We had a discussion some time ago about UK Parker Duofolds and came to the conclusion that they are reliable but dull. It’s strange that quite a few modern pen makers, especially Japanese ones, use that same cigar shape but they are not regarded as dull. Or maybe they are. I’m not well up on modern Japanese pens.
Be that as it may, not all Duofolds are equally uninteresting. Take this red Duofold Junior, for instance. It’s the same length as the standard Duofold but slimmer.
The other difference is that it doesn’t have the full sac protector, as you can see in the photograph. Otherwise it’s pretty much your average British Duofold.
So what’s so special about this one? Well for a start it’s red. Red pens are always exciting, aren’t they?
Maybe not, but have a look at this nib. It’s broad, stubbish and unlike most Duofolds – flexible!
Between the stub and the spreading tines, it gives a lot of line variation, so here’s one Duofold at least that isn’t dull.
14 thoughts on “A Parker Duofold Junior”
I really like the bold (for their day) colours, the open nib & the reliable filling system.
I agree. I think it’s a charming pen.
oh gosh, I’m going to be dissenting again – sorry Peter:)
Janesville had been knocking out entirely red, green and bright yellow Duofolds in H.R. and permanite since the early 1920s, long before 1953 which was when Deb’s rather conservatively coloured red Duofold Junior was born, so Parker boldness had already been around for some time. In fact Mentmore’s Diploma in an identical ‘red’, with open and hooded nibs, had been on the market long before Parker’s U.K. red Duofold.
Externally, and of these two pens, the Mentmore looks a slightly more interesting pen – difficult to say exactly why – just that something that a good design possess.
Somehow these Newhaven aerometric Duofolds look boring, perhaps they are just too dull, and maybe a f.p. does need some flair in the way of interesting colour pattern – it’s possible this is the way that Parker management saw the Brits. and thought we deserved less than exciting colours.
If you look at the entire Parker colour/pattern output through most of the C20, then apart from black most of their colourways were more flamboyant than these Newhaven Duofolds.
Combine this dullness with nibs like nails (apart from this one and few others), and you have a pen that doesn’t excite.
Having said that I now have something like fifty of them – including Maximas, Victories etc. – but that’s just cos I’m a collector. Mind you I’m very tempted by this one, just for the nib:)
Unfortunately, Deb’s. site is a blog and not a forum, so can’t really ask you to share details of your collection – do you have any of these Newhaven Duofolds Peter? 🙂
You may say whenever you wish in comments.
I’m afraid I must dissent with your dissension. Your suggestion that a fountain pen needs some flair in the way of interesting colour patterns condemns all the black hard rubber pens. To me, they are the most interesting of all.
I also disagree with the rather recent idea that the only good nib is a flexible nib. Several generations of people who used fountain pens daily would disagree with you, as do I. Perhaps if you used your pens more you would find that variety in the way ink is laid of paper is the spice of fountain pen use.
…… more? …. if I used them at all it would be something:):)
I always thought pen manufacturers moved to “boring” single colours when they moved to injection moulding pen barrels and caps – presumably a much cheaper process than used previously. I use these pens fairly frequently – when I have found one with a nice nib. I favour broader nibs and these models tend to have generous blobs of tipping and can be glorious to use. The pens polish up very nicely, no need to over do it, and the Senior and Maxima models look extremely smart when you pull it out in a meeting. Trouble is the meeting books they give us in the stationery cupboard at work have such thin paper that I can only write on one side when using these pens.
I tried to get my children to use Slimfolds and Juniors when they were younger but they preferred Lamy Safaris. I think because the colours and styling looked more modern and interesting. I had visions of all the children in their classes using proper old Parkers with gold nibs (I’ve picked up rather a lot of these over the years) but I couldn’t even get my own kids to use them. They weren’t interested in using a more colourful Swan or Conway Stewart either so I think the younger generation just shy away from the old fashioned rather than boring colours. I hope they learn to like the older pens as they get older because all those old pens are meant to be my pension. (its how I justify buying yet another black junior Duofold).
Good to see you here again! I agree with the bulk of what you have to say – as ever – but I would add that single colours had a bit of an earlier history too, if you think about early Parkers and Sheaffers with their reds and yellows. Conway Stewart and Swan had some of those as well. I do hope you are right about the pensionable qualities of your pens! That must be why I dislike Lamy Safaris. They are meant to appeal to children. This must mean I am finally mature!
I rather like the green Duofolds myself. Unlike the more colourful Conway Stewarts I have, the Duofold will work all day without bother. I reserve the Conway Stewarts for letters & important signatures such as my expense claims
Those green ones are hard to photograph acurately. They often appear blue in photos. Reiability is where the UK Duofolds score so highly but I’m sorry to hear that your Conway Stewarts don’t work so well.
They tend to blob in warm weather or after writing for too long
That’s surprising as the usual cause of blobbing is expansion of air in the barrel. The ink in a Duofold is somewhat isolated from the external temperature, in the same way as any other sac fillers. Blobbing is usually a problem for ink in the barrel pens like eyedropper fillers, Parker Vacs and the like. I haven’t found that with Duofolds but it may be that you use them more than I do.
Its the Conway Stewarts that blob!
My misunderstanding! Still somewhat puzzling, though.
sits in the corner and cries quietly – I wanted this one, and now it’s gone:(:( I wasn’t quick enough and thought it would still be there. It’s the nib that sold this pen. But I can live without it – I think.:)
Main thing is that Deb has sold the pen which is what it’s all about. 🙂