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  1. #1

    Arrow BOOKREVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index

    Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index

    Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index – Registered Unites States Trademarks of Domestic and Foreign Watches and Clocks 1870-1960; published 2004, by Trafford (www.trafford.com/robots/03-2164.html) for Historymania, Greencastle PA; $27; ISBN 14120 1787 4; 519 pages, 255mm x 200mm, Lending copies available at the Library and Research Center in Columbia PA

    Trademark Indexes are invaluable research and identification tools, which every collector and researcher who deals with factory made, branded goods wants and needs. For evaluating and appreciating Kurtis Meyers’ book, the first major new book in this category in decades, it however is necessary to digress into horological publishing history.

    In horology the trademark “bible” has long been Karl Kochmann’s pioneering work “Clock & Watch Trademark Index – European Origin”. First published in the 1970s as a manually compiled listing of a few hundred trademarks on under 100 pages, it grew organically trough the authors lifelong hunt for first hand evidence, and through a global network of correspondents, to the 1000 page sixth edition of 1992, the last produced by Mr. Kochmann himself, who by then was in his 70s. It lists nearly 10’000 trademarks or variants thereof, based on 35’000 observations or data points. Kochmann deserves the eternal gratitude of the horological community for not only introducing most of us to the importance of trademark research, but also for collecting and publishing the data in a time before computers and databases were standard tools of research and publishing. Kochmann's books were produced mostly on a manual typewriter, the image trademarks hand drawn by the author. (The current, hardbound edition of Kochmann has been re-published by a third party, and is essentially a photo-mechanical reproduction of Kochmann's own last edition.)

    The strength of Kochmann's work relies on its vast diversity of sources, but the process of its creation also is the roots of its limitations: Not all sources were equally reliable and the thoroughness of the fact-checking varied over time, leading to numerous errors and a organizational structure of the final volume that baffles novices, and sometime challenges even longtime users. I doubt there is anybody who would describe that book as “user friendly”.

    And this is where Kurtis Meyer steps into the picture with his new book. He set out to create a horological trademark index by a process that is diametrically opposed to the one used by Kochmann. The publication aims only to take trademark information from one source and make it easily available to his fellow horologists. The result is a book that looks and feels “clean”, and is easy to use. Myers systematically mined the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office for all horological trademarks – both wordmarks and images – that were registered in this country between 1870 and 1960. In other words it documents “trademarks claimed and issued” (rather than “trademarks observed”) and thereby drastically reduces the “clutter” from all the unregistered trademarks (and variants of registered trademarks) as well as the obscure marks of small overseas makers who never intended to market their timepieces in America, and whose goods are hardly enountered by collectors in this country.

    The main part of the book is organized alphabetically by registrant. The registrant may be a manufacturer, a “private label” marketer, or a U.S. importer or agent for a foreign based entity. (The main entry includes date of registration and the date protection was grated.) Because of cross indexing organisation by registrant does not present problems, and provides the added benefit of documenting hard to find information on who represented which foreign makers in the US over time. The book shows photographic reproduction of the image and word logos as filed with the authority, and thus avoids the inherent pitfalls of images hand copied from clock plates and redrawn over generations.

    A book that labels itself an “index” of course is only as good as the indexes that provide alternative ways of getting into the main body of the text. Beside a comprehensive alphabetical index of about 400 entries, the book features a most compact and very useful pictoral index, which makes it very easy to identify picture-only or illegible trademarks. The whole book is well organized, and easy to use even for the casual and novice user.

    There is no doubt that Myers’ work contains fewer trademarks than Kochman, but it is infinitively easier to use, and it will provide a quick answer to 95%plus of your questions. I predict that this new book will become a standard reference work for the American horological collector and researcher. For those unusual and tricky conundrums the more experienced researcher will certainly also want to keep a copy of Kochmann at hand, but “United States Horological Trademark Index” by Kurtis Meyers is bound to be an indispensable part of any well stocked horological bookshelf.

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki (New Jersey)

    5 March 2004




    Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, pob 386, Sussex NJ 07461

    NAWCC Life # 174
    Chair, NWCM Library and Research Center Committee


    You can reach me at horology@horology.com
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

  2. #2

    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index

    Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index – Registered Unites States Trademarks of Domestic and Foreign Watches and Clocks 1870-1960; published 2004, by Trafford (www.trafford.com/robots/03-2164.html) for Historymania, Greencastle PA; $27; ISBN 14120 1787 4; 519 pages, 255mm x 200mm, Lending copies available at the Library and Research Center in Columbia PA

    Trademark Indexes are invaluable research and identification tools, which every collector and researcher who deals with factory made, branded goods wants and needs. For evaluating and appreciating Kurtis Meyers’ book, the first major new book in this category in decades, it however is necessary to digress into horological publishing history.

