I have yet another small 1930s Parker to add to my recent list. All of these have been Canadian, reflecting the protectionism of the times that kept US pens out of the UK. I’m not sure whether the Televisor qualifies as another “thrift time” pen. It was in the medium price range.
I have written about the Televisor before: on that occasion it was a Junior that was featured. As always, if that is your interest the search box at the top right will take you there. This version is the Mark 1. I believe it is a “Slender” being a little slighter and shorter than the “Standard”. These pens came in a variety of attractive patterns; this one is black, but none the less impressive for that. This was not intended to be an economical pen as the contemporary Challenger was. The gold filled clip and three cap bands have worn well. The design of the clip with its elongated diamond cartouche bearing the word “Parker” is shared with the Challenger. This clip most obviously defines the Mark 1, with its ball ended design. The visualated section is a useful feature. There was also a pencil, though it is seldom seen. That’s surprising in a way, as this pen was seen as a potential gift, particularly for students, and was often sold as part of a set.
This form of Televisor remained in production for three years, being superseded by the Mark II in 1938. Set between the “thrift time” pens and the more expensive Duofold, it proved very popular in Britain and often turns up nowadays. Its popularity was justified: it is an excellent pen with a good nib that often has some line variation. The filling system utilised the efficient “suspended” pressure bar. It was made from good materials and often appears in very good condition today.
4 thoughts on “Parker Televisor Slender”
I called it (& the Challenger) a thrift pen and got my knuckles well and truly rapped by the experts on FPN!
It’s some time since I was FPN but I don’t remember there being any experts there. They were mostly a bunch of wet-behind-the-ears critters slobbering over the latest version of Conway Stewarts, boutique inks and Mont Blancs.
Andreas Lambrou refers to the 1930s Televisor as an ‘economy line’ pen – it seems they were offered with both gold and chrome trim, in the two models that Deborah has mentioned. The fact that some versions were offered with chrome trim was obviously a nod toward economy, but to describe them as ‘thrift’ pens seems to perhaps at odds with current thinking – especially if you want to buy a coloured marble example now:-) ………………. but I can see the reasoning behind Peter’s thinking.
Again, looking in Lambrou’s book ‘Fountain Pens of the U.S.A. and United Kingdom’, he comments that in the late 1940s the Duofold and Victory ranges were marketed in conjunction with Vacumatics and 51, “and economy models such as Premiere, Moderne and Televisors, were also available.”
So it appears that some of those thrift/economy models had a considerable life span – I had no idea that some of them were offered for that length of time.
I would regard the Moderne, Premiere and Challenger as thrift time pens. The Televisor: maybe, though it was priced a little higher. I’m not sure that it matters much. These pens were issued by Parker in an effort to save its profits by making pens built to a price that the average American (or, at least, one in employment) could afford. Now they all have a strong following and the prices they fetch now have no relation to what they originally cost.