Lot of advertising materials related to the first all-in-one washing machine, the T. Horton Western Washing Machine, issued while the then current management of the company was engaged in a trademark infringement lawsuit with its founder who had moved on to another business

Lot of advertising materials related to the first all-in-one washing machine, the T. Horton Western Washing Machine, issued while the then current management of the company was engaged in a trademark infringement lawsuit with its founder who had moved on to another business

Bluffton, Indiana: 1879. Various. This lot consists of an illustrated 8-panel leporello (accordion-fold) brochure and a letter on illustrated letterhead, both enclosed in an illustrated advertising envelope. The brochure was printed in 1875, and the letter is dated 1879. The envelope is franked with a 3-cent green Washington stamp (Scott Type A46) and cancelled with a circular Bluffton postmark and small cork handstamp. All in nice shape; some postal soiling to the envelope, which is missing the tip of its upper right corner. The letter head features illustrations of the washing machine and two types of hand planters. The brochure contains those two images, in larger scale, plus two additional images showing the internal washing machine components. Very good. Item #009533

Sometime around 1871, Dr. Theodore Horton supplied the initial capital to establish a partnership with William K. Vandergriff and Rachel V. Blastone under the name of the T. Horton Manufacturing Company. Its first products, for which it held the patent, were “hand corn planters.”

The planters were very popular and with its earnings, the following year the company purchased a patent to an all-in-one washing machine it named “The Improved Western Washing Machine. The washing machine, which became an even more popular product than the corn planter, was a major time-and-labor-saver for housewives and advertisements proclaimed that “In short, The long-dreaded horrors of washday are dispelled, and pleasant recreation takes their place.”

Horton sold the company to his partners in 1879 and moved on to New York and formed another manufacturing firm, which he also named the T. Horton Manufacturing Company. He retained ownership of the original building in Indiana, which he rented back to the company, as well as interest in sales of both its corn planters and washing machines.

He did not, however, agree that the original company could continue to operate as the T. Horton Company or to promote its products. After a series of legal disputes, the courts decided that only Horton could retain and use the company name, T. Horton Manufacturing Company, but that the original company could continue to market its hand-planters and washing machines as “Horton” products. For more information, see Price’s American Trade-mark Cases Decided by the Courts of the United States, and Wonning’s A Year of Indiana History - Book 1.

Rather scarce; OCLC shows only four Horton brochures or catalogs are held by institutions; none hold any Horton letters or illustrated advertising envelopes.

Price: $150.00

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