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Boston Fountain Pen Company


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#1 Roger W.

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Posted 10 June 2009 - 20:54

OK, kinda restarting where the Boston June 1917 ad thread left off with the following three paragraphs -

"When I wrote about the patent rights I knew they were in Brandts name which was interesting to say the least. I think we are at least getting our hands around a make sense explaination of how the purchase went down. Anyone knew if there are any Brandts left that might know the story (David, anything there?)? Failing that, I agree that Wahl was ill prepared to buy Boston heck, they don't seem to really get there head in the pen game until 1923 when they drop the Tempoint name. For years when they did start making pens in late 1917 (why the delay?) they made Boston's with a Tempoint name - no innovation beyond some of the designs being different - I don't believe Boston had any Greek Key patterned pens for instance.

So Keeran thought he pulled of a coup but Wahl fired him later that year. That is a pretty clear message that Wahl thought he had screwed up royally - speculating a bit there. The only thing he had just contributed was the pen purchase which Wahl did very little with in 1917. I'd say Keeran was on the right track to make the purchase and had the vision that Wahl lacked but it did not serve him well as he didn't know what he bought. Did his firing coinside with Wahl figuring out that they were going to have to pay Brandt royalties for what they thought they had bought outright? Did the stink of this deal take months to roll out as Wahl figured out what they didn't own? Maybe that is why Keeran gets the sack.

So Wahl proceeds with the acquisition but, has to cut costs. They don't need the heavy machinery so they sell it to Moore. There has to be some form of negotiation with Brandt after the sale over the patent rights, wheather another purchase or paying royalties. Keeran's not a part of that so we don't have any information. So Mr. Roberts follows thru with the purchase maybe, buying a bit into Keerans dream at the sale, and then regretting deeply that he had. Wahl seems to have treated some folks very well and Keeran gives us the story that he was treated very badly. Based on the 1918 Wahl balance sheet $50,000 does not seem to be an amount that would really hurt but, if Wahl had picked up other unwanted expenses beyond the original deal all the blame would fall on Keeran and seems to have."

So that is where I left off and I'm waiting for Pat Lotfi to get back to me on the same. Well, I spoke with the City of Boston a year ago and I was going thru and found another interesting date in my notes - January 5, 1922. OK, so I call Boston again because I failed to note exactly what this was. Well, two gentlemen filed for and received permission to Do Business As: Boston Fountain Pen Company. So Wahl either did not get the name or failed to keep said name registered at a level that would preclude these gentleman so filing. It appears that they did not do anything noteworthy with it as there the trail seems to end.

Roger W.



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#2 Wahlnut

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 07:30

Your last piece of information seems to corroborate that the Wahl Company did not buy the Boston Pen Company entire because if they had they would have gotten the name and everything else that belonged to the Brandts and then Wahl would have sold them off to Moore. Rob Astick, has a pretty good handle on Moore and the Brandts and he has said that moore goit a piece of the Boston Fountain Pen Company outright.

From what I have pieced together it was an asset purchase and only Mr. Keeran's letter which generally describes the transaction as a buy out that causes us to believe that it was so. We have no idea of Mr. Keeran's precision with words, nor his business acumen. Ask most salesman inventor types today about a merger/acquisition/buy out and they have no full idea about the terms. Look at the underlying/controlling contract however and the terms are crystal clear (at least in legalese) and there are terms and conditions all over the place. That was probably what took the Wahl attorney's the time Keeran refers to in the final stage of the deal.





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#3 Roger W.

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 19:58

Syd;

I'm sure Keeran thought only in the grand picture as you say however, Keeren states that the lawyers had to handle some details but, he does not break with having "bought the whole works". I think he might have mentioned that they failed to buy the company but they got xyz instead. Also, no one to this point has provided documentation that Moore was in on the deal or, in fact, got any of Boston's assets. Well, you say that Moore made pens identical to Boston. Moore also got three key individuals from Boston who would have been intimate with Boston design so the fact that Moore made identical pens is hardly proof. I think it time we try going on hard facts as much as possible. I've requested the tax records for Boston Fountain Pen Company and they should be available in a few weeks.

Roger W.

