I Guess That’s Enough Science For Now

by Steve Mitchell

A couple of weeks ago I wrote, here, about my new Parker Jotter pens.  Well, one was new and one was gently used.

I very much dig those pens but I couldn’t shake the feeling they were slimmer than I remembered.

It surely seemed to me the pens I used in high school had thicker barrels.

What to do?


All I needed was a pen from back in the day.

I’ve never liked the phrase ‘back in the day.’

No one ever said that, ahh, you know…back then.


I sailed the eBays and looked high and low and, lo, I found and bought myself another Parker Jotter.


I do like the red…

This time I made sure to get a pen from roughly the same years as the pens I used in high school.

It’s a new-old-stock Jotter made for Parker’s 25th anniversary.  Arrow Park is the name of the factory where they used to make their pens.  You can’t see it but the pen has the years 1953-1978 printed on the barrel as well.


This pen was made around 1978.  I started high school in 1982, four years after said pen’s date of manufacture.  Ergo, if the pens I remembered from my high school days were larger than the current pens, this pen would also be larger.


Let’s take a look:


memory and reality clash


They look pretty close to me.

Is the red maybe a teeny bit bigger?


equally handsome…


Alas.  It’s optical trickery.

They are, basically, as nearly as I can tell, exactly the same size.

The older pen, however, with its brass threads, is heavier.


what heavier looks like

It has the heft and feel I remember.  And, weirdly, it feels larger in my fingers. It’s the psychology of the extra weight at work, no doubt.

But I’ve checked and double checked.

If Parker Jotters used to be thicker, it was before my time.

I’m a little baffled.

I’m a little disappointed.

But, hey!

Now I’ve got three Parker pens.

Another win for science!