Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Interesting Vacumatic.

This set is heading for the pending website update.  I'm letting it go only because I have another.  It was not a trivial effort to get both. The pencil is more rare than the already scarce pen.

More than one thing about this set should hit one's radar for unusual Vacs.


  1. here's a stab in the dark: late, long canadian junior, and in burgundy at that?

  2. Hi Jose,

    It is "late", it is Canadian, it is Burgundy... all good calls. It is typical 3rd gen length for Jr/Major.

    So, thoughts as to the import of all the above? If not, I'll toss some notions out in couple days.

  3. well, i've just never seen a 3rd-gen junior in burgundy, although i've seen (and have some of them) in pretty much most if not all of the other colors. of course, the fact that i haven't seen one is hardly any indication of its scarcity (what do i know, ha ha!).

  4. Hi Jose,

    So... have you ever seen any striped Burgundy Junior, any Gen?

  5. ho-kay.... as a matter of fact, no! ;)

  6. Now we are getting somewhere ;)

    I s'pose I could just toss out the info, but I've been taking lessons int he Socratic (or is that the "Annoying") Method.

    Think this through. I don't know if you've played with original Parker catalogues, or not, but consider the following questions...

    1) What's the story on Burgundy Single Jewel (3rd Gen) pens in general?

    2) For 1st and 2nd Gen (double jewel) pens which saw the use of Burgundy in every year, which pens are catalogued (or which pens are "known") in Burgundy and which... are not?



  7. i don't have access to the catalogues, but i seem to recall someone saying (correctly or not) that burgundy vacs were made early and didn't seem to sell well for some reason, and so were dropped (presumably during the 40s) and weren't revived till late....

    just from memory, i'd list the DJ burgundies as the standard, the oversize, the long major, the senior max, the senior, the slender max, the slender (small), and the overmax (was there a reverse of this?), plus variations with the jeweller's band and the vac band. and did the streamlined standard come in red? not sure which of these were uncatalogued....

  8. Hi Jose,

    Good stab. Let's clarify just a bit.

    Burgundy (striped) was one of the first three Vac colors.

    It persisted in catalogues through 1940 and clearly was used throughout 1941. Thus it is- largely- a 1st and 2nd Generation color.

    It was catalogued only for high line colors though appeared too in some "gray-zone" intermediate-line colors.

    Thus, 1st Generation: OS, Sr, Standard, Slender. 2nd Gen Debutante, Major, Slender Max, Senior Max.

    It was never catalogued in a non higline pen, thus no two-band lockdown Junior or Slender Junior, no 2nd Generation Sub-Deb or Junior.

    Gray-Zone 2nd Gen pens (not quite high line, though as "left-overs" of sorts from 1st Gen they have highline features)-- Streamlined Standard and Streamlined Slender do appear in red stripes.

    I've seen total of 3 first quarter 1942 single jewel 3rd Gen reds (two "long" Major one streamlined Standard), anomalies perhaps indicating a wee bit of red stock remained after the date code and bottom jewel switch at very start of 1942.

    Canada reintro'd a slightly different burgundy around 1950, after USA had stopped all Vac production. Thus, 1950-53 red Canadian Vacs in 3rd Gen trim are found. These warrant an asterisk in collecting circles, perhaps not "required" for a typical 3rd Gen collection.

    Remember, Red stripes never used never catalogued for economy-line pens even when both USA and Canada routinely used the color 1933-1941.

    HOWEVER strangely enough, when Canada reintroduced the color in 1950, it did so for both high line and economy line pens. All these are relatively tough to find, particularly in clean shape. Most are typical high line pens for which the color is... expected: Major and Debutante

    Far less often found are economy-line Burgundy from this era in Canada: Junior and Sub-Deb. I've seen (and now own) only one Sub-Deb. I've seen or handled or owned perhaps 5 Juniors. Pencils are more rare than pens.

    The 1950-53 Junior and Sub-Deb are the only economy-line Burgundy (striped) Vacs to be found. Even though red is NOT uncommon from 1933-1941, it was NOT used in either country for these two models during that original run.

    This set is quite clean. It has one of only 2-3 pencils I've seen as Burgundy Junior.

    An... interesting... set :)



  9. oops typos in one key sentence

    ---It was catalogued only for high line colors though appeared too in some "gray-zone" intermediate-line colors.---

    Should read

    It was catalogued only for high line MODELS though appeared too in some "gray-zone" intermediate-line MODELS

  10. Rats, late to the party, but an interesting read none the less.

    I've wondered about that late Canadian production. The only example of a burgundy Canadian 3rd G that I have sports a 1st G cap. It confused me for a while until I realized they were interchangeable and that it was too chunky to belong on a streamlined 3rd G barrel.


    John Jenkins

  11. thanks again for the exhaustive commentary, fascinating (well, at least to me and maybe three dozen other vac nuts in the world, ha ha--we must be rarer than vac-band senior maximas!)

    i love my burgundy vacs, whatever shape they might take, but no, i certainly don't have a late canadian junior in that color (although i do have a '52 canadian burgundy major, and an SJ debutante in burgundy).

    this junior set will be yet another exotic creature to track down (outside of your sales page, of course!).


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