A Brief Word

| April/May 1994

As we've told many of you before, we acquired a complete run of the Patent Office Gazette several years ago. There's a wealth of information to be found in these, despite the fact that they take up about 400 linear feet of shelf space. At the present time, we're working on a couple of different titles that will illustrate many of the early trademarks used by engine manufacturers. Also included will be trademarks as used on tractors, implements, farm equipment, and automobiles. Illustration 29/4/A shows Trademark (TM) 38,637 for the Uncle Sam engine that was made at Chicago, Illinois. Here's a company that's rarely heard of in collector circles. In fact, it is listed in the index of American Gas Engines, but no living examples have been found, at least to our knowledge. Directly below the Uncle Sam TM is one registered by the Johnston Harvester Company at Batavia, New York.

In 29/4/B we have the 1907 trademark of the International Power Company. Early on, trademark applications carried a sentence like, 'Claims use since 19.' For several years in the early 1900s, this information does not appear in the POG listings, although it might show on a copy of the TM application. The problem is that copies of these documents are getting rather expensive, and to send to the Patent Office for a large number of them would also involve a heavy expenditure of funds!

In 29/4/C we have the 'Reindeer' trademark used on engines sold by Deere & Webber. In 1906, Deere 6k Webber was a branch house that sold primarily John Deere-built products, although other items were included. At this time, it appears that the Root 6k Vandervoort engines made at Moline, Illinois, were sold by Deere 6k Webber, either under the Reindeer trademark, the R & V trademark, or perhaps both.

On page 130 of American Gas Engines is a brief description of the Detroit Auto-Marine Company. This TM application (29/4/D) was filed in 1905, so obviously the company goes back that far in the engine business, and likely somewhat further.

The C. C. Riotte Company is briefly described on page 423 of American Gas Engines. Beyond this, not a single copy of their Empire engine has emerged to our knowledge. In their TM application of 32,963 the company claimed use of the Empire trademark since March 3, 1898.

It is important to note that one cannot take the serial numbers shown with these trademark applications and send in for a copy of the trademark! The serial number shown was issued while the trademark was published, and only as a reference until it was determined whether there was opposition to its being issued. Once this period passed, the trademark was granted, and was then given a trademark reference number. This system makes trademark research very complicated, since it requires poring through at least two different sets of indexes to find a trademark. The indexes are sometimes rather vague, so this research project has also included a visual search of the trademark applications published each week.


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