London (Ontario, Canada) has a long and storied connection to the fountain pen industry – the Parker Canada Ink Plant was located in London; the Sheaffer Canada Pen Factory was situated nearby in the town of Goderich (about 60 miles/100 km to the north) and the Parker Canada Pen factory was located in Toronto (120 miles/200 km to the east).
Armed with a Parker “51”, LPC member Doug wanted to see if this Parker Ink Plant was still standing. After his initial hunches turned out to be incorrect, Doug decided to use the Archives in the London Room at the library to see if it could be located.
Parker opened their London ink plant shortly after the War (WWII) probably in 1946 or 1947. The building was located at 310 Talbot Street in central London – to its south are the C.N.R. railway lines and directly to its north is a Tim Horton’s Donut Shop. Within view to its south, about two blocks away is the original location of Labatt’s Brewery (founded in London by John Labatt in the mid-19th century. Yes, that brewery is still there producing Labatt beers such as Budweiser and Labatt Blue. In fact, this brewery brews nearly 40% of the beer produced in Canada.). Across the street is the Greyhound Bus Terminal.
Little has changed structurally in the Parker Building. It has been painted a blue-gray colour and it has a resturant sign out front on its northern edge. Other than that the building is unchanged. Included here are 3 photos of the building. The first is the building as it was when Parker was producing ink here in the post-war period and the second and third photos are those of the building when the pictures were taken on August 16, 2007, the first in black and white for comparison and the last in colour.