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Trade Dollar

trade-mark, name, mark, business, patrons, articles, origin, customers and article

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TRADE DOLLAR, a former coin of the United States, containing 378 troy grains of sil ver and 42 troy grains of alloy. Trade dollars, issued under Act of Congress 12 Feb. 1873, were legal tender to the amount of $5. Those issued under the Act 22 July 1876 possessed no legal tender power. They were intended for trade with countries doing business on a silver basis. As silver depreciated in value the trade dollar de preciated, and speculators bought them abroad at 80 or 90 cents and circulated them in the United States, at face value. This was easy because specie payment had just been resumed by the government in 1875, and the public liked the silver. When the lower value was generally understood, and they continued to fall in price, they were objected to and gradually disap peared from circulation.

Certain marks or in scriptions set on manufactured goods for the purpose of establishing the identity of their manufacture or selection. An examination of the evolution and development of the trade mark in the United States of America is sub stantially an examination of the evolution and development of the vast commerce of our coun try.

Definition.— A is a mark or sign indicating the source or origin of the article to which it is affixed. Unlike a patent (q.v.) it is not a monopoly. In its very exist ence it evidences competition, and lays claim to a degree of superiority in such competition. A trade-mark may consist of a word or words, or of a symbol, design, device or picture; or it may be constituted by an original and dis tinctive shape or form of package in which the goods are packed or contained; or it may con sist of a combination of some or all of these elements; but in whatever form the trade-mark appears on the market, its office is either to in dicate the origin or source of manufacture of the article, or when used, as it may be, by the dealer who sells to the ultimate purchaser or consumer, but who does not manufacture or produce the article, it may then indicate selec tion or endorsement of the manufacture of the article bearing such dealer's mark Office of the Not only does the trade-mark indicate the source or origin of the goods to which it is attached, but it also performs the office of guaranteeing or assuring to the purchaser, whether he be an intermediate or an ultimate one, that the hon est skill of the owner of the trade-mark, the good quality of the goods, the carefulness of selection, the purity of ingredients or cor rectness of weight or measure are to be found in the articles to which such mark is affixed. Further than this the protected and defended trade-mark builds up for the manufacturer to whom it belongs that following in the market which becomes immensely valuable in apprais ing the goodwill of such a business.

The Origin of the introduction of the trade-mark into commercial use was natural, and when once effected rapidly became a trade necessity.

A chemist in the olden days prepared a mixture or lotion and recommended it to the customers of his shop, who found it effica cious. A shoemaker made shoes for his patrons which by reason of good quality and superior workmanship won favor for him among his patrons; so that these trades-people, pursuing their various lines of industry, not only retained their custom, but were recommended by their patrons to others, such customers becoming ac customed to resort to the shop of the one or the other of the tradesmen who supplied such wants, a habit which is known• in law as the goodwill of a business.

So long as the customer of the chemist transacted his business face to face with him in the sarne old shop, or so long as the shoe maker measured his patrons and delivered his goods to them in person, so long was it un necessary for such manufacturers to mark their wares.

Their customers and patrons obtained a per sonal dehvery and needed no other assurance or guaranty as to the genuineness of the articles purchased by them; but after a while, some of these purchasers and users of these various articles removed to other localities, and would desire to continue to use the same lotion or wear the same shoes; and they would order the same directly, if they could, or through some agent middleman if they could not; and then in the latter case, to quiet any apprehension which suc.h customers residing at a distance might feel regarding the genuineness of the articles de livered to them, the chemist would affix a label to the bottle or jar containing the lotion, which would bear his name and address; and the shoe rnaker would mark on some part of the shoe his name and address; after a while the pro ducers of these various articles found that the mere use of their name and address. while con stituting a good and sufficient indication of the origin of their products, was nevertheless sub ject to several matters of inconvenience; the first was that perchance many of the customers could not read; and the next was, that the use of the name of the manufacturer alone was at tended by a legal difficulty, to wit, that while a man's name would Constitute a most perfect trade-mark, yet any other man bearing the same name had an equal right to use it, provided he did so honestly and fairly, and if engaged in the same line of business, a trade confusion would naturally and often did arise, as wit ness the Brown Iron Bitters case.

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