Collecting Parker “depression” pencils is what I would call linear fun. Structurally, there’s not much variation in the pencils themselves: no bewildering array of sizes, no odd variants of clips . . . at least, none that I’m aware of (consider that a challenge to those of you out there harboring such things, to send me pictures for sharing). There’s three basic types: some early ones which appear to be made from leftover Duofold parts, with black buttons on top; the Thrift Time models with the metal button on top; and the larger Premiere models with color matched tops.
No, about the only thing to do when you are hunting Parker depression pencils is to look for different colors. But, oh, how much fun that one simple task is! It’s been awhile since I’ve added any to this mini-collection, but at the Chicago Show three additional colors came my way, one from Jon Rosenbaum’s estate, and two from Pete Kirby:
Yes, that red one (the one from Jon) is really that red, calling to mind the “cherry red” Secretary pencils Sheaffer turned out. And that lapis . . . a very traditional Parker color, so it took a few minutes (and a check of my own pictures library) to realize that you just don’t see that color on a Parker depression pencil.
But the third one takes the cake:
If ever a pencil cried out for a matching colored button on top, it was this one (note the cheap gold plating common to all Parker depression models – in my opinion, an example that doesn’t show this kind of plating wear isn’t original).
“Camouflage,” a couple of guys told me the color is called, although I’m not clear whether that’s a formal name or a collector’s nickname. If it was an official name, it might not have been Parker’s, because I do have another pencil made from that identical plastic:
Charlie Harles sold me an unmarked pencil at the Ohio Show a few years back. I don’t question, given the trim, clip and shape, that it is a Moore.