Our Story

Our Story

Immerse Yourself in the History of Parker


1888
Our Story Begins

Aged 25, George Safford Parker applies for his first pen patent and begins the Parker story with the driving philosophy: “It will always be possible to make a better pen.”

 

1894
A Major Breakthrough in the Pen Industry

George invents the pioneering anti-leak system, the Lucky Curve, Parker’s second patent and major breakthrough.

 

1906
A Fine Art

Inspired by the Art Nouveau movement, the gold and sterling silver Parker Snake pens are launched and will become valuable collector’s items.

 

1914
For King and Country

Parker’s Trench pen is designed for soldiers. The pen uses dry ink tablets that are activated by adding water. In this year, Russell Parker also joins the company.

 

1918
A Million Dollar Brand

Parker’s sales surpass the $1 million USD mark for the first time.  

 

1921
An Icon Is Born

Parker launches Duofold, a large, bold, premium-priced pen that captures the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. Soon afterward, Duofold becomes known as the world-famous “Big Red,” so named for its vibrant, bright orange color and valued for its 25-year guarantee.   

 

1928
A Breakthrough in Pen Design

Duofold is now made with a beautiful and durable new plastic material proven to resist cracking, whether dropped from an airplane or to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Parker innovates in marketing and advertising.  

 

1931
Formula #1022

The Parker research department’s first product arrives on the market. After three years and 1,021 experiments, a quick-drying ink called “Quink” (formula #1022) arrives. This is the first pen-cleaning ink that dries fast on paper and needs no blotter.

 

1933
The Vacumatic Pen

The Vacumatic pen is developed together with the now-famous Parker arrow clip designed by Joseph Platt. The innovative pen holds more than twice as much ink compared to pens of its time and has a visible ink reservoir.  

 

1939
Award-Winning Aerodynamic Design

To mark the company’s 51st year, the Parker 51 is developed in 1939–1940 and launched in 1941. Inspired by Kenneth Parker’s passion for aircraft aerodynamics, it is designed “like a pen from another planet.”

 

1945
In Times of Peace

The World War II German surrender is signed with a Parker 51 provided to General Dwight D. Eisenhower by his friend Kenneth Parker. General Douglas MacArthur uses his wife’s Duofold to sign the Japanese surrender.  

 

1954
Jotter Is Born

Production begins on the Jotter, Parker’s famous ballpoint pen. The Jotter sells 3.5 million in its first year and remains popular today.  

 

1957
The Iconic Arrow

Designed in 1933 by Joseph Platt, a prominent designer of the 1930s, the famous Parker arrow was inspired by Kenneth Parker’s passion for revolutionary transportation and aviation. First featured as a clip on the Vacumatic pen, it symbolizes Parker’s pioneering attitude. In 1957, it became the brand’s emblem and was evolved in 2015 to match the brand’s modern standards of sophistication and luxury.

 

1962
Royal Recognition

Parker is awarded the Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the official supplier of writing instruments to the Royal Household.  

 

1964
The Original Social Network

The New York World’s Fair opens. Parker’s pavilion features an IBM computer that matches “pen friends” from all over the world, thus becoming the original social network.  

 

1969
A Giant Leap

To commemorate the American moon landing, a special-edition Parker Classic is created. The pen contains a small amount of moon dust.  

 

1970
The Space Pen

Parker launches the T-1. Made entirely of titanium, it becomes known as the “space pen.”  

 

1981
Commemorating a Royal Wedding

In honor of the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer, Parker releases a unique limited edition of the Parker 105.

 

1987
The Pen Is Mightier...

Four unique sterling silver Parker 75 pens are custom-made. The pens are used by American President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on December 8th.

 

1990
Royal Recognition

Parker is granted a second Royal Warrant from His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

 

1993
Sonnet Is Born

The first version of the Sonnet appears, continuing the use of the Cisele pattern from the original Parker 75.

 

1996
In Memory of Norman Rockwell

A commemorative Duofold edition pen is launched to acknowledge the American artist Norman Rockwell, who produced several pieces of artwork for Parker dating back to 1929.

 

2009
Parker Premier Is Born

Parker Premier is launched, using innovative and aesthetic materials.  

 

2011
Another Breakthrough Innovation

Parker 5th technology, together with Parker Ingenuity are introduced, revolutionizing the pen industry with an innovative mode of writing.

 

2013
Words for the Future—Parker’s 125th Anniversary Celebration

Parker celebrates the act of writing by collecting, exhibiting, and sharing written words from global and local opinion leaders that inspire, pass through time, and travel across nations for future generations.  

 

2015
For Better Thinking

Parker announces enhancements to the Duofold and Sonnet collections alongside an elevated new take on the Parker brand identity, encouraging people to slow down, organize their thoughts, and embrace better thinking.