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anfanghere are in fact three models of Parker pens that goes by the name of Arrow.
The first one was a Canadian pen, produced during the 1950's, with many similarities to both the Parker "51" and the Vacumatic. It was in fact very similiar to the Parker "VS" which sold in great numbers and also was an open nib alternative to the Parker "51". The Canadian Arrow was also an attractive pen indeed. It came with a solid color barrel, probably black, green, red and blue and possibly grey. They sported a Parker "51" style
body ring and a black section. The nib was the Vacumatic style in gold with an engraved arrow. The cap was the early style with a (vac filler) Parker "51" clip, and a brushed lustraloy cap. It was an aerometric filler and had the additional imprint Canada Arrow as an addition to the normal filling instructions on the pli-glass ink sac-container. Although it was clearly a pen that was manufactured from left over parts from discontinued models, and by right should fall into the category Frankenpen, they are by no means second grade pens and are much sought for by collectors.
parker arrow

A 1956 Canadian Arrow

anfangn April of 1962 Parker introduced the first US-made Parker with a plastic cap since the Vacumatic. It had a 14k nib and was priced at $3.95. It was aimed directly at the 22 million young people in high school and college, design to attract them to Parker products. It was in all respects a cartridge filled Parker “45” with a plastic cap, matching the colour of the body. It was offered in the colours of
    romb Red
    romb Light Blue
    romb Black
    romb Maroon
    romb Grey
    romb Dark Blue
It was offered as a Fountain pen, cap actuated Ball pen and rotary Pencil.


anfangt had the name in white (which normally rubbed off when used) on the body. The model name Arrow was discontinued in 1963 and was replaced by the denotation CT (Chrome Trim). This pen didn't have the steel cap, found on the other Parker "45", but was solely made out of plastic. This made production cheaper, partly beacuse metal was more expensive than plastic, but also because of a new production process in which the entire pen could be made up from the same dyes, which sped up the production. A breakthrough that economized production

anfanghe body of the Parker 45 , introduced in 1960, was tapered at both ends, creating a slimmer and lighter pen than the Parker 51. The body also sported a metal ring and a completely new kind of nib. The nib was triangular and very small, compared to prior Parker nibs. The complete nib/feed could be unscrewed and easily replaced and many styles of nibs were offered. The 14 carat gold nib was very unusual on a pen that initially cost only $5.

parker arrow
parker 45 arrow

Two 1962 Parker "45" Arrows

anfanghe third, and the only true designed model of the Arrow, was introduced late in July 1981.
There had been a tough decade for Parker. The Parker “75” had carried much of the load in the high end section for Parker but things would never be the same again. Fountain pens had quickly become unfashionable. The Parker “45”, Parker “51”, Parker “61” and Classic was also still bringing home some bacon, but Parker realised that they had to diversify. In 1976 Parker bought 80% of a small employment agency that had been around since 1948, called Manpower. Manpower had shown an operating profit of $3 million and was considered a financially sound company.
Within eight years Parker’s main profits came from Manpower.
For the fiscal year of 1980 Manpower sales hit $664 million, while the Writing Instrument Operations contributed some $60 million.

Something radical had to be done to save the writing instrument division. Parker had successfully introduced the company’s first Roller Ball pen in 1975, under the name Systemark. Parker wanted to cash in on the success of the Systemark and together with Parker in the UK, two new pens of similar appearance were designed.

anfangirst out was the UK-made RB-1, for (Roller Ball). It was launched in July of 1981 and the managing director Jaques Margry boasted that the liquid ink system took five years to develop. The largest ad campaign in the UK company's history commenced.
On the other side of the Atlantic Parker in the US, later in July 1981, silently launched the Parker Arrow. This was followed by an official launch on August 19 in 1981 at a press conference to which more than 50 publications had accepted an invitation. The introduction was described by Parker as the most massive marketing effort since the launching of the Parker “45” in 1960. Hoping to capture 40-50 % of the US gift pen (over $10) market within five years Parker opted for prime time tv-spots and full colour print ads in several the high end magazines and Newspapers.