#4 Wahlnut

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 23:02

QUOTE (Roger W. @ Jun 11 2009, 12:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Syd;

I'm sure Keeran thought only in the grand picture as you say however, Keeren states that the lawyers had to handle some details but, he does not break with having "bought the whole works". I think he might have mentioned that they failed to buy the company but they got xyz instead. Also, no one to this point has provided documentation that Moore was in on the deal or, in fact, got any of Boston's assets. Well, you say that Moore made pens identical to Boston. Moore also got three key individuals from Boston who would have been intimate with Boston design so the fact that Moore made identical pens is hardly proof. I think it time we try going on hard facts as much as possible. I've requested the tax records for Boston Fountain Pen Company and they should be available in a few weeks.

Roger W.

\
Cool! that would be neat to see.
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#5 rhr

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 09:11

QUOTE (Roger W. @ May 20 2009, 7:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is a Boston Safety Fountain Pen ad in the Chicago Tribune on June 1917.

Could you post a copy of the ad? And by the way, what day in June, for those of us who would like to look it up?

You also asked Syd for the "Tempoint" trademark date. The most important bit of information in the trademarks is not the issuing date, but the date that the trademark is said to be "first used in commerce", which can often precede the issuing date by many years. In this case, the "Tempoint" trademark wasn't issued until Apr 20, 1920, but it was used in commerce since Oct 15, 1917.

TESS test: TM

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Edited by rhr, 13 June 2009 - 01:34.

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#6 Roger W.

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 14:56

George;

First in use is exactly correct, I just usually have a hard time finding trademarks. Could you give me the link as I hate TESS so that I may print up a copy for my reference? Thanks. I'll give you the date of the ad as it is a Chicago Tribune archive piece they make you understand that it may not be used without permission. June 14, 1917.

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Edited by Roger W., 12 June 2009 - 15:03.


#7 Wahlnut

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 16:38

Thanks George for citing the trademark date. The next filing date I have involving "TEMPOINT" is the August 31, 1920 date when the TEMPOINT handwriting style/nib selection chart was "patented". The patent number is 1351564. Here is the chart. Of note is that the filing date for this chart was March 24, 1919! That is well over a year for approval.



The idea of the chart device was to demonstrate to the authorities, that Wahl had developed a "scientific" way of mating a person's handwriting style to a pen point that would be best suited to that style. The whole mating process was further outlined in the patent application. Even before patenting, the chart showed up Wahl Pen ads starting as early as the March 8, 1919 Saturday Evening Post. That's a couple of weeks before the application was filed with the govt.


For whatever it is worth, the name TEMPOINT was meant to convey that the pen points were "tempered" and springy. That claim and the fact that Wahl nibs are known to be capable of being very flexible and sought after then and today by pen users seeking flexible nibs, goes back that far. I will have to look up when it was that Wahl installed their gold plant, but it was very early. The first Tempoint Ad says that the Pens (nibs) are hand hammered and such that they are "impervious to the harmful effects of caustic ink acids...Unaffected by had continuous writing. Never become sprung." That may be of interest to people wondering where the name TEMPOINT came from.

SYd

Edited by Wahlnut, 12 June 2009 - 16:50.

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#8 rhr

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 01:41

QUOTE (Roger W. @ Jun 12 2009, 6:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Could you give me the link as I hate TESS so that I may print up a copy for my reference?

You're right about TESS, Roger. It's awful. It only shows the "live" trademarks, and as soon as a trademark is not renewed and becomes "dead", it is taken off the database. That's a terrible thing to do, from the historical researcher's perspective. Well, a lot of the Wahl-Eversharp trademarks are preserved from going dead because Parker took over Eversharp, but they did not renew the "Tempoint" trademark, I assume, because it is no longer on TESS, and you can't print it out. The other thing about TESS is that it doesn't allow the posting of a link to a trademark. You can try, and the link will work for about 10 minutes, but then it times out, and becomes dysfunctional. Otherwise, I would have posted a link.

I went to the Chicago Tribune archive, but couldn't find the June 14, 1917 ad. What did you use as a search term? Did it cost you $3.99 to print it out? That's what they seem to want to charge me.

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Edited by rhr, 13 June 2009 - 11:09.

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#9 rhr

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:01

QUOTE (Wahlnut @ Jun 12 2009, 8:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of note is that the filing date for this chart was March 24, 1919! That is well over a year for approval.

Syd, that's not too long an approval period. Take a look at the Parker Jotter ballpoint patent. The application was filed in 1953, and wasn't issued until 1965! And how about the Edison patent for his version of the telephone? It's called a "Speaking Telegraph", because it was still so new, and they hadn't standardized the terms and figured out what to call it, yet, but it was filed way back in 1877, and wasn't issued until 1893!

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Edited by rhr, 13 June 2009 - 02:02.

