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The Vacumatic was created by Parker. Originally named "Vacuum Filler," it became the Vacumatic (or just "Vac") in 1933. This pen replaced the Parker Duofold, and was succeeded by the Parker 51.

The Vacumatic used a relatively unique filling system. Most fountain pens that predated the Vac held its ink in a sack. This sack was compressed, typically by a pressure bar. Release the bar, and a vacuum is created, and ink is pulled into the sack.

The problem is that, even for a large pen, the ink supply is limited. The Vac found a way around this. To increase the ink supply, it is stored directly in the barrel of the pen. A diaphragm at the end of the barrel, manipulated by a plunger, draws in the ink. By eliminating the sack, much more ink is kept. Early pens have an aluminum plunger. During World War II, it is replaced with plastic. Production of the Vac ended in 1948.

The pen itself is made of celluloid. The usual pattern is striped perpendicular to the barrel. The plunger is hidden under a bit of the barrel that unscrews, called the "blind cap." The clip is described as being (in some early advertisements) a "Military Clip," as it makes the pen ride low in the pocket.

The Vacumatic brought forth several quintessential Parker traits:

  • It introduced the arrow clip. To this day, Parker pens have an arrow clip. The arrow logo is stamped on the nib, which is also present on many Parker pens.
  • The configuration of the clip with a "jewel" is repeated on many Parker pens. The Parker 51 and 61 both have it. Even the Sonnet could be said to have it.
  • The "Blue Diamond Lifetime Warrantee" is introduced on this pen. The Blue Diamond is seen on the clip.

My first two vintage pens are Vacumatics (a 1945 and 1944).

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