Company logos hold clues to product history – AgriNews

Company logos are a quick message to customers that identify a product on a store shelf or in a television advertisement explaining quality or improvements. Very few have been changed, but many have been updated for a more modern look.

Clothing, hairstyles, and changes in lettering style made Morton’s Salt girl or Quaker Oats man look like contemporary customers, not an old-fashioned product.

The logo showing Morton’s daughter holding an umbrella has been in use since 1914 with at least seven changes, so that on her 100th birthday she had a knee-length yellow dress and short hair instead of braids. Look closely at old advertising collectibles and examine changes to help determine age.

Recently, a Sherwin-Williams cabinet used to store brushes sold at an auction in Conestoga for $425. The salamander logo, first used in the 1870s, has been engraved on the cabinet’s dating door as an antique.

The famous terrestrial globe covered in a dripping paint logo replaced the amphibian in 1905. It was used until 1974, discontinued, then brought back in 1984. It now shares space with the company name in fancy letters.

Online advertisements and new ways of selling have led to many vintage logos being updated or removed. Counterfeits are often made with the new logo, so collectors should check when the design was changed.

My grandfather gave me a bowl he found at a rummage sale many years ago. It is marked “Brentleigh Ware Made in England” on the bottom. It measures 11 1/2 inches long by 5 3/4 inches wide and 4 3/4 inches high. Can you tell me how old he is?

Brentleigh Ware is a trading name used by Howard Pottery Co. Ltd. in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. The pottery was in operation from 1925 to the mid-1970s.

Your large bowl may have been designed to hold whole fresh fruit. Brentleigh Ware is not widely known and a large bowl can sell for $20-40.

Current prices

silver bowl, flared shape, rolled rim, cylindrical foot, figural bird seated on rim, bird with mother-of-pearl inlaid trim, marked Mexico, 2 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches, $55.

Jewelry, earrings, oval rutilated quartz drop, sterling silver post and stud, Georg Jensen, 2 3/8 inches, $300.

Toy, vehicle, Martian flying saucer, red man in space, bubble top, rotating spaceman inside, tin lithograph, friction, marked TN Japan, 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 inches, $740.

Bottle, McKeever’s Army Bitters, red amber, embossed cannonballs and Civil War drum on shoulder, 10 3/8 inches, $3,570.

Point: If you keep wicker furniture indoors, make sure you have a humidifier or plenty of plants nearby. Wicker will crack if it is too dry.

About Oscar L. Smith

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