A resounding silence met Elizabeth Ragan's query about six weeks ago
concerning a stamp on the bottom of jam jars. We awaited the reply with
interest as we had an example in our own collection - but none came. After a
while I sent a message off list to her.
I thought that after recent exchanges perhaps Britarch was ready for
something completely different! so I would like to share with you all the
answer which Elizabeth eventually got from 'Histarch'. Though we still don't
know who actually made the jars. Perhaps someone can suggest another avenue
Here it is with the sender's name at the bottom:
I had always thought that this was an ingenious mark by the Maling Pottery,
which had two factories at Ford, England; but your query prompted me to
contact the Maling Collectors Society. Mr. David Holmes of that group
assured me that they were not made by Maling and was able to provide a
reference to the registering of the trademark. THE F(retrograde)MF stands
for Food Manufacturers' Federation, Inc., 22, Buckingham Gate, London,
S.W.1, which applied for use of the trademark in 1928. This is in the July
11 Trade Marks Journal but the source I have is the August 1, 1928, Pottery
Gazette and Glass Trade Journal, p. 1233, which illustrates the mark "which
will always appear either moulded or stamped on the bottoms of the pots and
This indicates a fairly late date, consistent with seeing these frequently
at U.S. flea markets, etc. Similar jars of course were made for a long
period of time. I ran across a Pearson & Co. ad illustrating a very
similar form, with grooved sides, in an 1895 supplement to the Pottery
Gazette. W.P. Hartley marmalade came in a similar form, too, but with
distinctive impressed lighthouse mark.
Unfortunately, unlike U.S. trademark and patent registrations, the British
one does indicate whether the FMF trademark had been used for a period
prior to its being registered in 1928.
James L. Murphy
Ohio State University Libraries
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus OH 43210
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The mark also occurs on glass jars.
I should just like to say that at least one other person in the country
(apart from myself and partner) was interested in knowing the reply.
very best wishes to everyone
PS: oh no - the return of the dreaded Out of Office Autoreply. Is this