Introduced in 1921, it was Parker’s first pen in a color other than black. It was a very risky decision, especially at a retail price of $7.00 — more than twice the price of the average pen! But it turned out to be instantly popular. The “Big Red” very soon became the symbol of an educated, successful man.
Parker quickly reduced their line of over 400 different pen models to just about 30.
The next 12 years (the Duofold line was discontinued in 1933) brought the introduction of at least eight different colors, eight or more different models, plus dozens of desk sets. And this doesn’t include all the additional colors and patterns produced by Parker in Europe! The array can keep a collector busy for quite some time.
The first Duofolds were hard rubber and bandless. A band was quickly added (to help quell cap lip cracks). 1922 brought the Junior; Deluxe Junior (wide cap band); Deluxe Senior (wide cap band); and Lady Duofold. 1924 brought the small pencil with the “spoon clip.” 1925 brought the “Big Bro” pencil. The first desk sets were introduced in 1926. Jade was added in 1926 and both Lapis Lazuli and Mandarin Yellow were added in 1927. 1928 brought Black & Pearl Moderne. In 1929 the Vest Pocket line was added and the “Straightsided” Duofold was modernized as the design was “Streamlined.” 1930 brought Burgundy & Black and Moderne Green & Pearl. The last color to be added, Sea Green Pearl, occurred in 1932, and is quite rare today.
From 1932 through 1936 Parker produced their “Depression Pens” in similar shapes to the Duofolds, but generally smaller, and in colors and designs which we only wish we could find in Duofolds. 1932 brought the world the introduction of the Vacumatic.