Fountain Pen Restoration

Tres Moderne

This pen came to me this past week and I was curious as to its origins. I have many Parker Duofolds (Senior/Junior/Lady) from the 1920s and 30s, but had not acquired any “Depression Era” or “Thrift time” Pens. This is a pen from the 1934 to 1939 time period – a Parker Moderne.

The Parker Moderne was produced in Canada (Toronto) and was similar to the Parker US made Duette Jr. They were made for a short time, after 1932, probably during the time period reflected in my picture of the component “before” picture below. During the Depression, pen companies struggled to survive and Parker did a better job than most. Many did not survive at all. Pens such as the Moderne (Canada) and its larger size Premiere were part of the plans to develop less expensive pens for a market that could no longer afford the more expensive Duofolds.

They were marketed as a student pen, though little advertising was done. The main characteristics were the flat top, button filler, and single gold band. Other pens that Parker produced during this time were the Parco, Parkette, and Challengers. I will show some examples of these in future posts.

As you can see by the picture below, this pen has survived quite well. The sac has hardened and was twisted. The section is friction fit, and my guess is that when the pen was serviced in the past, the section was turned as it was inserted with the pressure bar in the pen, causing the sac to twist and making it unusable. It may have been done at time of production also, but I would hope that Parkers standards were higher than that. Whichever occurred, the sac has petrified and no ink is visible on the inside, so it was rendered useless by the twisted sac. This is why it is a good idea to coat the sac with talc when inserting it into the barrel and to put the pressure bar in through the top of the barrel after the section/sac assembly has been secured to the barrel. This is especially important with sections that screw into the barrel such as Vintage Duofolds.


The repair was standard for a button filler. I was able to reuse the two part pressure bar. Thus the only non-original part used is a new size 16 sac, trimmed to fit just below the button opening at the top of the barrel. All parts were cleaned and the pen was reassembled. As you can see the nib has all of its tipping material and this is a nice example of a Depression Era Parker Pen.




These are not easy to find, especially in good condition. The patterned celluloid pens are quite often badly discolored. So, keep an eye out for these interesting examples of pens made in a significant time in North American history.


February 17, 2008 Posted by | Parker Moderne, Parker Pen Company | , | Leave a comment


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