Mount Vernon or Mt. Vernon?

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Mount Vernon or Mt. Vernon?

Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Apr 08, 2005 12:12 pm

Looking at Bonfort's 1910 issue here at the Filson you can find a couple of interesting advertisements. The first is a full page ad for "Mount Vernon Rye in the square bottle, the original". Later in the magazine is an advertisement for "Mt. Vernon Rye" and what makes it so funny is the by line - "The Appeals Courts say it is Authentic". John Lipman knows more about this legal battle and may want to comment upon it.

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Unread postby gillmang » Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:32 pm

That's a good one! It might be interesting to pull the court judgement on that one, I wonder how it could be located?

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Unread postby TNbourbon » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:29 pm

I wonder if Barton knew about it in their battle with Brown-Forman over Ridge"wood" Reserve 1792.
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Unread postby gillmang » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:59 pm

Well, there must be a line of cases (decided court cases) that were relied on. These would have showed situations that were felt analagous by B-F. Normally one would not need to go back the the late 1800's or early 1900's but sometimes that is done. My thought was if the 1800's judgement in the Mount Vernon case could be located it might contain historically interesting statements about rye whiskey of the time. E.g. maybe the court compared the colors of the products, tastes, production methods, etc. So I would find the case interesting not so much in a legal sense but for any light it may shed on the product category at the time.

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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:09 pm

There have been many cases of disputed trademarks over the years. This case, which John is more familiar with than I am, was early 20th century and dealt with confusion over the sale of the distillery, I think. Hopefully John will explain it in detail. If I recall correctly the distillery was sold but not the brand name so when the new owners started selling the brand they used "Mt." instead of "Mount" or vice versa.

There are other cases. Late 1890's there was the Taylor and Williams vs Wright and Taylor vs E H Taylor Jr. and Sons vs someoneelse who was not a Taylor, over the use of "Old Taylor" as a brand. Marion Taylor was selling Fine OLD Kentucky TAYLOR (capitals mine) as a brand and the courts found in favor of E H Taylor, Jr. Later there was conflict between Old Charter and Charter Oak. In the early 1960's there was conflict between Jack Daniel's and Ezra books over bottle shape and labels. This issue will be around as long as there are courts.

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Unread postby Strayed » Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:31 pm

What I know of this comes from a wonderful article that Baltimore Sun columnist James H. Bready wrote for the Winter 1990 issue of the Maryland Historical Society's magazine. I doubt if quoting the whole paragraph would be copyright infringement, so here goes.

Bready is giving examples of the increase in non-Baltimore rye distilleries...
"The noisiest invasion of all was in consequence of a decision by Hannis Distilling of Philadelphia to sell its Mount Vernon Rye (the brand, not the distillery). The buyer was the Cook and Bernheimer Co., a New York City wholesaler. But the decision left a Boston liquor kingpin, George W Torrey, apparently feeling jilted. He vowed reprisal. Taking over a Fleet Street brewery that the Wneke-Airey Co. had converted to whiskey-making (under the name Cecil Distillery), Torrey put out an imitation. His brand, also sold nationally was "The Only Original and Genuine Mt. Vernon Rye." The distinction between "Mount" and "Mt.," he calculated, would be lost on the multitude. In an advertising war, New York versus Boston, Cook and Bernheimer cried, "SQUARE BOTTLE"; Torrey, "ROUND BOTTLE." Mt. Vernon boasted that it was bottled in bond; Mount Vernon (which was not) boasted that it had won first prizes at world's fairs (Philadelphia 1876, New Orleans 1885, Australia 1887, Chicago 1893). And east Baltimore had its Mt. Vernon Distillery; west Baltimore, its Mount Vernon Distillery. Such shenanigans could not last, and did not. The public's favor remained with the square bottle. But absentee ownership was the main story, twice told. Before Prohibition and again after Repeal, outsiders took over, consolidated, and in time suppressed local whiskey making."

Ah yes!
More taste! :cheers:
Less Filling! :argue:

Hamburgers Fit for a King, Not for a Clown :pain10:

Some things never change; recently I've seen TV commercials in which a well-known home repair hostess, standing in front of a faded, vaguely familiar-looking logo from the '50s, assures us that, although other plumbing contractors may try to steal its image, there is only one true, original ROTO-MAN...
Unfortunately, the original (and for most people, the only) trademarked, TV-jingled plumber was (since 1935, and still is) RotoROOTER, not the one making the claim of originality. Either of those companies can help clear the way to where this form of promotion belongs, but it's still fun to watch 'em do it.

"... that's the name, and away go troubles, down the drain"
- TV jingle circa 1954 - present


"Same as it ever was; same as it ever was"
- David Byrne - 1976
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