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Perhaps no other fountain pen has been so unanimously acclaimed as a classic.
Nor is it merely a triumph of styling -- though it has a place in the Museum of Modern Art's design collection, and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy found it worthy of praise -- for it is also one of the most robust and practical writing instruments ever made.
In 1955, a matching 51 Jotter ballpoint was introduced, along with the so-called Liquid Lead pencil -- a nonretractable ballpoint using a graphite slurry.
Current Parker ballpoint refills fit the 51 Jotters, but the Liquid Lead refills (which reportedly never worked all that well) have long been unavailable.
Some 19-dated 51s bear date codes with a "T" prefix, which has led to (incorrect) speculation that the "T" stood for "Toronto" -- even though such pens are all clearly marked "MADE IN U. A." In fact, the "T" surely denotes pens from Parker's new Janesville production line, set up to meet postwar demand in the former Townsend Tractor building.Other notable members of the 51 series were the Flighter (cap and barrel in stainless steel), Signet (gold filled cap and barrel), Heritage (solid 14K gold trim), Heirloom (solid 14K gold cap and trim), and Presidential (solid 14K gold cap and barrel; 9K and 18K versions in the UK).Sterling silver and coin silver caps were also available, but were discontinued before the introduction of the simplified arrow clip and Aerometric filler.It was released in 1941 as "51" ink, along with the Parker 51 pen; in 1947 it was made somewhat less corrosive, and renamed "Superchrome".Parker was careful to print prominent warnings on caps, labels, and boxes that the ink could only be used in the 51 (and, later, its economy version, the 21), and would damage any other pen.