Fountain Pen Restoration

Parker Softball Pen

Prototype ~ a name that pen collectors get very excited about. I am skeptical that this is one – I just think it is a pen put together for a Softball Team sponsored by Parker in Janesville, WI in 1971. I purchased it at my local pen club. One of the members brought a friend who had inherited a collection of pens from his father who worked for Parker in Janesville. There were numerous pens from this time period and a gold mine of Jotter Ball Points. I was drawn to this one as I have a soft spot for imprints and this one even has the Pen Company name.

There is no restoration necessary on this pen other than some general clean up. Here is the mystery pen taken apart.  The nib unit on this pen screws out of the section, but I did not thread it all the way out as it did not require cleaning.  I simply tested it to see if it was a screw out unit.

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As you can see above, the pen is simple cartridge / converter style.  Its uniqueness comes from a few items -

~ The clear ring that sits on the section, between the cap and the silver trim ring.  It can house piece of paper, presumably with the owners name.

~ A very large and unique clip, that I really like and have not seen on other Parker Pens, still with a narrow arrow down the middle.

~ A large studded gripping area on the section above the nib.

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The nib is very reminiscent of a Parker 45 nib – semi – hooded.  As mentioned above, it screws out, as do the 45 nib units to allow for interchanging to fit the nib style the owner prefers. I have never seen one of these before and even though it is not a valuable pen, I enjoy its historical significance, remembering a time when Parker still made pens in Wisconsin.

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As I mentioned, this pen reminds me in several respects of a Parker 45.   Below are photos of a Teal Blue 45 and this pen next to each other.  You can see that the 45 is a bit longer and narrower, with a section that matches the  barrel.  The Parker 45 was produced by Parker between 1960 and 2006, an extremely long run for this pen, aimed at the budget minded and school markets.    The differences are several, including the length, width, barrel end, clip, and grip section.  The 45 measures 5 3/8 inches closed and 5 3/4 inches posted and the “Softball Team Pen” measures 5 inches closed and 5 1/2 inches posted.

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Here are two Parker 45s from my collection that show the difference in the sections and similarities of the nibs, though the 45s have gold nibs.  You will note that the Flighter version of the 45 has a black section while the Teal has a section that matches the barrel.  All three have the PARKER imprint on the cap below the arrow, as seen below.

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So, what is this pen?  I honestly don’t know.  My guess is that it is a pen thrown together for the softball team(s) of the 1971 season.  Whether it was a prototype for another pen or a variant of the 45, I do not know.  Perhaps one of the Parker experts out there can chime in and offer a solution to this puzzle.  In the meantime, I will just enjoy using it.

Note:  Please see comment below from John regarding this pen and that it was a test marketed School Pen.  Thank you to John for sharing his insight.

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December 3, 2010 - Posted by | Parker 45, Parker Pen Company | ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Sprich, The Softball News. The Softball News said: Parker Softball Pen « Fountain Pen Restoration: I am skeptical that this is one – I just think it is a pen put t… http://bit.ly/ifJQ2N […]

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  2. The clip is very like that on the Sheaffer Stylist, which if not still in Sheaffer’s lineup in 1971 had only recently been dropped. This doesn’t get any distance towards finding out what this this actually is, but the cross-pollinations of these two companies are rather interesting.

    Comment by ravensmarch | December 3, 2010 | Reply

    • Interesting point. I was not aware of this and a search for a Stylist revealed that there is some similarity. Thank you very much for pointing this out. –Phil

      Comment by PKM | December 3, 2010 | Reply

  3. Phil,
    This is a Parker School Pen. It was test marketed in the late 60’s and early 70’s by Parker Pen Dealerships in selected areas in and around the Midwest. The great L. Michael Fultz had written extensively about this pen, in various articles. There are several theories out there why it never was manufacturered to full production, but, in any case, it’s a neat part of Parker Pen history.

    Comment by John Martinson | March 21, 2011 | Reply


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