History of Parker
These early prototypes still made use of a quill nib until gold tipped nibs became more popular. Whilst it was beneficial for the writer to be spared from constantly having to dip the nib for ink, the first models were dogged with design flaws which invariably led to the ink leaking from the reserve. Early patents were issued to Baltimore shoemaker, Peregrin Williamson in 1809 followed by John Scheffer in Britain in 1819. The first self-filling fountain pen was patented in 1813 by John Jacob Parker in 1813.
The fountain pen design flaws were finally addressed and resolved by Lewis Waterman in 1884 when he modified the design to include three grooves within the feed mechanism as well as an air hole in the nib. Waterman’s journey to successfully patenting the design for the first modern fountain pen was born out of frustration at the inadequacies of the pens available at the time. Water- man was a salesman and lost a valuable new customer when a sales contract was ruined by a leaking fountain pen.
The founder of the Parker Pen Company, a contemporary of Lewis Waterman experienced the same frustrations. He was a telegraphy teacher and like Waterman, his entrance into the pen market came from the desire to find a pen that was fit for its purpose. In addition to teaching telegraphy, George Safford Parker sold pens on behalf of the John Holland Pen Company. As a natural and gifted salesman, Parker agreed to make any necessary repairs to pens that he had sold and he was soon astounded at the sheer volume requiring his services. In addition to learning a great deal about pen manufacturing, Parker soon realised that a better pen design was needed and in 1888 he established the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin. Within a year, George Safford Parker had manufactured his first pen and by 1891 he had secured $1000 of investment from W F Palmer to successfully launch his business.
Parker also made a number of improvements to the fountain pen during these years, including developing the spear-head feed; improving the Lucky Curve feed; patenting the first Safety Cap and patenting the level lock clip.
Many different Duofolds
A range of Parker Vacumatics
The Parker 75 "Ciselé" Sterling Silver Fountain Pen
A Parker Duofold Centennial Mark I Fountain Pen in Marbled Maroon
A range of Parker Insignias