Tradename/Patent Database

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September 16, 2015 at 10:34 PM #23948


Chapel Member jch02140 has kindly shared a valuable resource furnished by another Chapel Member, David MacMillan ( a database that matches type design patents with their commercial tradenames. It is especially useful for faces introduced after 1874, when identification of the intended tradename was prohibited from design patent applications.

The information was originally published by Alastair M. Johnston and Stephen O. Saxe,¹ who credits this research to the late Jane W. Roberts. Mr. Saxe has converted the book version to a “live” spreadsheet that may be edited and sorted alphabetically, chronologically, etc.

It may be viewed/edited with Apache OpenOffice, an extensive suite of free, open-source applications resembling (and semi-compatible with) Microsoft Office products (more below). It is available for mainstream Windows, Macintosh, Linux and other operating systems.

The file extension for the spreadsheet is .ods, which must be opened with OpenOffice “Calc.” Calc can also import/export .xls files native to Microsoft Excel. Incidentally, I highly recommend Calc, which I used to build (and export as an HTML file) the v-e-r-y complex spreadsheet for Table 3 of the featured article on J.F. Cumming.

Besides the spreadsheet, a PDF of the current version may be downloaded. I have suggested a correction, so it may be wise to wait for this update—stay tuned!

¹Johnston, A.M.; Saxe, S.O. [Editors] (2009): William E. Loy|Nineteenth-Century American Designers and Engravers of Type, pages 146-153. Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, DE.


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