Vintage Sewing Needle Books

Monday, March 5, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

It’s time for another L&FO. Today we have two vintage sewing needle books. The Springfield Leader and Press newspaper for December 27, 1959 ran a full page ad for Evans Cut-Rite. In it, there was a book of 70 Gold-Eye needles with threader, normally 10 cents, on sale for 7 cents. Other hot sale items were Cannon hand towels, normally 39 cents each, on sale 3 for 88 cents, 24 tablets of Coricidin cold medicine for 69 cents, and a pair of plastic lamp shades on sale for $1.27. Although it doesn’t have an image, these things seem to be similar in the number of needles, putting this rocket Gold-Eye brand of a similar age:

vintage sewing needle book

vintage sewing needle book

The price of these sewing needle books varied around the country. In the March 18, 1964 Green Bay Press-Gazette, there is this book of 100 with a value of 15 cents, while in Santa Fe a similar book was 20 cents in July 1963.

vintage sewing needle book

This Atomic Gold-Eye book is a later date, with more needles than the Rocket and a much higher cost. The basic image hasn’t changed much, swapping out the couple riding on a needle compared a rocket ship.

vintage sewing needle book

vintage sewing needle book

The cool thing about collecting these is that I can actually use the needles. The books are more convenient than those little disc holders with the channels. I’ve been doing more sewing these days, recently finishing up a Decades of Style Three’s a Charm jacket and currently working on a McCall’s 7313 (C) dress.

If you’re interested in collecting some vintage sewing needle books, there are a ton of them on ebay. I found the Atomic one in a local antique shop. You should be able to get one in good shape with all of the needles for $3 – $8 each. I recently read an article suggesting millennials will still be interested in antiques, but will likely gravitate to items that still have purpose. They may be less likely to collect vases and china, and more likely to collect items they can use in daily life. I’m all for seeing a return to sewing instead of the continued purchase of $15 dresses made in a sweatshop and sold on Amazon.

Parker Super 21

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0 No tags Permalink

In the second installment of the January Lost & Found Object, we have a Parker Super 21 pen to go along with our Parker Super Quink permanent red ink. Richard’s Pens does a good job of breaking down the changes in the Parker Super 21 through the years of production, 1948 – 1965. Mine is the latest version, which would put it on the market roughly at the same time as the Parker Super Quink special giveaway bottle as highlighted in the previous post.

Parker Super 21

It is a nice navy blue pen with a brushed silver cap and the arrow clip. The cap isn’t threaded but stays on quite nicely.

Parker Super 21

At the base of the cap is etched PARKER 21 PARKER and MADE IN THE USA with the Parker logo just above it.

Parker Super 21

As you can see, the fountain pen nib is hooded.

Parker Super 21

I like my fountain pens with a bit of flex generally, but I honestly love how smoothly this one writes. It is delightful! The ink just flows beautifully, it doesn’t leak and get all over my hands, it’s easy to fill with its squeeze sack. These pens can be found pretty easily on ebay, including some that are vintage but never used. It is a great pen, and well worth your time if you happen to come across one. You will wind up paying more than the original $5 though. Here’s the pen in action:

Parker Super Quink

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 0 No tags Permalink


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.

Parker Super Quink

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,
*** Wikipedia