201 Hero (“201” 英雄), 1955(?) -1966

201b

This is a well-used 201 Hero ( “201” 英雄 ) from the Shanghai Huafu ( 华孚 ) fountain pen factory. The pen is the nicest copy of the Parker “51” I’ve handled so far. Parts fit well. Doesn’t feel too light or flimsy. Has a gold nib and what looks like a celluloid jewel on top of the cap.

There’re 2 interesting modifications to the “51” design: the faux “clutch ring” comprising a piece of plastic sandwiched between 2 thin metal rings, and a thin metal band with circular cutouts on the inside rim of the barrel (probably to prevent cracking but visually interesting too).

201d

Hero201innerring

Capped length: 12.6 cm
Uncapped length: 13.7 cm

This pen was very well-used and clearly much-loved. Ink flow is a bit dry and I think the feed could be fitted more closely to the nib. But the nib writes so smoothly regardless. (Worn down with regular use?)

I’ve more questions about this pen. Why was there so much blue ink inside? Why was it left to dry out when it was clearly well-used and so worn? How many people have owned it? How did it leave China in the first place? Where did it spend the decades?

201c

Have been trying to pin down production dates. Based on this source and others it seems the pen was made sometime between 1955 and 1966. 1955 was when the Shanghai Huafu Fountain Pen Factory (华孚金笔厂) launched its “Hero” brand of fountain pens. 1966 was when the factory changed its name to “Hero Fountain Pen Factory” (英雄金笔厂) (possibly due to events during the Cultural Revolution?).

If you’ve more information about this pen, please feel free to post comments. Would love to hear from you 🙂

201 Hero capped