It was an all-metal pen aimed at the business executive gift and self-purchase market. It sported a clean, straight cap with no cap rings and a newly designed clip which had the appearance of a chiselled-out arrow with three facets. It had no engraved feathers and was a very modern and clean design, fabricated to allow easy engraving on the clip. Although the earliest models had “Parker” engraved on the top facet and the feathers had a brushed finish. This proved too expensive so the engraving and texture was subsequently removed.
The Arrow clip has since made it on to other Parker models, notably the Vector, introduced in the autumn of 1984.

parker arrow

A Parker Arrow Flighter and the rolled gold version, from the 1980's.

anfang he Arrow also had a metal tassie- and clip screw. The body had a broad body ring, which served to hold the cap in place. The nib was gold plated stainless steel and was almost tubular. The Arrow was later manufactured both in the US and the UK.
It was designed with a black rounded lip over the nib, which was part of the section. The nib also had the imprint "Parker" in a semi-circle. It was offered as a Ball Pen, 0.7 mm twist actuated Pencil, Roller Ball and cartridge/converter Fountain Pen, and came in five designs:

    romb Brushed stainless steel finish with chrome trim
    romb Brushed stainless steel finish with gold filled trim
    romb Chrome
    romb Matte Black with gold trim
    romb 12 carat rolled gold

In September 1981 the RB-1 was introduced to the US market. while the Arrow was introduced in Canada, Mexico and Asia late in 1981. The rest of the world followed in 1982.

In april 1982 President Reagan selected the Arrow matte black roller ball pen and pencil set to use as special gifts from the White House. 1 000 sets with the presidential seal and signature on a gold-plated plaque was commissioned. 500 of these were given to contributors to the republican party. The remaining sets were presented to distinguished visitors to the White House.

anfang lso in 1982 the twist-action pencil model was replaced with a button-actuated model.
Although both the RB-1 and Arrow sold well. They weren’t really the life-belts Parker had hoped for. Manpower continued to be the main source of revenue.
with operating profits of $28 million for 1982.
Kenneth Parker had died in 1979 and now George Parker stepped down as CEO and President.
In December 1982 the Parker factory in Toronto closed down production and assembly line. Only distribution and repair remained. There was a worldwide recession on Parker sales and Parker’s Writing Instrument Operations was losing money for the first time ever. In an effort to cut costs 25% of the worldwide work force was made redundant.
In 1983 Parker attempted a reconstruction and early retirement plan in Janesville in the US and Newhaven in the UK and they also recentralised the research and development department to Janesville. Several pen models also saw price reductions in 1983.
By 1985 Parker had aquired 98.5% of Manpower which now made $33 million in clean profits.
Also in1985 the custom Arrow with a matte black barrel and 12 carat rolled gold cap was introduced.
A strong dollar and 75% of all Parker pens selling abroad led the Parker Pen Company in the US to decide to sell the writing Instrument division. A group of directors for Parker in the UK in turn decided to try a takeover when they realized that the mother company was for sale.

parker arrow



hey initially went for the European Operations but this was turned down by Parker US. It was all or nothing, according to Malcolm Troak in his book Pen to Paper. Venture capital was obtained and the takeover took place in january 1986.

In 1986 laquered finishes for the Arrow was introduced in
    romb Solid Black
    romb Marbled blue,
    romb Marbled red,
    romb Marbled green,
    romb Marbled grey


In 1987 the Arrow, the pen that everybody hoped would save the Parker Pen Company, was discontinued.
It was however replaced by a very similar model, the Parker "95".

anfang uring the six years Parker had been run from the UK they had turned the business around from losing money into making money. But venture capitalists as major shareholders weren't really an option in the long run. The first nail in the coffin for the historical Parker Pen Company was hammered in when, in the spring of 1993, Parker was sold to Gillette in Boston, who also owned Waterman. Gillette immediately began making changes. In 1996 the French Parker factory in Merú, France, was closed down, integrated with the Waterman plant in Nantes. In 1999 the Janesville factory was shut down. In 2000 Parker was sold again, this time to Newell Rubbermaid's stationary division, Sanford.
In 2007 nearly 200 workers at Parker Newhaven was made redundant when Sanford moved production elsewhere, including China. And the factory is scheduled for complete shutdown during 2010, while the remaining operations in Janesville will be moved to Mexico.

Manpower was also sold in 1986 and in 2007 the company reported total sales of $22 billion, worldwide.

Tony Fischier 2009

Special thanks to Jim Mamoulides. Read his excellent article about the Parker Arrow at http://www.penhero.com/PenGallery/Parker/ParkerArrow.htm

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