    In horology the trademark “bible” has long been Karl Kochmann’s pioneering work “Clock & Watch Trademark Index – European Origin”. First published in the 1970s as a manually compiled listing of a few hundred trademarks on under 100 pages, it grew organically trough the authors lifelong hunt for first hand evidence, and through a global network of correspondents, to the 1000 page sixth edition of 1992, the last produced by Mr. Kochmann himself, who by then was in his 70s. It lists nearly 10’000 trademarks or variants thereof, based on 35’000 observations or data points. Kochmann deserves the eternal gratitude of the horological community for not only introducing most of us to the importance of trademark research, but also for collecting and publishing the data in a time before computers and databases were standard tools of research and publishing. Kochmann's books were produced mostly on a manual typewriter, the image trademarks hand drawn by the author. (The current, hardbound edition of Kochmann has been re-published by a third party, and is essentially a photo-mechanical reproduction of Kochmann's own last edition.)

    The strength of Kochmann's work relies on its vast diversity of sources, but the process of its creation also is the roots of its limitations: Not all sources were equally reliable and the thoroughness of the fact-checking varied over time, leading to numerous errors and a organizational structure of the final volume that baffles novices, and sometime challenges even longtime users. I doubt there is anybody who would describe that book as “user friendly”.

    And this is where Kurtis Meyer steps into the picture with his new book. He set out to create a horological trademark index by a process that is diametrically opposed to the one used by Kochmann. The publication aims only to take trademark information from one source and make it easily available to his fellow horologists. The result is a book that looks and feels “clean”, and is easy to use. Myers systematically mined the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office for all horological trademarks – both wordmarks and images – that were registered in this country between 1870 and 1960. In other words it documents “trademarks claimed and issued” (rather than “trademarks observed”) and thereby drastically reduces the “clutter” from all the unregistered trademarks (and variants of registered trademarks) as well as the obscure marks of small overseas makers who never intended to market their timepieces in America, and whose goods are hardly enountered by collectors in this country.

    The main part of the book is organized alphabetically by registrant. The registrant may be a manufacturer, a “private label” marketer, or a U.S. importer or agent for a foreign based entity. (The main entry includes date of registration and the date protection was grated.) Because of cross indexing organisation by registrant does not present problems, and provides the added benefit of documenting hard to find information on who represented which foreign makers in the US over time. The book shows photographic reproduction of the image and word logos as filed with the authority, and thus avoids the inherent pitfalls of images hand copied from clock plates and redrawn over generations.

    A book that labels itself an “index” of course is only as good as the indexes that provide alternative ways of getting into the main body of the text. Beside a comprehensive alphabetical index of about 400 entries, the book features a most compact and very useful pictoral index, which makes it very easy to identify picture-only or illegible trademarks. The whole book is well organized, and easy to use even for the casual and novice user.

    There is no doubt that Myers’ work contains fewer trademarks than Kochman, but it is infinitively easier to use, and it will provide a quick answer to 95%plus of your questions. I predict that this new book will become a standard reference work for the American horological collector and researcher. For those unusual and tricky conundrums the more experienced researcher will certainly also want to keep a copy of Kochmann at hand, but “United States Horological Trademark Index” by Kurtis Meyers is bound to be an indispensable part of any well stocked horological bookshelf.

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki (New Jersey)

    5 March 2004




    Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, pob 386, Sussex NJ 07461

    NAWCC Life # 174
    Chair, NWCM Library and Research Center Committee


    You can reach me at horology@horology.com
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

  3. #3
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    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    This appears to be a great resource. It is very easy to order on line. I can hardly wait to get my copy.

    Charlie Davis, La Verne, CA
    Charlie Davis, La Verne, CA
    http://www.JapaneseClockLogos.com

  4. #4

    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Am I correct is concluding, from a visit to the nawcc library, that the kochman book covers only european and english trademarks? Is the book of use to someone interested in American watches?

    Modersohn

  5. #5
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Modersohn,

    You have concluded correctly, that Kochman's book is not particularly useful for researching American trademarks. While it does have a few American items in it, those are quite limited in scope and includes only those makers that bothered to register in a European country. As Fortunat says, the main focus is on European maker's marks (especially Austrian, English, French, German, Swiss).

