Yeah, it’s probably a long, long shot, but a website run by a Parker Pen collector is putting together a petition in hopes of convincing the company to create an archives/museum when it closes its British factory later this year.
In case you didn’t know, a portion of Parker Pens are manufactured in a facility in Newhaven, in East Sussex. They’ve been made there since 1921, according to The Argus with the first Parker Jotter ballpoint pen being manufactured there in 1954. To see the current range of Parker ballpoint pens check out The Ultimate Parker Ballpoint Pen Guide.
The storied pen maker, which is now owned by Newell Rubbermaid, announced last year that it was planning to close the factory and consolidate its pen operations in France.
Swedish collector Tony Fischier is afraid that a piece of pen history may be lost when the Newhaven factory is shuttered. He’s posted a petition on his Parker pens collector site asking that Newell Rubbermaid:
investigate the possibility of opening a museum where selected pens and other products made by The Parker pen company would be on public display.
Newhaven is traditional Parker soil and the residents in Newhaven would be able to add many memories, things and stories to such a museum.
We weren’t able to reach Fischier through his website, but he emailed the Gazette in Parker’s original hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin that he knew the petition might lead nowhere.
“…hopefully, if there are a lot of us letting the company know that we care, maybe that could give the Newhaven people some leverage in their discussions with the mother company. There is a fantastic treasure out there; the Parker brand has an incredible power among most people over 40.
“It’s a petition, but it’s mostly a declaration and a reminder that the Parker brand still equals an emotional value for millions of people. If we can’t have the pens we love, at least we want a museum with the old relics.”
A company spokesman told the newspaper that no decision had been made yet on what would happen to the archives when the factory closes and production moved to France.
Wondering what all the fuss is about? Read Fischier’s description of his visit to the Parker Pen Archives last June, where he saw thousands of vintage Parker Pens, including rare Snakes and Azteks. It’s a bit long but well worth the read. He also has photos of many of the pens that he saw.
Here’s to Fischer and his petition. We wish him luck in keeping a small part of pen history in Newhaven.
Update: Here’s the link to sign up for the Parker Pens petition and the accompanying newsletter from Fischier.