Riker Electric Photograph Album

Original, oversize album of salesman's photographs of Riker Electric Trucks, Elizabethport, N.J., the  earliest "showroom album" we have ever seen; Riker's Elizabethport period commenced c. July 1899.  Wonderful views, including Mail Truck, Doctor's Runabout, hansom cabs (10 different), short-wheelbase  buses, "Special Delivery," ambulance, pie van, and more. (Itemized list below). 28 photos in all, on  original linen. "Irving Underhill / General Photographer / 17 Park Place (New York City)...." Photograph size 10-1/8 to 10-1/2 x 13-5/8.  Riker designed the first Locomobile, was first President of S.A.E., and a key auto pioneer.  Many with flamboyant, Gothic, or unusual styling, and some with exquisite pinstriping, paintwork, white tires, buttoned silk and inlaid  brocade trim, and more. Extraordinary richness of tone, crisp detail throughout, capturing in some instances the individual stitches of  upholstery, lettering on hubcaps, and many other fine details of these beautifully built vehicles.  In order of appearance:    1. U.S. Mail Truck . 2. Doctor's runabout . 3/4 side view. Foxed.  3. Doctor's runabout, variant . With rear-facing mother-in-law seat.  4. Hansom cab . Three-bow Victoria with landau bars, elevated rear seat.  5. Hanson cab, variant . With winterfront, no rear seat.  6. Outrageous Duryea-style long-wheelbase taxi . With high French-curve dash acting as windbreak. Rear-controlled, from open and  backless(!) rear seat.  7. Enclosed hansom cab . Open, forward-controlled.  8. Variant cab . Very high rear-control open seat, perhaps 7 feet high!  9. Taxicab . Rear open control on throne, semi-open passenger compartment.  10. "U.M.T. Co. Bus Line ." Open forward-control, plus 2/3-passenger open seat on roof . Remarkable raised skylight roof with eight  miniature beveled and frosted glass transoms. Interior capacity perhaps 10.  11. Piano-box-style van . Ornamental beveled-glass windows. "Newark Division / United Electric Company of New Jersey."  12. Light delivery van . "American Pastry & M'f'g. Company / Puritan Pies," with large painted logo of Puritan woman holding a pie.  Unique complex-outline ornamental beveled glass. White with double pinstriping, and exquisite hand painting of hubs, spokes, rims,  springs, and chassis rail.  13. Above , 3/4 rear view, door open. 14. Highly unusual "Special Delivery" truck . Enormously tall cab, low-profile cargo area with eight large glass panes. An exquisite  design.  15. "Heavy duty" open stake-body truck . "Riker Motor Vehicle Co. / Elizabethport, N.J. / New York Station, 104 W. 39th St." Large  horizontal steering wheel.  16. Variant truck . White body. "Moët & Chandon Champagne / White Seal / 'founded in] 1743." With bold Riker livery in white, on  black battery box. 17. Ambulance . 3/4 rear, rear door open, with richly quilted bed fully extended. White tires.  18. Rear-entrance touring . Stylized Renault/Napier bonnet but with rivets and louver panel elements; chain drive. Possibly a  Locomobile gas prototype? 19. Roadster with mother-in-law seat. One massive headlamp, lettering on Diamond Rubber tires entirely legible.  20. Very light box van . Two-tone, with elegant "Riker Motor Vehicle Company / Elizabethport, N.J." livery in gold. Unusual opera lamp,  with pinched glass windows.  21. Taxicab . Enclosed, very short wheelbase, forward-control open seat, with speaking tube.  22. Piano-box runabout . Three-bow Victoria, open mother-in-law seat about 6 feet high!  23. Flamboyant, beautiful taxicab , with original styling combining 18th, 19th and futurist design cues. Double front-entrance bent doors  open, showing their magnificent buttoned silk with plush brocade inlays. Rear open control.  24. Taxicab . Fully enclosed passenger compartment, forward open control.  25. Miniature Gothic bus . Short wheelbase, front open control, with open seat on roof.  26. Short-wheelbase bus . All open, drivers' plus three bench seats; wicker umbrella holder.  27. Taxicab . Unusual rear control, enclosed three-box body. 28. Runabout . Top down.  In original plain, blind-paneled dark brown heavy-duty sailcloth binder, green leaf endpapers. One later piece of kraft paper tape,  presumably covering a marking, on inside front board, possibly removable by a conservator. Some foxing on a few photos only, balance  fine or better. The earliest - and largest-format - photograph album for any marque that we have had. $3750.00  

