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Thread: Iconic pens

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Note View Post
    Iconic: currently one of the most overused, misused words in the English language. Starting to rival "genius" and "unique" (more often the appalling "very unique") for most inappropriately used words. The Volkswagen Beetle might be an icon, JS Bach was certainly a genius and Jackson Pollock had a unique way of putting paint on canvas. Fountain pens? There's really only the Parker 51 that comes close to fitting the definition of any or all of those three words.
    No, the Sheaffer Balance qualifies too. More so in that it defined the popular image of a fountain pen. (A lot of people wouldn't be able to say for sure that the 51 is a fountain pen if you showed it to them...)

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    iconic.*Something*that is*iconic*is characteristic of an icon — an image, emblem, idol, or hero. Audrey Hepburn was widely admired for her*iconic*style, her great fashion taste.*Iconic*often describes*something*or someone that is considered symbolic of*something*else, like spirituality, virtue, or evil and corruption. Vocabulary.com
    Definition of*iconic

    1:*of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon

    2a:*widely recognized and well-established
    an*iconic*brand name

    b:*widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence
    an*iconic*writer
    a region's*iconic*wines.
    Merriam-Webster
    An icon*brand*is a symbol-intensive*brand*that carry powerful universal values making it instantly recognisable thanks to ownable and distinctive codes. ... Fashion*brands*can become*iconic*by delivering universal values and*iconic*elements that allow them to remain successful over time, like Ralph Lauren or Dolce&Gabbana. Wikipedia.
    Since we love semantic fun I figured I would post the above before answering.

    The Parker 51 is, in my view, representative of the sleek lines and elegance of mid-century American, jet-age style and sensibility that you see in some cars, appliances, etc., of the time.

    It was a significant leap forward in style and function, designed to operate with an advanced ink. The hooded design inspired numerous others.

    Of course fountain pens are a bit of a niche manifestation of writing tech and so not everyone who writes with a disposable pen is going to know a "51" on sight but anyone into fountain pens surely will or at least has heard of it more than many other brands and it's performance and quality are generally highly regarded. Fairly long successful run.

    Parker itself is absolutely an iconic brand being extremely well known (maybe second only to Montblanc). They have changed the pen landscape on several occasions.

    That brings me to Big Red. The DuoFold. The first color pen. Already a very popular pen the orange-red was a huge deal. Put Parker on the map. Then Mandarin Yellow. Jade. Lapis. First in plastic. Etc. DuoFold are immediately recognizable to pen people. Reproduced in the DuoFold Centennial.

    The Sheaffer Balance changed the game at the time and had a hugely successful run. Also immediately recognizable and was reproduced in the Balance II.

  3. #63
    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    When I think of an iconic pen -- in terms of aesthetics -- I always think of a lever-filled, marbled, celluloid fountain pen from the 1930s and '40s. Not a particular brand or model, since there were so many of them.
    I also immediately think of a black cigar-shaped fountain pen with gold furniture like a Montblanc, but not necessarily a Montblanc.
    I tend to think in types when it comes to "iconic" fountain pens for some reason. On the other hand, if the question were about cars, I could immediately say a '57 Chevy Bel Aire or a '56 Thunderbird or a 1938 Mercedes Cabriolet.
    Not sure why. I know as little about fountain pens as I do about classic cars. Maybe it's just that I'd much rather have an iconic classic car than an iconic classic fountain pen.

    I've never wanted a Parker 51. Always thought they were boring-looking. (I can hear the shocked gasps from way over here.)

    Have wanted a Sheaffer Snorkel since I was a snot-nosed brat. For me, it was the epitome of coolness in a fountain pen. But is it iconic? [expletive deleted] if I know.
    Last edited by calamus; January 30th, 2019 at 02:17 PM.
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    Senior Member dneal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    I know it’s an old thread, but there sure is a lot of quibbling over semantics.

    Icon - A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something. When you think “fountain pen”, what image comes to mind? Parker 51’s, Montblanc’s (non-original) torpedo shaped pens, Parker Duofolds, Sheaffer Balance, Lamy 2000? Do any of these pens have the characteristic of an icon - which is to say, are they iconic?

    Certainly there are iconic pens, and it’s somewhat subjective. No fountain pen is iconic to my son, who shows no interest; or to my wife, who just likes to write with pretty ones. People who collect, learn about, etc... fountain pens surely come to identify some as icons - or iconic.

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    Senior Member calamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    When everybody has their own meaning for a word, whether it's iconic or vintage or some other term that people kick around a lot, that makes discussion difficult. Words have meaning, and unless they mean the same thing (more or less, given the nature of things) to everyone in the conversation, communication becomes difficult. That's why "this sort of thread" tends to generate as much discussion about the terminology being used as about what the thread's subject is supposed to be.
    Quid rides? Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur. — Horace
    (What are you laughing at? Just change the name and the joke’s on you.)

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    Senior Member FredRydr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Iconic pens

    I'm afraid Montegrappa has made the choice for you: https://www.airlineintl.com/catalog/...ons-collection

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