Back in the 1880s, a teacher by the name of George S. Parker boosted his income by selling fountain pens to his students. Because the flow of ink in the pens varied from too fast to none at all, Parker set out to design a system that would let air into the ink chamber as the ink was drawn out onto the paper, thus creating a smooth flow.
His success led to a patent and the formation of the Parker Pen Company, perhaps the best-known name in the history of fine writing.
By 1900, Parker pens were big business, and George came up with a non-stop flow of new ideas, new materials, new designs, making some of the most beautiful creations ever to put ink on paper.
One such pen was decorated with filigree metal overlay – a choice of silver or gold – and a pattern based on the Indian symbol known as the swastika. This 3000-year-old symbol represented life, sun, power, strength, and good luck, and it certainly helped to ensure the pen was a great success. But when Germany’s Adolf Hitler adopted the swastika as the Nazi emblem and started revealing his true intent, thousands of disgusted pen owners sent their swastika pens back to the Parker Pen Company.
George Parker destroyed the pens for all time by casting them in the concrete foundations of the company’s new head office. As a result, the few remaining pens are now highly collectable and will easily fetch R100 000!
Platt’s Arrow Clip
It was about the same time that Parker began using the distinctive arrow-style clip, designed by Joseph Platt, the famous New York artist. The design became the enduring symbol for Parker pens and still speaks to us of quality and style.
One of today’s offerings to feature this symbol is, for many people, the perfect present, whether for Christmas, a birthday, or any other occasion. It is the Parker Sonnet set, which includes a gorgeous stainless-steel chrome-trim fountain pen, ball pen and pencil set. The retail price is just R3500, fantastic value for such a gift.
The contemporary elegance, fine styling and modern finishing of the Parker Sonnet sit comfortably with Parker’s world-famous design heritage. The Parker Sonnet offers a truly fine writing experience in combination with the ideal in choice. There is a wide selection of modes, three variations of coloured lacquer finishes, and the classic stainless-steel option, making this original collection as appealing as it ever was. The Parker Sonnet range is truly timeless, but always of the moment.
The smooth satin finish with textured brushed effect shows off Parker Sonnet’s streamlined shape in a delightfully elegant way. And the nickel/palladium-plated trim and V-shaped arrow-patterned stainless nib for smooth transfer of ink to paper make the fountain pen a pleasure to use. Parker Sonnet is a fine testament to the creative genius of George S Parker, who would doubtless be proud to find his name still attached to the world’s finest writing instruments.
Parker is now distributed by Silveray Statmark Company, a Bidvest Group Company.
Available from leading stationers and pen specialists.