The Duofold was retired in 1932 (while it was removed from the Parker catalog, American production continued until 1937) and reintroduced in 1939 as the Geometric Duofold (aka the “Toothbrush” because of the black patten). The Geometric was quickly replaced in 1940 by the Striped Duofold, which was eventually discontinued in 1948. The Striped Duofolds were manufactured using a material that Parker called Laidtone in four colours – blue (blue, silver and black), maroon (pink, silver and black), green (green, brown and black) and black – and eight models (Button filler – Dufold and Lady Duofold, Vacumatic filler – Junior, Sub-Debutante, Major, Debutante, Senior and Ingenue). Black was not available in all models, e.g., Vacumatic – Major, Debutante, Senior and Ingenue.
I was talking to another pen collector a week or so ago about my set of three striped Senior Duofolds. I have a set of three Seniors (Blue, Maroon and Green). The Seniors can be identified by the Blue Diamond on their clips.
When I mentioned that I owned a complete set of three Striped Duofolds, the other collector told me that there was a fourth colour (the black one) and thus, my set was not a complete one. I had never heard this before, so the completist ( a collector who attempts to collect an example of every item in a particular field) in me began to hyperventilate. The anxiety subsided (eventually) and I started researching the matter, beginning with the Parker Duofold book by Shepherd and Zazove. While the book mentioned black as one of the colours, it did not specify whether it was used in all of the models. A few searches on Google were not helpful so I turned to the smart people on the Fountain Pen Network, where I posted my picture and asked for help. David Isaacson of Vacumania.com came to the rescue and provided me with the information concerning the models that used black. Phew, my Senior set is complete!
Of course, there had to be a bit of a twist as David mentioned that a blue diamond black Duofold does exist – a rather scarce high line desk pen was made in black. Now, where can that one be? If you have any information concerning this pen, please send me a note.