Automobiliana and History of Transportation

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A One-of-a-kind Collection

354 different pieces, some decorative, of the trade-mark specimens for automobiles, trucks, and specialty motor  vehicles, as individually printed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, upon formal registration of each marque.  Together with an additional 593 old file copies and photostats, the entire archive of 947 items believed to have been  part of the master file of the Patent and Trademark Office itself. Spanning the first half of the twentieth century, and  including some nineteenth-century references, these documents trace the rise of the motor vehicle industry in  America, including the trademark registrations for the first Chrysler, the first De Soto, the first Mercury, the first  Oldsmobile, icons such as Auburn, Checker Cab, Duesenberg, Rolls-Royce, Tucker, and many more.    These remarkable documents include the venerable logos of some of the most important marques in motoring  history, in the form of the very documents that crowned those trademarks with legal standing. They may be said to  be the “birth certificates” of each respective marque, model, or logo, variously. No other original specimens are  believed to survive. A brief sampling includes:  • American Austin (1931), Auburn (1933), Bauer Cab (1926), the first Checker Cab (1922), the first Chrysler (1924), Chrysler Imperial  (1931), Chrysler Town and Country (1951), Citroen (1952) (the foreign marques registered their trademarks in America in order to sell  here), Continental Flyer (1934), the first De Soto (1928), Diamond T (1948), Dodge (1953), Duesenberg (1930), Elcar (1916), Essex Super  Six (1927), Fageol Twin Coach (1929), Ford Victoria (1953), Gramm trucks and buses (1927), Hibbard & Darrin’s “Silentlyte” automobile  bodies (1930), Hudson (1930), International Harvester (1947), Jordan (1927), Lagonda (1936), LaSalle (1927), Lincoln (leaping  greyhound, 1928, “used since Dec. 1, 1924”), Locomobile Jr. (1927), Mack Truck (1949, “first used 1911”), Mercury (applied for 1938, one  year before production began), Oldsmobile Futuramic (1948), “A Thoroughbred on Wheels” (a custom car, 1940), and many, many more,  from the most famous to the most obscure. Some are unlisted in the Standard Catalog of American Cars and other reference works.  Before an automaker could enjoy full protection for the name of their car and its logo, they would submit the information to the Patent  Office (and still do). Following a search and approval, the Patent Office would set up by hand a likeness of the logo or name on their small  letterpress (later offset) and run a tiny handful of sample imprints.  One of these proof specimens was sent to the car company’s attorney or officer, one to each regional Federal records center and  depository library, and the balance, usually just one original, was kept in the master file at the Patent Office. (Then as now, a corporation  cannot “own” a trademark: it was applied for by their attorney or representative, who then, in a legal process, would transfer rights to it  to the automaker.) As the years passed, the number of patents and trademarks being granted in all fields grew exponentially, and the  Patent Office’s files burgeoned. Many of the automotive marques of the Teens, Twenties and Thirties in their files became defunct, no  longer with legal currency, and with no one to renew them. So some time after World War II, they and the other depositories commenced  the purging of their files, microfilming them, then discarding the originals! (It is said that Patent and Trademark compendia and public  documents literally began to consume entire floors of depository libraries. These kinds of documents were among the first to be  microfilmed, upon the advent of that then-new technology.)  Around the late 1950s, a C.I.A. officer in the Washington area who was also a keen student of automotive history, heard of this  destruction, and was successful in rescuing these items. By the 1960s, his unique collection, valuable both for reference and as historical  documents, was sold to Harry Pulfer, the foremost authority on auto emblems, and friend of Bill Harrah. Pulfer used these trademark  specimens both as the most accurate and reliable source of dates and styles of auto emblems (in most cases, they record not only the year,  but the month and day that an emblem was first affixed to the car), and as precise likenesses upon which to base his reproduction  emblems. In some cases, the documents were especially invaluable for their exacting images of emblems and logos for which original  badges and nameplates were so rare that none could be found.  Following Pulfer’s passing, the archive was bought and sold several times, at one point their binder holes being reinforced with white  paper rings.  Many of the trademark documents reveal interesting detail: the 1953 Dodge logo was “first used Nov. 12, 1914”; the Lagonda, Rolls-Royce,  S.S. (forerunner of Jaguar), and other foreign logos were registered in America in preparation for selling here, but it is judged that the  number of such cars imported before the war ranged from a few to none. Many of the trademarks are surprinted upon their expiration  twenty years later. Because of the provenance of these documents, the office markings found on some, and their origination from the Washington area, it is  believed that these are the actual originals comprising the working files of the Patent Office itself. These are not to be confused with pages  torn from mass-printed issues of the Patent Gazette, or with modern photocopies from microfilm still available today from the Patent  Office. In all events, no other such collection of documents has been located anywhere, and each probably represents the most important  seminal artifact that can be collected for that make and model. Three-hole reinforced punch in wide blank margin by later collector  affecting no text, occasional clerical markings of Patent Office and underlining in Pulfer’s hand, variously; minor edge wear or toning,  else generally fine or better, and many pristine. Each now believed unique: today, the Trademark and Patent Office has only microfilm  copies -- made long ago, posited from the originals offered here. Some years ago, a single piece from this archive - the original script  trademark for the Corvette - was purchased by the Corvette Museum for 1,800.00. • Including some old sheets with multiple different  trademarks of a single manufacturer mounted together, their legal boilerplate text trimmed away to save file space, plus old white-on-  black photostats, some prewar, and 1950s-60s-style photocopies of others, added to the archive. Also with letter of provenance.  At a time when the American automobile industry has shrunken to a tenuous threesome, it is daunting to look back at these original  documents, each giving rise to one of hundreds of different makes and models, almost all now gone. It is possible that by the time these  words are printed, the automobile scene will have changed further still. Request 30 page complete list, no charge by e-mail. With packet  of about 45 sample photocopies, $25.00 by postal mail. 

