Parker Jotter Ballpoint Evolution

The Parker Jotter ballpoint arrived in 1954, a few years after other ballpoints were already on the market. It was an instant hit with it's button actuator - most early ballpoints were capped models. The actuator was also revolutionary in that it rotated the pen refill with each click, thereby spreading wear evenly around the pen tip.

First-year 1954 models had

In 1955 the Jotter barrel was changed to plastic, not nylon. Later the barrel tip gained a metal nozzle due to 1954 models cracking.  Also in 1955 Parker offered a cap-actuated "51" Jotter.
In 1956 the clip was changed to a ridge style like the 21 pen, or an inverted trough, with a ball-shaped gripper
In 1957 the price was lowered to $1.95 and the T-Ball ink mechanism was introduced
In 1958 the clip acquired the familiar arrow style.
In 1962 Parker added the "61" Jotter with a cap-actuator.
In 1973 the button was changed from a rounded top to a flat top containing a Parker logo within. Although I've seen some modern Jotters with the old rounded button design.
In 1980 the cap threads were changed from brass to plastic.

In 2004 Parker offered the "50 Year" Jotter Jubilee in 2 main styles based on the Jotter Filigree from the 1959 NY World's Fair. The Special Edition comes in charcoal or blue steel. The Premier Edition comes in saffron yellow or licorice black with a sterling silver cap, button, and filigree sleeve.

Identification Guide:



Barrel type

Barrel tip

Clip style

Cap threads

Button top


nylon w/ ribs

bare tip





plastic - no ribs

bare or metal?

ridge w/ ball?





metal cone tip

ridge w/ ball














flat dish






    *see note

* I've seen a few modern Jotters with rounded button tops

Is this a 1955?
I've not seen the 1955 model in person, but I saw this on eBay which I believe is a 1955 model:

Note the smooth plastic barrel indicating 1955 & up. But the missing barrel tip protector dates this between 1954 and 1956-57.

The 4 original Jotter colors, plus the stainless "Custom" model.





  Custom / stainless

Here's a "color suite" of 1955-57 Jotters:

Other sites with Jotter reference material: