Just Released: Parker Ingenuity

After what feels like an eternity, Parker Ingenuity is finally here, and we’re thrilled to be amongst the first in the UK to offer you this revolutionary pen.

You may be wondering what’s so special about Ingenuity, and why we’re making such a song and dance about this pen in particular. The answer is simple: Parker Ingenuity is unlike any pen you’ve used before.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, fountain pens are often seen as novelties, a pleasant luxury perhaps, but certainly not an essential every day tool. In the age of word processing, instant messaging, SMS, BBM and countless other baffling acronyms, the once-mighty fountain pen struggles to compete.

This is where Ingenuity comes in. Combining ease, a soft writing feel and stylish, high-end design, Parker has produced a writing instrument which genuinely offers a fifth way of writing. As simple to use and refill as a ball pen, as good-looking as a fountain pen and with ink that doesn’t smudge or fade, Parker Ingenuity is set to revolutionise the way we think about writing instruments.

So, why not take a look at our range, and be amongst the first to experience Parker’s 5th Dimension.

A Brief History: Parker

George Safford Parker started out not as a maker of pens, but rather as a teacher of telegraphy (the long-distance transmission of messages using signalling technology.) To supplement his teaching income, Parker started selling pens for the John Holland Pens Company and soon his students were his main customers.

When the pens he sold malfunctioned, Parker felt obligated to fix them. Soon he became overwhelmed with repair work and decided to invent his own version of the fountain pen. With that, in 1888 in Janesville, Wisconsin, the Parker pen company was born.

The following year, Parker patented his first fountain pen. In 1891 he found an investor, insurance broker W. F. Palmer, for his fledgling company. With an initial investment of $1,000, Palmer bought half of Parker’s shares in both the patents and the business. The Parker pen company was officially open for business, and in 1892 the company was legally incorporated.

The first major breakthrough for the company came in 1894 with the Lucky Curve ink feed system. The feed system was designed to drain the ink back into the reservoir by capillary action when the pen was upright in the pocket of its owner. Parker employed this special technique in most of its top-selling pens until 1928. With the advent of the Lucky Curve system, Parker was now a major player in the fountain pen market.

Unlike most companies, the onset of the First World War did little to slow business for the Parker pen company, partially due to the invention of the Trench Pen. This pen held black pellets in its barrel which, when added to water, would transform into ink. The U.S. War Department awarded Parker a contract for the Trench pen, ensuring the company’s financial success throughout the First World War.

In 1921, Parker introduced the Duofold. Nicknamed the “Big Red”, it embodied the feel of the Roaring Twenties – big, bold and very jazzy. At $7, it was also the most expensive pen on the market. Pleased with their success, Parker guaranteed all Duofolds for 25 years.

Parker’s Duofold family expanded in 1926 and 1927 to include Jade Green, Mandarin Yellow, Lapis Blue and Pearl and Black – all available in a first-of-its-kind durable plastic called Permanite. The new material replaced the traditional vulcanised rubber, which tended to be brittle. Parker employed publicity stunts, such as throwing these new pens over the Grand Canyon and out of an aeroplane at 3,000 feet to prove their durability.

In 1988, in recognition of the company’s 100th birthday, the world witnessed the relaunch of the Duofold, now renamed the Duofold Centennial. Like its predecessors, the Centennial met with huge success.

Parker established the Platinum Club in 1989 in the U.S. and Australia for Duofold owners, offering elite privileges and complementary services. The following year, Parker enhanced the Duofold collection with the addition of the Parker International fountain pen, a slimmer, shorter version of the Centennial, and the Duofold roller ball. Made from solid blocks of hand-cast acrylic trimmed in 23K gold plate, the Centennial proves impervious to wear due to its diamond-polished lustre.

Today, Parker remains amongst the top writing instrument manufacturers in the world. Their enduring designs, along with constant innovation, have allowed the famous ‘arrow’ clip to adorn the pens of millions of people worldwide.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our brief history of Parker. You can see our range of modern Duofolds here, or why not browse the entire range here.

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

For years there have been four established ways of writing. The pencil, ball pen, rollerball and fountain pen. Many people prefer the speed of the pencil or the quick-drying ink of the ball pen, yet when it comes to the art of writing, none can match the expressive nature of the fountain pen.

A handwritten letter speaks volumes about the author. The time spent to craft a one-of-a-kind document, the handwriting style saying almost as much as the words themselves.

Sadly, fountain pens are often seen as unnecessary or antiquated, more of a fiddly luxury item for collectors and enthusiasts than an essential daily item. There’s no denying that when it comes to convenience, a ball pen with virtually smudge-proof ink would be the first choice for many, and the reproducible nature of word processors has revolutionised the way businesses communicate – can the once-mighty fountain pen really compete?

For many, their experience of fountain pens began (and ended) at school; fumbling around in pencil cases for that elusive ink cartridge, ink-stained shirt pockets and smudged workbooks – perhaps now we look back at these memories fondly, but it’s easy to see why many people are glad to be rid of the inconvenience. Thankfully, advances in technology have enabled the fountain pen to lose many of these unattractive traits, but for some, the first impression lasts longest.

This autumn will see the release of a new means of writing. A series of pens unlike any other – all the charm of the fountain pen with none of the drawbacks. No more smudged ink (Southpaws rejoice!), no more leaks, scratchy nibs or endless refilling. You don’t need to choose between style and ease-of-use. Now you can have both.

Are you ready for the 5th Dimension?