Monday, October 8, 2012

Parker T-Ball Jotter, 1963

[Life, September 27, 1963. Click for a larger view.]

The Parker T-Ball Jotter is the first pen I remember using with pleasure, back in childhood. Yes, I was precocious, in some ways if not others.

I have been writing for a month now with another Jotter, one that long stood unused in a cup of pencils and pens near my desk. It’s an excellent ballpoint, and a perfect pen for writing comments on student writing: the T-Ball (T for tungsten) has just enough tooth to slow the pen down a bit and give my hand a measure of control. Neatness counts, especially when more and more students have difficulty reading anybody’s handwriting. What I most like about the pen though is that its design is virtually identical to that of my childhood Jotter.

This 1963 Life advertisement recalls a gone world, when everyone wore a watch and close to half of American adults smoked cigarettes. (The Report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health would be published on January 11, 1964.) I’m amused to see that despite the association of the Jotter with grown-up stuff, Parker was also selling to the young. Perhaps my first Jotter come from a Doodle Depot.

Related posts
Five pens (Jotter, no-name, Uni-Ball, Mont Blanc, Pelikan)
Last-minute shopping (1964 Jotter ad)

comments: 3

Matthew Schmeer said...

Great piece of Parker ephemera!

I use Parker Jotters on a regular basis--they are my go-to pens for most of my personal writing.

Adair said...

Sorry for commenting on an old post, but I have realized lately that Parker Jotters, which were ubiquitous once, are becoming harder to find. The ballpoint and the mechanical pencil version used to be available at drug stores and even some grocery stationery sections. Target once carried them too. Now, you can only find them at Staples, which requires a special trip. The Parker brand as a whole seems to have been displaced by Uni-Ball and Zebra. What a shame.

Michael Leddy said...

I used to see them at Wal-Mart. You’ll like what I’m posting tomorrow, Adair. (You too, Matthew.)