is counter to their intended use.

I am sensitive to modifying pens or replacing components to enhance their durability or performance  during a refurbishment, but can appreciate why collectors may select to improve the pen. I am likely to plane down the base of the inner bottom tray to accommodate the larger pens and restain the wood to conceal the alteration.

 

I have yet to fill the display completely with pens. I will load up the trays and see how it looks.

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ParkerPenGuy

I can appreciate being frustrated by being unable to make use of the case properly. However, if I were you I would make every attempt to NOT modify the case. As you say the case will have a life after you are done owning it and I would hate for collectors to leave it by the wayside as junk because it was “tampered” with.  However it is of course yours to do with as you wish. I might encourage you to maybe look for a different style of Parker Case. I keep a fairly active eye on them on eBay and there’s plenty to choose from. I picked this one up in March. Still need to put in some fabric etc but it makes a nice showcase to rotate displays in and out of. Seem to recall recently a gentleman was selling a similar one out of Wisconsin on EBay if that interests you (may have had additional Vacumatic decals but I can’t remember).

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49 minutes ago, ParkerPenGuy said:

I can appreciate being frustrated by being unable to make use of the case properly. However, if I were you I would make every attempt to NOT modify the case. As you say the case will have a life after you are done owning it and I would hate for collectors to leave it by the wayside as junk because it was “tampered” with.  However it is of course yours to do with as you wish. I might encourage you to maybe look for a different style of Parker Case. I keep a fairly active eye on them on eBay and there’s plenty to choose from. I picked this one up in March. Still need to put in some fabric etc but it makes a nice showcase to rotate displays in and out of. Seem to recall recently a gentleman was selling a similar one out of Wisconsin on EBay if that interests you (may have had additional Vacumatic decals but I can’t remember).

EAB8EFF4-23FD-4394-BE35-345C046CE6F3.jpeg

I have not researched in-depth whether or not this particular case was ever used to display oversized pens. I suspect Parker may have contracted with local fabricators to build a batch of these cases and this particular counter top display was only intended to have other smaller pens. 
I will post photos of the case with smaller pens - although I may need to buy more vac sets to properly fill the case!!😀

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Walk away Grasshopper. Just walk away. 

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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On 1/25/2021 at 4:56 PM, FarmBoy said:

Walk away Grasshopper. Just walk away. 

Now you are just dating yourself with that reference. 😂😂😂😂
We forget that color television used to be a luxury. Don’t even mention black and white tv.
 

i don’t have enough smaller Vacs pens and pencils to fill up the upper trays, but I like the look. The lower tray is even too shallow to accept a standard size pen. 

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Hello

 

I see three ways to get to what you want with the case. First would require you to remove the nail that holds the tab and make a tab with a bend in it so the trays lay a little further away from the glass at the top. The second would be to make a tab that fits over the old tab and nail without removing it to do the same thing but if you don’t do it correctly it could come off and let the tray fall open. The last way is to pull the nail and replace it with a longer one that would allow the tray to do the same thing. All three are reversible if you want to.

 

Good luck

Mark

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