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#10 rhr

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:12

Roger, I think I may have found a way around the TESS system to post links to the TMs. I did a test in one of my old posts above, and the link is still good, so here's the trademark for the Double-Checks Eversharp TM.

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#11 Wahlnut

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:42

Thanks again George,
Now that is one of the early trademarks referring to fountain pens that I was remembering. And it is a pivotal one too.

If John Roberts' sworn statement was true , Wahl Adding Machine Company (The Wahl Company) was prepared to enter the fountain pen business in December 4th 1917, when they say the began using it for Pencils AND fountain pens and pen points. In their ads and other material from 1918 and 1919, they plainly state that the 2 checks represent the 2 lines of product one check made by a pencil and one made by a fountain pen. It is clear in this trademark drawing that the 2 checks marks are very different one to the other, and their difference is in line with their advertising. So maybe Wahl was not so befuddled about whether to get into the fountain pen business or not. Perhaps their befuddlement was over buying some or all of Boston Fountain Pen Company as their way of doing so.

I had forgotten how old that trademark was.
Syd





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#12 Roger W.

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 02:55

QUOTE (Wahlnut @ Jun 13 2009, 02:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks again George,
Now that is one of the early trademarks referring to fountain pens that I was remembering. And it is a pivotal one too.

If John Roberts' sworn statement was true , Wahl Adding Machine Company (The Wahl Company) was prepared to enter the fountain pen business in December 4th 1917, when they say the began using it for Pencils AND fountain pens and pen points. So maybe Wahl was not so befuddled about whether to get into the fountain pen business or not. Perhaps their befuddlement was over buying some or all of Boston Fountain Pen Company as their way of doing so.


Well, Wahl had bought Boston 11 months earlier so they sure weren't high speed about it at all. Tempoint comes in October 15, 1917 and they (Wahl) advertised Boston Safety in June 1917. Keeran may have been on board to buy Boston but Wahl was very ill prepared to say the least. So almost into a year of owning a fountain pen they were finally committed to doing something with it. I like the early pens of Wahl, well they are practically Boston's aren't they, but I've never seen Wahl's management as anything more than a bunch of baffoons. As some corporations do it seems their success hinged more on luck than skill. I admire that when they took over Boston they kept the quality - very different to the story of Conklin being brought to Chicago.

Roger W.

#13 pen2paper

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 03:03

question.. could the status of WWI, materials/manpower, been an issue in their waffling purchase, and start-up?

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#14 publius

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Posted 13 June 2009 - 04:32

QUOTE (pen2paper @ Jun 12 2009, 10:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
question.. could the status of WWI, materials/manpower, been an issue in their waffling purchase, and start-up?
Not to mention the little-known Great Depression of 1920-21! There was a great deal of economic upheaval right about that time, & I think any management could be forgiven for having difficulty figuring quite what to do ; the newly-formed Federal Reserve System started right away doing ill-conceived things, & hasn't stopped yet. rolleyes.gif

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#15 rhr

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 09:54

What is the earliest use of the name "Boston Safety Fountain Pen", and what was the safety feature?

On ancestry.com, one of those commercial genealogy websites, I searched the phrase "boston safety fountain pen" in their "Newspapers & Periodicals Collection" database, and it returned 29 Boston ads ranging between the dates 13 Sept 1912 and 21 Dec 1916. Did they start using the name about 1912? That's the year that Parker received its patent for the "Jack Knife" safety cap, but the application was filed in 1909. Wirt also had a threaded safety cap patent in 1910, filed in 1908. There were other patents for safety caps around 1911.

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#16 Roger W.

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 13:45

George;

Safety and Boston are seemingly about the same thing. In a December 1904 ad, the same year the pattents were awarded, Boston is touting their "Safety Pen Chamber, patented August 23, 1904". They even state the pattent date! The last paragraph clearly stating "The Boston Safety Fountain Pen is first, last and always a clean pen." I have one pen that has a pre safety pen nib on it, absolutely all the others are marked safety and in our database there are 85 pens. If anyone would like to contribute to our database that would be appreciated.

George, on those ads on ancestry most are serial store ads so there are about five different ads altogether. The most important is the one that touts the new lever and that is late in 1916 so Boston doesn't seem to have had the lever very long at all before they are sold.

Roger W.

Edited by Roger W., 14 June 2009 - 13:48.


#17 rhr

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 18:56

QUOTE (Roger W. @ Jun 14 2009, 5:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Safety and Boston are seemingly about the same thing. In a December 1904 ad, the same year the pattents were awarded, Boston is touting their "Safety Pen Chamber, patented August 23, 1904". They even state the pattent date!

