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Pen Company Ad Note

Wash pen co ad

The Industrial Revolution began in the United States sometime between 1820 to 1870. During this period the manufacture of all sorts of thing grew exponentially and led to the invention of things like the telephone and the light bulb.

This advertising note shown here is a survivor of the Industrial Revolution as it represents yet another aspect of the booming economy during the mid-1800s.

Pen manufacturers began to appear in the United States about 1858. One of these was the Washington Pen Company situated in New York. As with many firms, some years saw more business while at other times, especially with political uncertainty and the Civil War looming, things were more difficult.

So it was with the Washington Pen Company; by late in 1860 it was not doing a lot of business. Two former employees of the firm, George Harris and George Bradford, got together and formed their own pen company. Then they negotiated the sale to themselves of the Company’s machinery and equipment needed to manufacture the pens. By March of 1862 they commenced production of their pens under contract with the original firm.

Apparently the newly made pens too strongly resembled those made by the Company, and in 1864 it filed a lawsuit against Harris and Bradford in the New York Supreme Court for trade mark infringement. Proceedings went on for a while, but ultimately the case was lost.

As to the availability of this ad note, my personal observation of items similar to this being offered is that they are few and far between. There is also another aspect to this note that needs some explanation that I cannot give. Apparently, a fund with some sponsorship was established by this company. At the top of the note is the title Patrons Ticket. The lengthy text tells of the new distribution of funds in $100 units, and that such money will be given out “by lot at the close of each Ten Thousand gross of pens sold.” This seems to make the note something akin to a true lottery ticket, a concept I had not even remotely thought of when choosing this piece as my story item of the month.