The total number of Trademarks covered in the book is over two thousand - 1,600 in whiskey and the remainder in gins, sundries, wines and malts. There's even one for the Bauer Cooperage Co. of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The format throughout volume 1 is uniform - eight trademarks to a page and the layout is simple: Brand Owner, City, State, Logo and the date of first usage. Interestingly, the Lanham Act of 1946, on which our current trademark law is based, outlines pretty much the same information, along with a certification of continued usage. In volume 2, larger, more elaborate labels, photos of bottles, etc. are listed. A few of these are reproduced here.

Some examples of the earliest dates of continuous usage: A. Overholt's Rye, Pittsburgh -1810, Cook's Ale, Boston - 1820 and Henry Bohlen's Gin, Philadelphia -1828. Mida had promised a third volume which would have taken him into the golden age of whiskey brand proliferation - the 1900's-1910's. I've never come across any references to it other than in his preface to volume 2, so I assume that the Trademark Law of 1905 put an end any future installments. And also, with prohibition looming on the horizon, he played it safe by publishing a Register of Confectioner's Trade Marks in 1903. The Mida register is extremely hard to come by. I bought my copy on eBay about three years ago and have found it extremely valuable in identifying brands on shot glasses and bottles. A true "don't miss it" if it ever comes up again. Meanwhile, I'm making my copy available in a searchable on-line format which can be accessed sporadically through Robin Preston's webpage,

A much more easily available source for trademark identification is Bob Snyder's "Whiskey Brands" which, with his latest supplement, contains well over 7,000 different brands - a steal at about $25 or so. By the way, the web site with its three different databases is quickly becoming a remarkably efficient way to research information on shot glasses. Give it a look.

In addition to federal registration of trademarks, many states had their own systems. One book I'm familiar with is Steve Abbott's "California Whiskey Trademarks 1864-1916" published in 1995. In two separate sections. Brand Names and Trademark Owners are listed alphabetically for easy reference. It also contains an interesting dissertation on what constitutes a "western" brand. This may still be available from Steve.

Drop me an email at and I'll be glad to give you whatever information I can on any of the publications I've referenced here. 

Happy hunting,   Howard Currier

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