Saturday, April 29, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 486

Today and Monday, we'll be featuring reviews of two vintage fountain pens from the Parker Pen Company's venerable 'Vacumatic' line. Our thanks to Christopher for sharing these wonderful new finds with us!

Christopher writes:
"I think what has to be the most exceptional finish in the Parker Vacumatic line was their Shadow Wave. It came near the end of the 1930s as something new and extremely innovative. Basically a finish consisting of thin vertical lines on an opaque cap and transparent black lined barrel integrated with a pearl which could be brown, burgundy, green or grey. Like the barrel transparency of the regular Parker Vacumatic, these Shadow Wave models also offered that same barrel option. The purpose, of course, was for the pen user to assess the amount of ink in the unit. There was also a jet black to round out the colour finishes. The Parker Shadow Wave Came in three distinct sizes, but definitely was considered in the Parker Junior model classification. There was the regular and most familiar double cap banded Junior. A regular Debutante model with the single cap band chased with inverted chevrons and a smaller ‘Junior Debutante’ which was much the size of the regular Parker Vacumatic Juniorette."

(photo courtesy of Christopher ~ please click on image to enlarge)

"What is most interesting about the Parker Shadow Wave line is that, to begin with, when it was introduced, the Junior model was not streamlined in design and sported both a lock down Vacumatic filler and the wide feather clip. These features soon changed when the Parker design team streamlined the Shadow Wave and also changed the filler first to a Speedline, then to the plastic button and, at the same time, dropped the second jewel from the blind cap. The blind caps -- always finished in jet black-- as time went on were also lengthened to accommodate first the Speedline, then the plastic button Vacumatic fillers. The other difference were the clips, which changed with the times from the wide feather to the split feather with the Parker branding running directly up the center. There was also a difference in length, in that the Junior clip was longer where as the Debutante and Junior Debutante were much shorter.

Although I do have a very early Shadow Wave brown ‘full sized’ Junior with a lockdown filler and wide feather clip, the other day it was my luck to run across the somewhat rarer Junior Debutante that is a full three millimeters shorter than the Shadow Wave Debutante. And this fine Parker pen is finished in a grey pearl with very good transparency. Also the outside finish is truly brilliant unlike some of the Parker Shadow pens I have seen, which usually are a bit on the dark side when it came to their finish. But what really surprised me about this pen was the fact that even at 85 years old, once washed out and inked, it came to life immediately. Needless to say, it has a proud place in my vintage pen collection."

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