The Parker Duofold fountain pen is one of the most popular pens ever made and a firm favorite with pen collectors everywhere. Parker pens are held in very high regard, particularly in the United States and of all the Parker pens produced, the Duofold has maintained it's popularity down through the years.
The Parker Duofold fountain pen was first manufactured in 1921. It preceded a range of Duofold pens from the Parker pen company which included the Duofold Junior, the Duofold Special and the Lady Duofold.
Parker Duofold Fountain Pens
“Duo” was a word which was common in marketing circles of the time and the modern equivalent would be “mega”. It sought to connote the excellence of the Duofold over it’s market competitors and was a big pen in many ways(price wise and size wise at 5.5 inches for the original Senior Duofold)
The Duofold was made from a shiny hard rubber which was followed in 1926 when Parker introduced the Duofold made with an “unbreakable Permanite” which was a type of plastic made by DuPont for Parker.
In the 1930s Parker changed the design of the Duofold slightly by replacing the by now familiar flat top style with tapered ends and Duofolds remained in production until the 1960s.
In 1988 Parker made the Duofold Centennial series of pens and the Duofold International thereafter.
The Duofold fountain pen catapulted Parker into market leadership and most of this success was attributable to the bold two tone color scheme that Parker offered it’s Duofold buyers as up to this point most fountain pens were offered in fairly staid colors such as black. The Duofold had a large button ink filling mechanism which started off in the early days being finished with hard red rubber and black rubber ends.
Until the introduction of the Permanite referred to above the pen was only available in red and black but the use of the Permanite allowed Parker to broaden the range of colors and some of these later became much sought after; colors such as the Lapis Lazuli Blue and Mandarin Yellow. (Parker did introduce a jade green pen prior to this but called them “Jade pens” and had none of the characteristic features of the Duofold.
Black lined pearl was introduced in 1928 and in 1929 Parker pushed the envelope and introduced the more streamlined pens with tapered ends and offered them in an extended range of colors such as green and pearl, green and black and burgundy.
Duofolds were succeeded by the Vacumatic. Duofolds are reliable, workmanlike pens and the models particularly sought after are the duofolds with flexible, italic or broad spearhead feeds and duofold imprinted nibs.