While reading through Norm Swinford’s book, Allis-Chalmers Construction Machinery & Industrial Equipment, I came across a small blurb about the history of the Allis-Chalmers trademarks. There are several variations of the trademark or logo that the company used, and this little excerpt on page sixteen touched on them.
The article must have been written by Allis-Chalmers unless someone knows otherwise. It explained how the history of the trademark goes back to the 1860’s/1870’s when Edward P. Allis had just bought the old Reliance Works in Milwaukee.Allis hadn’t established an official trademark until 1887, and that was the beginning of the diamond seal design. The 1887 trademark was the first Allis symbol registered with U.S. Patent Office.
In 1901 four major manufacturing firms in U.S. came together to form one giant company. The Edward P. Allis Company, Fraser & Chalmers Company, Gates Iron Works, and the Dickson Manufacturing Company all merged together to from the Allis-Chalmers Company.There are a few variations of the logo at the turn of the century. The article also confirms the use of “variations with the diamond and seal format.” On April 16, 1913, the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company was officially incorporated out of the Allis-Chalmers Company, but I am not aware or haven’t been able to find out if the trademark changed when the name of the company changed. As far as I know, this trademark, or some form of it, was used up until the end of World War I.
In 1919, the company changed its look. This is where the iconic “A-C” was first showcased. All other variations of the diamond and seal trademark were pushed aside to make way for one common trademark that would signify the entire firm. In 1949 some minor changes were made when “Milwaukee” was removed and “Allis-Chalmers” was moved and straightened out. One thing I have heard, maybe someone can confirm this, is that each point on the starburst of the trademark signified a branch the company specialized in–steam engines, tractors, crushers, transformers, etc.
In 1965, the company changed the trademark once again. The new logo was adopted to make a “project an image of a vigorous Allis-Chalmers.” To go along with their new corporate symbol, the shareholders voted to change the name of the company to the Allis-Chalmers Corporation to “better identify the company.” The article from Swindford’s book exclaimed that over 300 designs were possible as a new trademark and they narrowed it down to the “A” and “C” monograms logo. It was stated that in 1966 the new trademark received an award as the most outstanding trademark in the U.S. from the Association of National Advertisers.
Allis-Chalmers asserted that their trademark was a symbol of “growth domestically and internationally and exercise great care in the use and protection of the trademark.” It was all about creating an identity that would become a symbol of the vast products they made. One can only imagine what company’s future trademarks could have looked like had the firm not been dismantled by the financial strains of the 1980’s.
Peterson, Walter Fritiof, and C. Edward Weber. An Industrial Heritage, Allis-Chalmers Corporation. Milwaukee: Milwaukee County Historical Society, 1978. 397.
“New Symbol Adopted By Allis-Chalmers.” Gadsden Times, July 29, 1965. Accessed May 25, 2015. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_MpGAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-f0MAAAAIBAJ&pg=2375,2789871.
Swinford, Norm. Allis-Chalmers Construction Machinery & Industrial Equipment. Osceola, WI: MBI Pub., 1998. 16.
“Allis-Chalmers Adopts Name: Allis-Chalmers.” Milwaukee Sentinel, April 20, 1971. Accessed March 25, 2015. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=U31QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IxEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6951,3842393.