Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Manjeco

Since I’m a sucker for a name of which I’ve never heard, this sad little pencil proved irresistable:


The name it sports in an oval near the top is “Manjeco”:


You might think I’m about to offer you a revelation about this pencil from my new trademark book, but “Manjeco” isn’t in there for two reasons: first, when the application was filed, it was filed in the general jewelry category (28), not the paper and stationary category in which writing instrument trademarks are filed:


Trademark application serial number 146,382 tells us that “Manjeco” is a contraction of Manufacturing Jewelers Export Company, Inc. of New York, New York.  Note that the mark is claimed for use on a wide variety of jewelry and other metal items . . . but not writing instruments.  The applicant claimed to have first used the mark on February 1, 1921, which is about right for this pencil.

The other reason you won’t find the Manjeco trademark in American Writing Instrument Trademarks 1870-1953 is because as odd as it seems, it appears that registration of the mark was never granted by the patent office.  Typically, this would be due to an objection filed by someone who claimed injury by allowing registration, or if the Patent Office Commissioner determined on his or her own that the mark was not entitled to registration.  The reason I think that is odd is because an internet search for “Manjeco” led me straight to the publication of the mark in the Official Gazette and not to anything else or anything similar, which would suggest to me that the mark is unique enough not to be confused with anything else.

However, a search of the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Patents did turn up another mark applied for by the Manufacturing Jewelers Export Company, Inc. which did provide a bit more information about the company:


On September 11, 1923, the company was granted registration number 172,590 for the “Barrycraft” trademark, also for jewelry.  The registration certificate indicates that George C. Hill was the Treasurer of the company, which was located at 54 Dey Street, New York.

A 1921 Bulletin of the Merchants’ Association of New York listed the company at 64 Maiden Lane, New York.  One other source, an online auction which appears to have shamelessly copied something from somewhere, states that Barton Allan Ballou and/or his son Frederick, who ran B.A. Ballou & Co. of Providence, Rhode Island, might have been instrumental in the company (one or both were apparently officers of the “Manufacturing Jewelers’ Board of Trade” as well as the “Manufacturing Jewelers’ Association.”

As for who made the Manjeco pencil, it was most certainly not the Manufacturing Jewelers Export Co.  There is a clue imprinted near the business end which might provide the answer:


“Pat. Pend.”  The nose cone on this one turns, but comes to a dead stop in either direction – maybe it’s a leadholder like the Mabie Todd/Hutcheon/Hallmark leadholders I wrote about recently (see “The Hard Proof” at http://leadheadpencils.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-hard-proof.html) . . .  and maybe it’s just all jammed up.  As with so many of these pencils, this one wasn’t meant to be taken apart after it was assembled, so maybe someday I’ll get it working, maybe not.  If I get it working, maybe I’ll be able to narrow down what’s going on inside and find a patent which was pending in the early twenties which fits the story . . .

Maybe not.

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