PenHero 365: Parker 45 CT Arrow Burgundy

by Jim Mamoulides, January 28, 2010

Parker 45
Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen open

Parker introduced the 45 in 1960, naming the pen after the Colt 45 revolver, a marketing ploy to cash in on the popularity of Westerns in the USA, and in keeping with the numeric model theme Parker had adopted with the 51. The 45 is a direct development descendant of the Eversharp 10000 cartridge pen, the design acquired by Parker with the purchase of the remains of the Eversharp pen company in 1957. Parker was late to the cartridge pen game and the Eversharp patent gave the company an immediate low end line to market and use for other pen models. Parker kept marketing the Eversharp cartridge pens after the acquisition, while developing a Parker version, the 45, and with it a removable piston converter that would allow the pen to be bottle filled.

The first 45 models were brushed stainless steel cap pens with injection molded plastic barrels and section with a semi-hooded replaceable nib unit. In 1962, Parker introduced a plastic cap version of the 45, called the Arrow, with chrome trim and a stainless steel nib, in the colors Black, Burgundy, Grey, Light Blue, Dark Blue and Green. These were intended as school pens and were offered on hanging blister cards with five cartridges, according to Tony Fischier's article on the Parker 45.

Parker 45
Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen closed

This Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen is a full length, highly tapered, yet very light weight pen, weighing 0.4 ounce and being 5 5/16 inches long with the cap on and a long 5 11/16 inches with the cap posted on the end of the barrel. Parker 45s post very deeply and securely and I like the feel in the hand with the cap posted better than without.

Parker 45
Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen cap and nib detail

One of the nice things about Parker cartridge pens in general is that the all use the same cartridge, all the way back to the first model. The converters all fit, too. I like the convenience of cartridges when I use these pens as they travel well, slipped into a loop in my briefcase. Because of that, Parker cartridge pens are very simple to fill, insert the cartridge in the section, screw the barrel back on, and start writing.

Parker 45
Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen open showing cartridge

This Parker 45 has a fine stainless steel nib and it writes nicely. In general, my experience with 45s is that they are very reliable and good writers, and this one is representative. The firm nib has absolutely no writing character. You are putting ink on paper with a smooth nail. This pen was meant to be an inexpensive, reliable knock around pen for the school market, so dependability and durability are the key deliverables.

Parker 45
Parker 45 CT Arrow fountain pen nib detail

Parker made a lot of variations of the 45 from 1960 onward. What started as a cheap reliable pen eventually became higher end with Flighter, gold plated Insignia and the fancy Harlequin. The pens were offered with a variety of replaceable stainless steel and 14 karat gold nibs. A collector could be kept quite busy tracking down all the styles, including the Eversharp and Parker precursor models. These are bullet proof pens, great for daily use and a perfect lower cost collectible.

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