Thaddeus Davids Inks

Old Ink Bottle Companies & Their History

THADDEUS DAVIDS & Co.

Davids inks was one of the more successful ink manufactures prior to the Civil War.  The New York firm offered Black, blue, Carmine, Red, Japan, Copying, Indelible, and Marking inks along with Red and Blue Ruling inks, Sealing wax, Wafers, Ink Powders, Salts of Lemon, Lemon Acid, Adhesive Mucilage, Limpid Writing Fluid, Black Sand and Oiled Paper.

Thaddeus wrote a book entitled, The History of Ink, in about 1860 supposedly a beautiful specimen of typographic art. he patented at least one bottle design in 1859

In 1883, One of Davids' sons, George Davids, issued notes in the sum of over $200,000.00 much of which was not recorded on the books.  George, probably as a result committed suicide, but the company was left with only $125,000 in assets and many creditors.  The creditors included: John Dovell of the Dovell Ink Company, The West side Glass Company, probably makers of their bottles and a host of others.  By 1898, the company was bankrupt.

The company was reorganized and continued in business well into the 20th century.  Davids' early ink bottles are highly collectible.

In 1914, the company brought suit against a competing company for trademark infringement:

Thaddeus Davids Company, manufacturer of inks, etc., brought this suit for the infringement of its registered trademark 'DAVIDS." It was alleged that the complainant was the owner of the trademark; that it had been used in interstate commerce by the complainant and its predecessors in business for upwards of eighty years; that on January 22, 1907, it had been registered by the com- [233 U.S. 461, 464] plainant as a trademark, applicable to inks and stamp pads, under the act of February 20, 1905 (chap. 592, 33 Stat. at L. 724, U. S. Comp. Stat. Supp. 1911, p. 1459); that the complainant was entitled to such registration under 5 of the act by reason of actual and exclusive use for more than ten years prior to the passage of the act; and that the defendants, Cortlandt I. Davids and Walter I. Davids, trading as Davids Manufacturing Company, were putting inks upon the market with infringing labels. The bill also charged unfair competition. Upon demurrer, the validity of the trademark was upheld by the circuit court of appeals (102 C. C. A. 249, 178 Fed. 801), and on final hearing, upon pleadings and proofs, complainant had a decree. 190 Fed. 285. This decree was reversed by the circuit court of appeals, which held that there was no infringement of the registered trademark, and that the suit, if regarded as one for unfair competition, was not within the jurisdiction of the court, the parties being citizens of the same state. 114 C. C. A. 355, 192 Fed. 915. Certiorari was granted.  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=233&invol=461


MANUFACTURERS OF WRITING INKS, LIMPID FLUID,  Sealing Wax, WAFERS, MUCILAGE, ETC., ETC..,  127 and 120 William Street, WASHINGTON STORES, (Between John and Fulton Streets.] THADDEUS DAVIDS. MANUFACTORY, BENJ. POMEROY
EstabLished 1825.
Our STEEL. PEN BLACK INK was tested by the Moehados' Insulate in 1536, with two other well-known inks, to show their comparative qualities for permanence. The result shows our Ink to be legible, while the others are math laded. Dr. Chiffon's test, made in 1833, engraved facsimiles of which Black Ink is better adapted for State or County Records and for all purposes where it is Important that the writing should be legible fifty years hence, than Say other Ink now before the public. January 1st, 1858.

The Independent June 30, 1858


From the New York Times July 24, 1894

THE OBITUARY RECORD.

Thaddeas Davids.

Thaddeus Davids died at his residence, the old Underhill homestead, on Pelham Road, New-Rochelle, early Sunday morning. He had been a prominent man in West Chester County since the second quarter of the century, and until comparatively recent years he was an active figure in commercial life in this city. The Thaddeus Davids ink is a familiar and staple article of commerce, but eleven years ago the manufacture and control of this, and all the business connected with it, finally passed out of his hands.

He was-born Nov. 16, 1810, in the town of Bedford, West Chester County, N. Y. He was employed in the ink and stationery trade as early as and accumulated a large fortune early in life. He was once the owner of Davids Island, comprising eighty acres of woodland and tillable ground, lying in Long Island Sound off New-Rochelle. This he leased to the United States Government, which then had a military station on Hart's Island near by, (now owned by New-York City,) during the civil war. The Government afterward bought the island, which is now a recruiting station, and has lately been building a massive mortar battery there. Mr. Davids, after leaving the island, established his home on Echo Bay, New Rochelle Harbor. Since 1825. he had had no business interests, and for six years he had been confined by physical disabilities to one room. But his brain was as active as ever, and he retained his mental faculties to the end. His last illness was brief.

Mr. Davids had been thrice married, the last time, thirty-two years ago, to Miss Chase of Providence, R. I.. who survives him. He had twelve children, of whom eight sons and two daughters survive.

A full history of the Thaddeus Davids Company can be found on the FOHBC website

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