Fountain Pen Restoration

Burgundy Vacumatic Standard

This week, I restored my first Burgundy Vacumatic.  I would have to say that it is a tie between this color and Azure Blue as my favorite common Vac color schemes.  At least to me, Burgundy seems to be the most difficult to locate and I am glad to have one.

Below is the standard “exploded view”.  The first generation vacumatic dates to the mid 1930s.  The date code is worn off of this one, but if my research is correct, it was produced in the 1934-7 area.  I have mentioned it before, but remember to extend the filler when removing (and inserting) it from the barrel using your vac tool of choice.  Leaving it locked may damage it beyond repair.

You can see that the pen arrived in good shape, with typical nib discoloration and barrel/cap ink stains.  Using a combination of ultrasonic cleaner and water/qtips, I was able to remove all of the internal ink stains.  The old diaphragm was hard-stuck to the barrel.  This is my new word for a diaphragm that has almost become part of the barrel as it has been in the barrel for so long under the pressure of the filler.  Some Vacs have softer diaphragm remnants that are easily removed (scraped) from the barrel and some require several sessions ~ this was the latter.

Upon completion of the diaphragm removal, I removed the old pellet from the filler (this is a first generation lock-down).  I used a debutante diaphragm and inserted it on the filler (see various Vacumatic Posts for process and photos ~ list at right under Parker Vacumatic).


Here is the completed pen.  It measures 5″ closed and 6 1/8″ posted.


Several factors make this pen attractive.  The burgundy color and gold furniture provide a good contrast, the nib is my favorite common vac nib with the gold arrow surrounded by the silver border, the burgundy striped double jewels, and finally the nib is a broad.  I have immediately put Quink Blue Black ink in it and it writes a very broad line.  Most of the Vacumatics that one runs across are fine to medium, and though I am not a broad nib fan, it is a nice change.

The only blemishes are a slightly curved cap band (middle) and a blind cap that is quite a bit darker than the rest of the pen.


I have mentioned this before, but these first generation vacs with their lockdown fillers, which allow for a longer section which matches the barrel and the double jewels, are the most collectible vacumatics,  in my opinion.

Thank you, as always, for the emails with questions and comments, and I will be back in a week or so with another fountain pen item.


August 10, 2009 - Posted by | Parker Pen Company, Parker Vacumatic | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hubba hubba! A broad-nib’d Vac is quite a treat, isn’t it? I’ve written with one once, but it wasn’t an original nib. It was a silver pearl OS with a Minuskin’d broad/2broad stub, and it was flexy.

    They’re a blast, even if you don’t care for paintbrush nibs like me! Nice find, Phil!

    Comment by Ryan Roossinck | August 10, 2009 | Reply

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