So here we are, talking about Eberstein again. ;~) That August 23, 1904 patent is one of his, and it's for a feed with "auxiliary slots" that acted as storage reservoirs, and prevented flooding of the nib with surplus ink, thus making it more clean and safe. So that's the safety feature, not a safety cap? That must have come later when they started using threaded caps. You'd think that they would want to cite the July 5, 1904 patent with a threaded cap with a true, removable inner cap. Now, that's a nice safety cap. I like the fact that it doesn't require a special inner-cap-pulling tool. You just knock out the inner cap with a punch rod through the hole at the top of the cap.

Where is this database of 85 pens? Is it on your website? Do most of those 85 pens have this inner cap?

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Edited by rhr, 14 June 2009 - 21:52.

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#18 rhr

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 20:28

Syd and Roger, what do you know about the Colonial Pen Co., which merged with the American Fountain Pen Co. to become Boston Fountain Pen Co. around 1904?

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#19 Roger W.

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 22:34

George;

To the best of my knowledge American Fountain Pen Company survives until 1917 when it reorganizes as Moore. Colonial might be the direct precursor to Boston but, there is little concrete on this. Dewey as a trademark seems to have passed from Colonial to Boston but, I'm not sure what it means - how firmly it links the two companies.

Roger

#20 antoniosz

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 02:58

From "The Trademark Reporter" Vol. 7 1917 in the dicsussion of Isaac E. Chapman, Et Al. v. L. E. Waterman Co. (163 N. Y. Supp. 1059) New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, March 23, 1917):

"In May, 1899, Arthur A. Waterman formed a copartnership with Edson E. Dewey, under the firm name of A. A. Waterman & Co. This firm continued until December, 1900, when it was dissolved, and all the assets of the copartnership were assigned and transferred to the Colonial Pen Company to satisfy an indebtedness to that company."


From "Obsolete American Securities and Corporations, Illustrated with Photographs of Important Repudiated Bonds", by Roland Mulville Smythe, 1911

"Colonial Pen Co. Incorporated in Maine. Three years' franchise taxes unpaid 1903"


From "The Debris: Being the 14th Year Book of Purdue University", 1902

"The Colonial Pen Company: MANUFACTURERS OF THE HIGHEST GRADE OF FOUNTAIN PENS

The best equipped factory in the world, superior skilled workmen under the personal supervision of its manager, MR. AUGUST EBERSTEIN, conceded to have brought out more perfection and beauty of finish in fountain pens than any other man.

The line of Dewey Perfect Self-Filling Fountain Pens is perfect, as the name implies. Thousands of these pens have been sent out to all parts of the globe, an unconditional guarantee with each pen "If not satisfactory money refunded." Never has one asked for refund up to date. Its advantages over all others: Dewey's Self-Filling requires no ink filler, has no threaded joints to soil fingers, never runs over in filling because filled by vacuum process, never sweats nor blots from the heat of the hand, it writes the instant it touches the paper. Unlike all other fountain pens, will write as perfectly with one drop of ink as when full, contains pure gum rubber reservoir, warranted for two years. Can be replaced with new one at the nominal cost of 150. Nothing but the highest grade of hard rubber in black, mottled, and mounted, i6-karat gold pens; prices from $1.50 to $6.00. Send for catalogue and mail price of peii wanted, which can be exchanged for any other pen, larger or smaller, and when we fail to satisfy, cheerfully refund your money. This pen is named for EDSON E. DEWEY, President and Treasurer of THE COLONIAL PEN COMPANY Factory: 31 Hartford Street, Boston 38 BROMFIELD STREET, BOSTON"


From "System" The magazine of business, Dec. 1904

"Boston Safety Fountain Pen
In Two Points Excels All Others
The Reservoir Feed, patented July 5, 1904, makes the dropping of ink from the end of the pen or blotting the paper impossible. The Safety Pen Chamber, patented August 23, 1904, absolutely prevents leaking and sweating, or soiling your clothes. In business life cleanliness is next to system. The Boston Safety Fountain Pen is first, last and always a clean pen SEND FOR CATALOGUE Boston Fountain Pen Co. 46 School Street, Boston, Mass"


Among the 7 patents related to pens from Aug. 23 only Eberstein's seems relevant to the ad above. Also as George said the July 5 patent is related to the cap.

Edited by antoniosz, 18 June 2009 - 06:51.







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