Day’?s Verse:
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?
1 Cor 3:3

Arriving home yesterday, I found a small package wrapped in brown paper waiting for me, postmarked from my parents. When I picked it up, it almost felt empty, but I could hear a very faint rattle as I carried into the kitchen. As I removed the paper, Ian and I speculated about what it could contain — toothbrushes? A pair of socks? Taking the paper off revealed a thin, plain cardboard covering. I slid it off, revealing a box with Parker “21” Smart Set repeating itself in script across the navy-blue top. I knew then what it was, so when I lifted the lid off, I was unsurprised to see a matched fountain-pen and pencil set. Neither had been used, and later Mom told me she had removed the yellowed, aging cellophane from around the pens herself. A little internet research revealed that the “21” series was released from the 1940s through 1965, and that they became very popular, costing only about $5 at the time. Some further trolling unearthed the fact that the pen set Mom sent me, which had apparently languished unused by Grandpa Sullivan for 50 years, is now selling online for at least $165. Amazing how simply saving some things, even originally cheap things, in pristine condition for a long time will eventually increase its value.

I have not yet decided whether to try to use the pen or not. I think it requires special ink, which may prove prohibitive to obtain since they stopped making it about the same time they stopped making the pens. Still, what a cool, unique addition to my pen collection!

UPDATE Sept 1, 2007: Here’?s the pen set, with a couple other pictures here.
Parker "21" Smart Set 2

KF quality

4 thoughts on “Fountain Pen Appreciation

  1. Katie:
    You might want to store the set in a Ziploc bag with as much air sucked out as possible. Otherwise, with the humidity and heat where you live, you might find the chrome corroding suprisingly rapidly. We had no idea these were such beuts!

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