Nibs

The Parker 75 nib started out in life by being stamped out from a thin sheet of solid 14K or 18K gold.  Solder the tipping material of the approximate size  and form the desired size.  

Here you see an unfinished nib while it is flat, unpolished and without the cut to form the two tines.  When that is done, this flat piece will be curved for fitting onto the black plastic feed.

Update of 12-31-2004


 

 

While most Parker nibs were made from gold, there were a few made of other metals, which are listed in increasing scarcity:

Parker 75 nibs were offered in a multitude of widths from the narrow accountant super-fine to double broad. Also various nib styles were offered along with the range of widths.  This style specified how the ball of the tip was cut. This would affect the variation of the line widths depending on the stroke of the writing. The available styles were:

 

Style

Description

Normal

For general use, this style had a rounded tip.

Oblique

The ball of the tip is cut at an angle (about 30 degrees to the left, resulting in a chisel-like appearance. Sometimes also called right oblique.

Reverse Oblique

Also chisel-like in appearance, the ball on the tip is cut an at angle to the right.

Italic

Like a stub nib, this one has a straight horizontal cut. The difference, however, the cut had a sharper edge allowing for good variations in widths, from extra fine to broad.

Stub

Straight cut horizontally but with some rounding at the tip.

Except for the first month or two of its production which did not have any marking, Parker engraved the size and style on the black plastic feed attached to the nib for the entire model. The size and style was first engraved as digits and later replaced with letters representing the nibís width alone. A list of such markings are given in the tables below.

Please note that there were significant design changes between the 14K and 18K nibs. The latter could only fit into the last sections without the triangular grip and having the thin gold band. Upon removing the nibs from their sections, the design changes become readily obvious.

In the picture above, the 18K section and nib are placed on the left and the 14K components are on the right. Notice the combed collector on the 18K and how much larger it is. Therefore the inner diameter of the 18K section is substantially larger than the same for the 14K section.

Also note the nib size is usually stamped on the underside of the black plastic feed, either as a number or letter.  This is not always the case though as I have several samples where nothing was stamped.  

The following tables show the nib size matching each stamped value.

 

14K US

The following information was obtained from a Parker 75 nib guide brochure printed in April, 1967. To see a side-by-side comparison, click here.

Mark

Description

61

Needle. An extremely fine point for precise figure work.

62

Accountant. Very thin lines with a delicate touch generally considered for bookkeeping work.

63

Extra fine. Very fine line with a light touch.

64

Steno. Fine point adapted for shorthand use.

65

Fine. Fine line for general use with a moderate pressure.

66

Medium. Optimal for average writing pressure producing an average line width.

67

Broad. Excellent for general writing to produce a thicker width.

68

Extra broad. A large round tip producing very wide lines.

69

Fine stub. A flat nib, omitting the normal round tip, intended for delicate shaded writing. It produces a wide line on the vertical stroke and thin line on the horizontal stroke. This nib was intended for people who write with the slightest slant in their pen.

70

Medium stub. A wider flat nib for shaded writing. It produces a noticeable variation in line widths between the vertical and horizontal strokes. It was intended for people who write with a slight slant of the pen.

71

Broad stub. A wide flat nib that produces a large variation in line widths between vertical and horizontal strokes, adding a significant flair to the written words.

72

Extra broad stub. The widest flat nib available from Parker. Very wide vertical strokes and thin horizontal strokes that adds a lot of flair, somewhat reminiscent to the writing found in the US Declaration of Independence.

73

Stub thin music. A flat nib thinner than the fine stub nib that was intended for sheet music writers. It permits the user to write small musical notes.

75

Medium right oblique. It has the largest surface on the right side of the point.

77

Broad right oblique

79

Medium left oblique. For those who slant the pen when they write. It has the largest surface on the left side of the point. Intended for left-hand writers.

