Fountain Pens · Stationery

“The Way We Were”

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line?

19-04-19 Black 51

Ah, the good old days, the good old days. You will remember them – back at the end of March when I was writing about the black Parker 51 fountain pen pictured above. But time moves inexorably on and now…

There’s a new kid on the block!

There’s a ‘new’ old Parker 51 fountain pen for me to play with (many thanks to my mate Glen). I am in the process of doing the soaking and flushing routine to get it completely clean then I will see if/how it writes.



These two pens are remote siblings. The big differences are in age and location. The burgundy pen was made in the USA whereas my black version is marked Made in England. I am pretty sure the burgundy version is the older of the two, but dating is not the easiest thing (I have spent an hour this morning sitting in a dating rabbit-hole of my own making). However, at the end of the day dates are of minor interest only; the important thing is enjoyment and I am certainly enjoying the new addition to the pen family. It may be a temporary resident chez moi – if I get it working well then I will offer it back to its real owner. If it does end up with me long-term then I certainly won’t complain.

I hope your weekend brings some pleasurable finds with it.


4 thoughts on ““The Way We Were”

  1. I wish I knew when that Parker 51 was acquired. I remember my (step) Grandfather going to America when I was a young boy. Between 1963 and 1970. No need to complain, the pen is a permanent member of your pen collection. Better somewhere it will used and admired.

    1. From what I can make out in all the information on the 51 models, your grandfather’s pen was probably manufactured in 1948. It might have been pre-loved when your grandfather acquired it, or it might just have been older stock. I might do the second soak and flush this afternoon.

  2. Hi, I came across your blog via a comment you posted on a Waterman Carene review (which I’ve just ordered) and enjoy your posts. After quite a bit of web research, I’ve just got two old parker 45’s working by cleaning with 1 part household ammonia and 10 parts water. Opinions seem to vary as to whether you should just suck the solution up and flush out with the converter or give the whole nib and section a good soak over a few days; followed by flushing with water. Both methods have worked for me. Fortunately an old 51 I was given years ago just needed water.

    1. Hi Nick, lovely to hear from you and I was very interested to hear you found me via a comment – I love checking out other people’s blogs via comments they leave on blogs that I read. Thank you for the tips on cleaning the Parker 51. From internet searches and my experience with my dad’s pen, I am more hopeful that this one will just need the soak and flush routine until it is clear of ink residue. Before I started on my dad’s pen I convinced myself it was going to be hugely complicated to get it working, and I was so relieved that it turned out to be simple – makes me love the Parker 51 design all the more.

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