PARKER Pens, the world reknowned pen producer, is joining for the second year the Prague Writers’ Festival ’99 as the Festival’s official pen.

”The Prague Writers’ Festival and PARKER are a natural marriage. The Prague Writers’ Festival celebrates great literary works. Its mission is to inspire us to write and read, to enjoy the written word. Likewise, PARKER’s mission is to bring pleasure to writing, to inspire us to write,” said Frank Symes, business manager of PARKER brand for the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. ”We are delighted to join and support such a magnificent event.”

Another non-profit endeavour of PARKER’s was an appeal for literacy campaign. In 1997, PARKER organized a worldwide campaign called Words of Inspiration Appeal in which notables from around the world contributed words of inspiration for children using PARKER pens into an anthology.This anthology was auctioned in New York in January 1998 and the proceeds from the auction were earmarked for UNICEF literacy programmes in third world countries. From the Czech Republic, many notables contributed their inscriptions including: poet, writer and scientist Miroslav Holub; senate vice-president and literary translator Jaroslava Moserová; writer Josef Škvorecký; writer, translator and president of the Czech PEN-Club Jiří Stránský; Olympic gold medallists Dana and Emil Zátopek and Věra Čáslavská, topmodel Tereza Maxová, Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Theodor Pištěk, Eva Urbanová and Jan Saudek.

PARKER pens originated in 1889 in Wisconsin, USA, where a teacher of telegraphy, George Safford Parker, had become tired of repairing his students’ pens and began to work on perfecting a fountain pen. The first pen of the famous mark, provided with full lifetime warranty, was born. Since then, PARKER pens have been present as witnesses of many historical events. Italian composer Giacomo Puccini wrote the opera La Boheme with a PARKER pen in 1896. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the Sherlock Holmes character and wrote his famous mysteries with a PARKER. George Bernard Shaw used a PARKER to pen the play Pygmalion in 1912, which later inspired the popular musical, My Fair Lady. And Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, used his PARKER 581 at Reims, France, to conclude World War II on the European front in 1945.

Throughout its over 100-year history, the PARKER brand has become so noted and prestigious that today it is synonymous with top quality and tradition.

The experts at PARKER are always mindful of the link between tradition and today. Last year, the producer introduced a new series of fountain pen called the PARKER Snake Pen. This modern, exotic version of the original Snake Pen first produced in 1906, is certain to become a rare and valuable pen, just as was its predecessor. The pen has a hand crafted snake design, coiling around the barrel, and brilliant emeralds shining from its eyes. Only 5,250 pens of the limited edition 1997 Snake Pens were produced world-wide; 5,000 are cast in sterling silver and just 250 in 18K solid gold.