82
83

Fine Arabic
Medium Arabic

Intended for shaded print-writing. Good for those who hold the pen nearly vertical to the writing surface.

88

Extra broad executive with a HUGE ball tip.

97
98

Fine italic
Heavy extra broad italic.

With a flat and broad edged point, this nib was especially designed for italic writing with contact to the paper typically at an angle of 45 degrees.

 

14K (585) France

This nib guide below is for the later model sections with the thin gold band that lacks the triangular grip as shown here.  This information was obtained from the brochure Parker issued in August, 1991 which you may see by clicking here which also included this nib number table.

Click here to view a side-by-side comparison of these nibs.

 

Mark

Description

11

Needlepoint

32

Fine oblique

33

Fine reverse oblique

34

Fine italic

35

Fine oblique italic 15°

38

Fine oblique italic 30°

42

Medium oblique

43

Medium reverse oblique

44

Medium italic

45

Medium oblique italic 15°

48

Medium oblique italic 30°

52

Broad oblique

53

Broad reverse oblique

54

Broad italic

55

Broad oblique italic 15°

58

Broad oblique italic 30°

61

Extra broad

62

Extra broad oblique

63

Extra broad reverse oblique

71

Extra, extra broad

72

Extra, extra broad oblique

73

Extra, extra broad reverse oblique

 

18K France

These nibs are used with the earlier triangular grip section for the Premiers or the later section with the thin gold band for the 75s.  To see a side-by-side comparison, click here.

 

Mark

Description

Normal

 

 

 

80

Needlepoint

 

81 or X

Extra fine

 

82 or F

Fine

 

83 or M

Medium

 

84 or B

Broad

 

85

Extra broad

 

86

Extra, extra broad

 

 

 

Oblique

 

For the right hand

 

87 or FO

Fine right oblique

 

88

Medium right oblique

 

89

Broad right oblique

 

91

Extra broad right oblique

 

92

Extra, extra broad right oblique

 

 

 

Reverse oblique

 

For the left hand

 

93

Medium reverse oblique

 

96

Fine reverse oblique

 

97

Broad reverse oblique

 

 

 

Oblique Italic

 

Nibs cut at 15° angle for the right hand

 

74

Fine oblique italic

 

75

Medium oblique italic

 

76

Broad oblique italic

 

 

Nibs cut at 30° angle for the right hand

 

77

Fine oblique italic

 

78

Medium oblique italic

 

79

Broad oblique italic

 

 

 

Italic

94 or MI

Medium italic

 

95 or BI

Broad italic

 

98 or FI

Fine italic

 

Update of March 27, 2005

Here is a Parker nib guide from 1991, with the interesting addition of French-made 14K nibs.

Update of December 18, 2005

Here is a hand-made nib gauging tool that Parker used to size the exotic nibs.  

 

The nib is place at the top where the channel is widest and then slid down until it stops.  Where it stops indicates the size of the nib.

 

Update of July 15, 2006

Here is a picture of the progression of how the nib is made.

 

Update of June 30, 2012

Here is a nib die for taking the imprinted and tipped flat nib to one with the characteristic curvature of the 75 nib see in step 3 above.

Update of December 31, 2011

As a supplement to the 14K US, 14K French, and 18K French nib comparisons, here are side-by-side comparisons of the range in ultra-fine to fine nibs available, disregarding gold carat content and country of manufacture.

61

62

63 (US 14K) or XF

11

80

F or 64 (US 14K)

14K

14K

14K or 18K

14K

18K

14K or 18K

US

US

US or France

France

France

US or France

Needle

Accountant

Extra-fine

Needlepoint

Needlepoint

Fine

Thin feed

Thin feed

Thin or thick

Thick feed

Thin or thick

Thin or thick

 

Here is a closer look at those nibs Parker labeled as needlepoint:

At least from this sample set of nibs, it appears as though the finest is the #61 14K US, followed by the 18K French #80 with the 14K French #11 having the largest point size.