March 16, 2016

The Waterman’s Ideal Globe


Waterman’s pen without Ideal globe trademark, Am. Stat., Dec 17, 1896, p.1032.

[Posted on L&P on Dec 21, 2005, and Apr 24, 2012.]
        Rob Astyk wrote that the Ideal Globe originated from the logo that was used in the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  Does anyone out there have any pictures or illustrations of the Ideal Globe logo being used in the 1893 Exposition?  Perhaps someone who has researched the 1893 exhibition might be able to find some pictures of the Waterman’s exhibit.  In a quick look at the
“World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893” website, I found at least one photo called “Inks And Pens”.  The photo is from Hubert Howe Bancroft’s book The Book Of The Fair, and it appears on page 175 of Chapter 8, “Manufactures Of The United States”.  In another digitized version of the photo in the book A history of the World’s Columbian Exposition, the pens seem to be Esterbrook nibs, and the inks turn out to be Pomeroy’s.  There are no other identifiable logos that jump out of the photo.  One seemingly promising book turned up by the title Waterman’s Illustrated Album of the World’s Columbian Exposition, but it was published by the C. E. Waterman Co. of Chicago, and had pictures only of the buildings and pavilions and architecture.  There was even a souvenir photo by the Waterman Co. of the ferris wheel at the exposition, but no photos of the Waterman’s fountain pen exhibit.
        Looking at the Waterman’s trademarks, however, yields some clues. Although the trademarks for the words and phrases “Ideal”, “Waterman’s”, and “Waterman’s Ideal Fountain Pen N.Y.” were not applied for and issued till the early 1900s, they all claim that the first use of the words was on July 1, 1883 for pens(1), and 1888 for inks(2).  The latter date makes Waterman’s inks in the 1893 exhibit at least a possible item.  The two trademarks for the “Ideal baseball” logo weren’t issued till 1908, and were said to be first used on Sept 1, 1904(3).  By the way, I really like the term “Ideal baseball” for that logo ever since I saw it being used by an inexperienced seller on Ebay.  There are three versions of the “pen and globe” logo.  There’s an earlier logo, which I refer to as the “pierced globe” logo because it looks as if the pen is going through the globe instead of merely sitting behind the globe.  It was not used as much, and was quickly superseded by the more familiar “Makes Its Mark All Around The World” logo.  This logo appears in two versions, with the words, and without.  The earlier logo is distinguished by the pen slanting obliquely down from the left, whereas the two later logos have the pen slanting down from the right.  There is also no ink flourish surrounding the globe in the earlier logo.  Now, here’s a further clue.  All three of the “pen and globe” logos were said to be in use since January 1896(4).

Am. Stat., Sept 29, 1900, p.6.

Am. Stat., Aug 15, 1903, p.23.
        Maybe we should start looking sometime in the late 1890s for ads that might incorporate 

the logo, maybe even the earlier version of the logo.  The first Waterman’s catalogue in the PCA library to show the logo is the 1901 catalogue that was subtitled “Makes Its Mark All Around The World”.  Perhaps Rob mistook the 1893 Expo for the 1903 Expo, a more likely candidate.  Another clue as to why their logo might have made a much later entry into the market is that there was a major depression in the early 1890s that was brought on by volcanic eruptions that caused a  “year without a summer”, with accompanying crop failures and food shortages and local famines around the world.  Waterman’s had won a medal at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, so I kept expecting some ad announcing the win, but nothing showed up, so the depression must have taken precedence.  As well, the lawsuit against the Shipmans must have preoccupied them.  Here’s one of the first ads to feature the “Makes Its Mark All Around The World” logo, in New England Stationer, January 1903, p.1, and here’s one of the first ads to feature the “Waterman’s [Ideal-in-a-globe image] Fountain Pen” ad line, in Geyer’s Stationer, Jan 19, 1905, p.7, and later used as an imprint on their pens, in Geyer’s Stationer, Mar 3o, 1905, p.11, and Apr 13, 1905, p.64And the earliest ads I have found so far that feature the “Makes Its Mark All Around The World” logo are two ads from Olle Hjort’s website in The Century Magazine, June 1898, and in Munsey Magazine, June 1897, but none, yet, as early as 1893.

1. US trademark nos. 35,048, 35,849, 49,478, 49,715.
2. US trademark nos. 72,285, 72,286.
3. US trademark nos. 69,612, 71,855.
4. US trademark nos. 37,762, 48,230, 51,993.

Waterman’s RHR pen with Ideal globe trademark, Am. Stat., Mar 23, 1907, p.29.

George Kovalenko.


Addendum, Mar 21, 2016.
        David Nishimura just published an article on his
Vintage Pen News blog about “A notable early Waterman ad” from Our Society Journal, April 1886, p.17, featuring a globe in its layout.  It’s just a single, one-off occurrence, so far, but quite an early one, as David notes.  The design 
 of the globe is not close to any of the various trademark designs, since it’s just a simple globe 
with lines of longitude and latitude, without the word “Ideal” at the equator, and no outlines of any continents.  Instead, it has the words “The Best Fountain Pen” overlaid on it, and the words “Waterman’s Ideal” in a semi-circle above.  But best of all is the endorsement from W. L. Alden 
of the New York Times, who is quoted as having said that it is, “The best pen in the world”.  This together with the image of the globe shows the early origins and the literal meaning of the globe trademark.  The company name was still The Ideal Pen Co., so the trademark was simply a visual metaphor, or rebus for the phrase, “Waterman’s Ideal, The Best Fountain Pen In The World”.  
I guess I should have surmised that it was more than just a design element in the ad.  It was the early beginnings of a trademark.