Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Early 1900`s Railroad Supplies Johnson Mfg. Co. Diamond J trademark

      Example of Early 1900`s Railroad Supplies
         Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Tin Cup
Johnson Manufacturing Co. Urbana Ohio
Diamond J trademark

This blog was written to help others with their research on old tin and galvanized iron railroad artifacts with the Diamond J trademark and give a basic manufacturing date window. Sellers and buyers may find this information useful.

The Diamond J trademark belonged to the Johnson Manufacturing Company of Urbana Ohio. Here is a photo of the trademark.

Diamond J trademark

This trademark is on the bottom of a tin cup that is stamped ACL RR. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was in operation from 1900 until 1967, when it merged with longtime rival Seaboard Air Line Railroad to form Seaboard Coast Line Railroad.

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Here is the text taken directly from the Historical Marker at the old Johnson Manufacturing Company building in Urbana Ohio.

" The Johnson Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1902 by brothers James B., J. Will, Isaac T., and Charles F. Johnson, all of Quaker heritage. The company manufactured tin and galvanized iron ware for railroad lines across the United States. The initial product was the No. 1 long-spouted locomotive oiler with the patented dripless spout. That was quickly followed by other types of oil cans, signaling equipment, engine buckets, tallow pots, torches, track inspection devices, tin cups, and caboose and cabin car lamps, all carrying the Diamond J trademark. The makers created the patterns and everything was cut, riveted, and soldered by hand. As production expanded, the original frame building at 605 Miami Street was replaced by a brick structure in 1910, the southernmost part of the present building. Subsequent additions expanded capacity and the Johnson Manufacturing Company became a national leader in the manufacture of railroad operating supplies. During the Great Depression, the Roll Rite cigarette roller, poultry waterers, and hygrometers were produced from patented Johnson designs. About 1939, the firm turned from railroads to the trucking industry, designing and manufacturing air and vacuum reservoirs for brake systems. In the 1970s, during the presidency of Charles F. Johnson III, the historic original building was restored, a product museum created, the 75th anniversary of the firm celebrated, and a permanent collection of original art, including work by Champaign County artists, hung in the firm's offices to honor the heritage of the company and the community." 
Notes: The Johnson Manufacturing Company, abandoned and overgrown.
As you can see after reading the company history above, they manufactured railroad operating supplies from 1902 until the late 1930`s. I found this to be a very good source of information.

Recently, I sold one of these cups (I have 3) on eBay. The buyer said it was not old and wanted to return it and claimed it was not as described. Here is the buyer`s comment on the return form:

" I ve communicated with the mayor of Urbana, a major RR collector, and a sheet metal company. Though they may be incorrect, the consensus is the cup isn t as old as listed. An identical cup with a paper label for March of Dimes dated 1949 recently went unsold on e-bay."

I sent the buyer this history to prove my cup was from the early 1900`s and told them that their sources were wrong and that comparing a March of Dimes cup with a Railroad cup was like comparing apples to oranges. The 1949 March of Dimes cup was probably made from the retired railroad cup pattern that was no longer being used.

I hope some may find this amusing, as I am trying to see the humor, instead of taking ownership of it.

The pitfalls of trading on eBay are quite tiresome. While I reap the benefits of the millions of people who view my items, the ones that abuse the system and the few actual crackpots I have encountered make it questionable.

I am also hoping that from this blog I can let it be known that I have a web store of my own.
If you are looking for railroad, military, vintage watch parts and other collectibles, please visit my web store Sunday Historical. I sell genuine items. There are also reproduction items available. I try to give a history of the item if it is available, hense, the name Sunday Historical. If you don`t want to click on a link, paste www.sundayhistorical.com in your address bar.

Thanks for viewing this blog and your comments are welcomed.

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