This is part of a new 2018 series, Lost and Found Objects. Each month, a new object will be researched and presented. The L&FO for January is this bottle of Parker Super Quink ink, and this is the first of the blog posts about it.
In 1888, George Safford Parker established the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin*. His company created a number of different fountain pens through the years, including the Duofold in 1921 and the famed ’51’ in 1941.**
To go along with the pens, in 1931 Parker introduced Quink, a quick drying ink that used isopropyl alcohol as a solvent. Later additions included Double Quink, Superchrome and Super Quink.***
According to various websites and patents, the different versions of the ink were all meant to prevent the need for blotters. But some of the different formulations caused the old hard-rubber pens to deteriorate.
I obtained this old bottle of Super Quink through ebay. The box was in great shape, and there was a small quantity of the original red ink that is still usable in the bottle.
I’ve had some difficulty nailing down the different timelines from the various iterations of the Parker inks. The box is absolutely mid-century. But then I started to go through old newspapers and found this ad from the September 1, 1959 Chicago Tribune:
In fact, the ad and offer was run in papers all across the country in autumn 1959, presumably in time for back-to-school. The Parker Super “21” was a slightly scaled down version of the Parker 51, at a lower price. And if you look at the ad, you’ll see the diamond box and bottle of the Parker Super Quink ink, giving our vintage bottle a time frame.
Next up, we’ll cover the Parker Super 21, show off the vintage ink, and demonstrate some modern-day Parker Quink.
* Parker Pen company history, www.parkerpen.com