George Safford Parker and Parker Pen Company

George Safford Parker was born in Shullsburg, Wisconsin, USA, on November 1, 1863, and died in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on July 19, 1937. He was an industrialist and inventor. He graduated from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, USA. Parker worked as a telegraphy instructor in Janesville, in his home state of Wisconsin. His side job was repairing and selling fountain pens. Parker also worked as a sales agent for John Holland Gold Pen Company. Because of the unreliability of those pens, he was searching for ways to stop the ink from leaking. There is a high school in Janesville named George S. Parker High School in his honor.

George Parker was the founder of the Pen Parker Company in 1888. In 1889, he got hit with the first patent for a fountain pen. Five years later, he also received a patent for his “Lucky Curve” feed, which was used until 1928. His pen factory was the biggest in the world by 1908 and created one of the biggest pen brands in the world. That factory was located on Main Street in Janesville, Wisconsin.

George Parker Pen

In the period between 1920. and 1960, before Parker developed the ballpoint pen, he remained one of the largest writing instrument manufacturers. His pen, Quink, or quick-drying ink, was created in 1931, eliminating the need for blotting. Ten years later, the Parker company created one of the most famous and widely used fountain pen models in history, the Parker 51. Parker 51 was sold for more than $400 million worth through its thirty years of history. His brand was one of the first brands that had a presence worldwide.

Pen Parker Company bought company Norm Thompson in 1973, then Manpower in 1976, and then sold off Norm Thompson in 1981. The company was moved to New Haven, East Sussex, England, in 1987. Gillette Company bought Parker in 1993. Seven years later, in 2000. Gillette sold it to Newell Rubbermaid, the biggest writing instrument company, then owned Waterman, Liquid Paper, Rotring, and many more famous brands.

Parker factory in Newhaven, East Sussex, England, was closed in 2011. and was moved to Saint-Herblain, France. Later that year, the Janesville, Wisconsin, USA factory was also closed.

Parker RB1 was a precursor of the Parker Vector, first introduced in 1981. It was a roller ball pen with a simple cylindrical plastic cap. Parker created the new FP1 (Fountain Pen 1) three years later but kept the same design. Bothe BR1 and FP1 were produced until 1986. In 1986 Parker changed the pen's design by making the cap longer and the barrel shorter and naming it the “Vector Standard.” Four models are available today: the fountain pen, capped rollerball, pushbutton ballpoint, and pencil.

As of 2012, four 5th Technolgy type pens, nine Fountain pens, eight Ballpoint pens, and two ink and Refills are still in the company’s offer.

George Parker Pen