Oliver Evans

Document Signed of Oliver Evans, generally regarded as the builder of America's first recorded automotive vehicle, the "Orukter  Amphibolos." This vehicle was powered by the first high-pressure steam engine - another Evans invention.  A document in which Evans sells "Cole" (coal), possibly for a steam engine. "Received July 15th 1803 of William Price Thirty Seven  Dollars for Eighty bushel Cole & 10 bushel fine Salt in full." Bearing his ornate signature with paraph. 2-1/4 x 6. Another receipt,  probably unrelated, penned on verso in another hand.  Unquestionably, by virtue of its signator and date, the most important Philadelphia auto-related item, the most important Pennsylvania  auto-related item, and the most seminal historical artifact relating to the history of the automobile in America, that we have ever had.  Even before the American Revolution, construction of a land-carriage propelled without animal power was an obsession of Evans.  "Produced under contract from the Board of Health of Philadelphia for the purpose of cleaning the city docks...during the second week  of July 1805, the vehicle moved under its own power. Further demonstrations followed at Centre Street (the site of Philadelphia City  Hall today)...."--Standard Catalog of American Cars. After its one-and-a-half-mile journey through Philadelphia's streets, it would serve  as the first steam-dredging machine in America. A fascinating individual, Evans also invented the elevator, the conveyor, the drill, the  hopper-boy, and the descender, all of which revolutionized flour manufacture. Called the "Watt of America," Evans was also the first to  build high-pressure steam engines, used to power his vehicle. (Englishmen Vivian and Trevithick, sometimes erroneously given credit,  had access to Evans' drawings.) Mounting evidence, some edge toning, else about fine.  Evans' autograph is excessively rare in any form. In the last thirty years, this is only the third example we have seen on the market, one  being a signature torn in half and remounted! Attractive for display.  The earliest American "automobile"-related item one could hope to find, dated the very year that Evans began construction of the  machine.  $3750.00