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Thread: Vacumatic Identification?

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    Default Vacumatic Identification?

    I picked this beauty up today and am wondering if anyone could help provide insight into which Parker Vac model this could be? Itís dated from what I believe to be the 2nd quarter of 1939 (.9.) From the length it appears to be a slender junior but Iím not sure. In addition, cap seems to have a seam in the middle but it looks to perfect to have been a repair job so could have been a manufacturing outcome? Pictures are attached below, thanks ahead of time!






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    Last edited by penmainiac; May 2nd, 2021 at 06:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    penmainiac

    I am such passing through........



    What a nice pen.

    Can you please tell me if the filling system has good function.


    I am suprised that no one else has replied to your post.

    Your identification seems good to me.


    Can you post some better images of the cap seam.

    If it was manufactured imperfect it would have been tossed in the bin.

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    Default Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    penmainiac

    I am such passing through........



    What a nice pen.

    Can you please tell me if the filling system has good function.


    I am suprised that no one else has replied to your post.

    Your identification seems good to me.


    Can you post some better images of the cap seam.

    If it was manufactured imperfect it would have been tossed in the bin.

    Sure thing, here is the best image I can capture of the seam. Sorry for the terrible image, I do not have a macro lens to better show you. The seam goes around the the entirety of the cap, and is not level so I have reached the conclusion that it is not a scratch caused by the clip.



    As for the filling system, after a new diaphragm,(which should arrive soon) it will be near new.


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    Last edited by penmainiac; May 4th, 2021 at 05:20 PM.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Definitely appears to be two pieces joined, as the angle of the layers of celluloid change (or at least appear to). From my perspective, the bottom half of the cap has the layers pretty much horizontal, but the upper half, certainly in the first of the 3 photos, shows the layers at an angle. Seems pretty clear indication of a repair, or some other reason for a two-piece cap.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Definitely appears to be two pieces joined, as the angle of the layers of celluloid change (or at least appear to). From my perspective, the bottom half of the cap has the layers pretty much horizontal, but the upper half, certainly in the first of the 3 photos, shows the layers at an angle. Seems pretty clear indication of a repair, or some other reason for a two-piece cap.
    Curiously, the seam disappears at the very back, it cannot be felt at all here:


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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by penmainiac View Post
    Curiously, the seam disappears at the very back, it cannot be felt at all here:
    Right, but that would just be good workmanship. You can plainly see the two pieces joined together. The only possibility is the entire blank the pen was turned from had an anomaly, which I've neither heard of nor seen. Maybe some true Vac experts can weigh in, but I still see it as a repair or one-off.

    Farmboy might know, I'll see if I can flag him down and get him to look at this.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by penmainiac View Post
    Curiously, the seam disappears at the very back, it cannot be felt at all here:
    Right, but that would just be good workmanship. You can plainly see the two pieces joined together. The only possibility is the entire blank the pen was turned from had an anomaly, which I've neither heard of nor seen. Maybe some true Vac experts can weigh in, but I still see it as a repair or one-off.

    Farmboy might know, I'll see if I can flag him down and get him to look at this.
    Thanks, that would be much appreciated!


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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    It's a repair, and not a great one. Done right, the pieces would have been lined up and then joined with a slurry of liquified celluloid. It's not always possible to get it absolutely perfect, but you can get far better than that, with no seam showing.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Interesting. Without holding the cap and giving it a good looking over, I'm not sure what to think. Parker didn't let it escape that way, it would have had to have a major flaw in the slab such that it was out of register. It could happen but having seen 1000s of Vacs and never seen something like it makes me think not the way it left Wisconsin. From what I see, it would have taken parts from two different caps to get a weld that far out of register on the laminations. It would certainly be easy to take two caps even if they were different colors and make one of them and as Ron points out, do a much better solvent weld that we see here.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    It's a repair, and not a great one. Done right, the pieces would have been lined up and then joined with a slurry of liquified celluloid. It's not always possible to get it absolutely perfect, but you can get far better than that, with no seam showing.
    Thanks for you expert advice Ron. Something I find curious is that the repair person managed to make a rather good weld at the back, there is no seam there, how could it be that they couldnít replicate their work on the entirety of the seam?


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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Two possible reasons. One is that they didn't get the two halves lined up right when they put it together to weld it, so didn't have proper contact and it didn't fuse well. Note the ink in the crack. The other is that they may have used just the solvent, and didn't add any celluloid, so the gaps weren't filled. There's a lot more to solvent welding than just putting some solvent or another on, and putting the two pieces together. I generally don't go into detail because the solvents are toxic, and some fairly hazardous if not handled right, and I've also invested a lot in "tuition" as I've learned how to do the repairs well over the last 16 years or so - and I'm still learning new stuff! Old celluloid is full of surprises.

    What I have found to be interesting is that some of the earlier Vacumatic celluloid colors delaminate more easily than others. I had a red 3 band standard that had been repaired once when it came into me to be fixed where the barrel delaminated in a different spot, and it came by again for a third break - in a different spot. I've also had a brown star clip Maxima that delaminated. Lathe work was needed to make a solid, reliable repair.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Clearly I missed something.........

    I was never that clever.


    Could it be the cap is not cracked / split all the way through and has not been repaired

    The blue thin lines around the cap shown could possibly be ink
    Last edited by proteus; May 9th, 2021 at 03:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    Could it be the cap is not cracked / split all the way through and has not been repaired The blue thin lines around the cap shown could possibly be ink
    In a word, no.

    Surely you can see that the pattern of the celluloid is different, above and below the 'repair'. It is very plainly two different pieces of stacked celluloid glued/welded together, and not perfectly.
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    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Jon Szanto

    Sir,

    Many thanks for your reply



    If I were addressing a lesser person my reply would have been more pedantic

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    If I were addressing a lesser person my reply would have been more pedantic
    Hey, ask away or be as detailed as you like! I hope it didn't seem brusque (my reply), I just wanted to point out those things to look for. I'm just another guy, putting his pants on one leg at a time, so you never need to alter your responses according to who it's going to (like, me).

    BTW, one of the things that sets the original Vacs apart from later pens with similar materials is the quality of the layering of the celluloid. It was a pretty involved process, with large alternating sheets bonded together, cured, and then cut into blanks for turning. The material was copied in Italian and Japanese pens later, possibly other places, but you often see material that is skewed on an angle, which didn't often go out of the Parker factory that way. It was the fact that the upper piece has the layers definitely at an angle that gives away the repair, even if the actual join had been flawless.

    I know that other people know a lot more about the process by which this material was originally made, maybe others will have more details.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Penmainiac,

    Are you able to take a clearer image if this area of your cap please

    Many thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    I have now waited 8 days, clearly there are no better image from penmainiac from me to look at.

    Perhaps I was a little late to the partyÖÖÖ.

    Everyone has decided, I have no desire to flog a dead horse.



    Jon Szanto,

    Both a classy and clever reply, Sir

    ( I'm just another guy, putting his pants on one leg at a time .............etc )
    Last edited by proteus; May 19th, 2021 at 12:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    How clear do you need it to be?

    Edited: image removed after OP posted some more.
    Last edited by Chrissy; May 27th, 2021 at 02:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Vacumatic Identification?

    Thank you Chrissy
    Last edited by proteus; May 20th, 2021 at 02:00 AM.

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    Default Vacumatic Identification?

    Quote Originally Posted by proteus View Post
    Penmainiac,

    Are you able to take a clearer image if this area of your cap please

    Many thanks
    My sincerest apologies I was unable to post due to my final exams, but I can definitely add some pictures now if you still would like a closer look?


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