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parker 21 logo
1948-1965
anfangschool-pen that followed the design of the Parker 51, but made in cheaper plastic and with an alloy 8-metal nib rather than gold.
The Parker 21 quickly became very popular and took over 60 procent of Parkers over $5-market. They are today very common and often excellent writers. A lot of "high-class" collectors use their Parker 21 as an everyday pen. Due to the cheap plastic they are however prone to breakage, especially the section are often cracked.
There are two distinctive designs and five different clips in the 21-line.
    romb The first design, Mark I, (1948-1951) had a larger section hole, showing more of the feed, compared to the Parker 51. Also the nib was not as tubular as the Parker 51 nib. The nib and feed was fitted tightly into the filler unit with the section screwing loosley over the top — the screw had rather a more "hollow" space in it, and because of this could contain and hold more ink. Mark I had the body imprint "Parker 21 Made in USA" and also a date imprint.
The colours for this design were:

    romb Black
    romb Red
    romb Green
    romb Blue
The first design cost $5 and were offered with three different clip-styles:

    romb A new design chrome-plated clip, tapered with a "ridge" on top, no imprints.
    romb A gold-plated ridge clip (this model is referred to as the DeLuxe Parker 21)
    romb An inverted Ridge-clip (ie a cavity instead).

anfang very rare and beautiful Parker 21 was offered in 1950 with a white enamel cap with a gold pattern that could be described as "fishscale" or perhaps fishnet, the clip in steel. Parker 21 do also exist as a Demonstrator.

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A triplette Parker "21" de Luxe, 1956.

anfanghe trouble with this first design was that the ink dried on the feed too quickly if the pen was left unused for a while, but also that it sometimes too willingly released ink and created a nice blob, it also frequently leaked in the cap.

In 1950 Parker introduced the Parker 41 a somewhat smaller pen than the Parker 51 that was a mid-priced line between the Parker 51 and the Parker 21 with similiar design. Parker realized that these pens handled the ink better than the old Parker 21 style, so when the Parker 41 was discontinued in 1951 the complete Parker 21 line was redesigned, the

    romb Mark II becoming in fact identical in most aspects to the Parker 41, the only thing that differed were:

    romb The design of the clip
    romb The imprint on the cap
    romb The imprint on the filler mechanism (The Parker 41 clearly states this)

The Parker 41 came in a wide range of colours and since the parts are interchangable it is quite probable that Parker used old Parker 41 stock and fitted to Parker 21 filling mechanisms, leaving both Parker 21's and Parker 41's in rare colours, such as described in the Parker 41 section of this penography.

Some sources list both Parker 41's and Parker 21's in additional colours of coral, turqoise and different shades of green and blue. One of the reasons for the early demise of the Parker 41 was that it was not looked upon as a "real" 51, so when the Parker 41 was discontinued, a cheaper Parker 51, the Special 51, was introduced to fill the middle priced niche, left by the Parker 41, between the Parker 21 and the Parker 51.


anfangt is important though to remember that all parts between the two Parker 21 designs are not interchangable, the nib and feed can be exchanged, the section and filler can not. The Mark II's redesigned section fitted snugly over the nib and feed — they are easily told apart since the Mark I nib and feed was attached to the filler unit when the section was unscrewed, Mark II "stuck" in the section.

The Parker 21 quickly became very popular and soon took over 60 percent of Parkers over $5 market. They are today very common and often excellent writers. A lot of "high class" collectors use them as their everyday pen. Due to the cheaper plastic they are relatively easy to break, especially the sections are often found cracked.

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A collection of Parker "21" in different colours and clips, 1960's.

anfangy 1952 the cost for a pen was $5.75 and $4.75 for a pencil, this could be compared with a Parker 51, that cost $15, a Parker 51 Special that cost $12.50 and a bottom-line (new) Parkette, which you could buy for a mere $3.50.

The colours in 1951 were:

    romb Black
    romb Red
    romb Green
    romb Blue
    romb Grey

anfangy 1956 The Parker 21 Super was introduced. It sported a clip that was to survive well into the 1990's on another pen, introduced in 1960, the Parker 45. This new clip was more stylized than the previous and had fewer "feathers". The first Parker 21 Supers had in fact the Ridge clip but with the addition of the Parker 45-clip an an imprint. But soon the new clip was adopted to the line.

The clips in 1956 were:
    romb Standard with satin Lustraloy cap and steel ridge clip
    romb Standard with satin Lustraloy cap and inverted steel ridge clip
    romb The DeLuxe with bright lustraloy cap and gold plated ridge clip
    romb The custom with gold plated cap and ridge clip
    romb The Super with satin lustraloy cap and ridge clip with Parker 45-style imprint
    romb The Super with satin lustraloy cap and Parker 45-style clip

The colours were:

    romb Black
    romb Red
    romb Green
    romb Blue
    romb Grey

There are also Demonstrator models known.

anfanghile the Parker 45 was introduced in 1960 at a price of $5, it was in fact cheaper than the Parker 21 and sported a gold nib, as opposed to the octanium nib of the Parker 21. The new cartridge filling system also won the publics approval and in 1965 The Parker 21 was discontinued.

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An uncommon Parker "21" with a wavy-line cap.

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