January 22, 2016

Wirt v. Rivals court cases

  , and the testimony of L. E. Waterman.


       There’s nothing new under the sun.  Just as Ed Fingerman’s “The Trials and Tribulations of Arthur A. Waterman”, in The Pennant, Spring-Summer 1995, pp.1-3, dealt with the court cases between A. A. Waterman and L. E. Waterman before I did on L&P, and then again, here in this blog, so, too, were the court cases between Wirt and his self-perceived rivals.
       There are other court case transcripts floating around, such as the one above for the case of “Wirt v. Francis C. Brown”.  But I recently received a copy of a transcript of the court case “Wirt  

v. Lapham & Bogart”, the makers of the “Rival” fountain pen.  It’s an important case, not just for what it reveals about Wirt and his rivals, but even more importantly, it contains the testimony of L. E. Waterman just five years after he started his own company.  I was considering dissecting the case, but then I realized that it had already been done before, and not just once, but twice before, first by Michael Fultz in his “Lewis Edson Waterman, In His Own Words” on Penbid, [dead link] Nov 28, 2000, then by David Nishimura in “Lewis Edson Waterman Chronology” in his Vintage Pens blog on Mar 15, 2014, and both of them dealt with Waterman’s testimony almost exclusively.
       But given a choice, I would much rather see the transcript of the testimony of F. C. Brown!

George Kovalenko.