    John Hubby, Secretary
    The International 400-Day Clock Chapter #168

  6. #6

    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Does the book cover watchcases also?

  7. #7
    Principal Administrator John Hubby's Avatar
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    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Hi Jerry,

    I've just done a quick check and it appears there is no differentiation between clocks, watches, or whatever. I noticed a jewelry and watchband maker, a couple of traders, etc. among the clock and watch marks, so it's my guess that watch case makers would be there too.

    John Hubby, Secretary
    The International 400-Day Clock Chapter #168

  8. #8
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    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    I have recieved my copy and am pleased to have it. It represents a lot of work and will be helpful to the many collectors of clocks and watches that were sold in this country during the first sixty years of the 1900's.
    It does have watch case trademarks.
    I hate to be negative but there are a few places where typos showed up. One was a spelling checker overlooking where "here" ends up as "hear."
    I will miss an alphabetical listing of the company names. The indexes are of the trademarks and the logo drawings which do not contain any letters.
    My problem centered around the positioning of the Japanese companies where their position was determined by listing them under the equivalent of Company Incorporated rather than their name. This put Hattori (the maker of Seiko and Seikosha under K rather than H.
    It also appears that the logo for Saltzman on page 376 is upside down.
    I only checked a few of the logo index but the page numbers for the first Ansonia should be 13 rather than 12 and the second one after that should be page 17 rather than 12.
    As one who has been dealing with several hundred Japanese logos and half again company names I take off my hat to Kurtis Meyers from binging this important information to us.
    I was also impressed with the print on demand and the attention they paid to customer service.

    Charlie Davis, La Verne, CA
    Charlie Davis, La Verne, CA
    http://www.JapaneseClockLogos.com

  9. #9
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    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Your question about trademarks of before 1900. I looked at the book in a way that reflected my interest in clocks. I have the feeling that the established companies had their trade names already established by 1870 and things were in enough of a flux that any names they used to identify their hundreds of clocks were not important enough to Register. Just look at the names used in any clock catalog of pre 1900. In this book Ansonia is only listed once prior to 1905. Seth Thomas is not listed at all. Ditto New Haven and Jerome. Ingraham has 4 prior to 1900 and they all are case styles--Doric, Grecian, Ionic and Venetian.
    Waterbury Clock and Watch has several before 1900 but mostly about watches.
    All of this is probably related to changes in trademark laws and customs.
    Charlie Davis, La Verne, CA
    http://www.JapaneseClockLogos.com

  10. #10

    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    From the Book...


    What is it?

    The United States Horological Trademark Index is a complete list of all trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office between January 1870 and December 1960.
    The references include illustrations as well as information detailing either Filing or Issue date, Use since date, and type of product Claim. Each listing has as it's illustration a copy of the original mark claimed. If there is more than one mark under a specific company they are then listed chronologically.

    A Portion of how to use it.......
    Many foreign Manufacturers did not have a presence in the United States other than through a distributor or importer. In this case their name will not be listed alphabetically in the main body, but rather will be listed in the index. While researching your item, please be sure to look for company name alphabetically in the main text section, as well as in the text-based index. IF THE MARK YOU SEEK WAS REGISTERED IN THE U.S., BARRING ANY EDITORIAL OVERSIGHT, IT WILL BE HERE. Happy Hunting!!!

    To me, this book is OUTSTANDING!!!!

    It carries the ONLY written record (other than at the Patent and Trademark Office) of OFFICIALLY PATENTED U.S. TRADEMARKS IN EXISTENCE.

    I have read thousands of Patent pages, with hundreds of DEAD files on patents, a ton of junk, with an unsurmountable amount of useless information, and I am absolutely THRILLED with this book.

    There are so many illustrations out there that have no legal reference at all, and this book makes the distinction between the two.
    At last, there is a book that gives us the valuable information we can all use.

    I personaly think this book is a wonder.


    PS If the reference to Seth Thomas was about this book, Seth Thomas IS listed in it.

  11. #11

    Default REVIEW: Kurtis Meyer; United States Horological Trademark Index (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Are there one or two books that everyone uses for American trademarks? I"ve looked around for a while, and there are lots of books. The book vendors generally don't describe the contents, so I haven't been able to choose a couple that would be most inclusive and also, of course, most useful.

    My focus is watches of all kinds, but I'd also like the important clockmakers, silversmiths, etc, if possible, for American watches and clocks.

    Modersohn

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