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Oldest Brand Name in the USA

The name A.W. Faber:
When the carpenter Kaspar Faber (1730-1784) started his own small pencil factory in Stein outside of Nuremberg in 1761, he laid the foundation for what is now the Faber-Castell company. The business was named "A.W. Faber" after his son Anton Wilhelm Faber (1758-1819) in the second generation.
After Kaspar's death, his son Anton Wilhelm took over the business that had already grown to a respectable size.  He acquired a plot of land on the edge of Stein with a workshop that within a few years he had expanded into a flourishing manufactory. To this day, the company has its headquarters here.

A. W. Faber entered in the U.S. Register of Companies. The story, a possible scenario:
In 1870 the name A.W. Faber was officially entered in the United States Register of Companies, as the fifth name in the first ledger. Since the four companies ahead of it no longer exist, A.W. Faber is the oldest brand name in the USA. The name was later registered in Russia, The United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain.
One morning an official of the United States Patent and Trademark Office made his way down to the archive basement of the Herber Hoover building in Washington DC, his eyes still bleary with sleep. There in the archives he stumbled on an old leather-bound volumn, blew a layer of dust from the cover and read in gold letters "July 1870". Knowing a bit of history, he guessed it might be something valuable, and he was right: he had just found the original of the very first trademarks of the United States. Fifth in order on page 1 we read, in copperplate handwriting, the entry A.W. Faber on 9 August 1870 - the first US trademark protection law had come into effect just two weeks earlier. The applicant is listed as Eberhard Faber, head of the A.W. Faber branch in the USA.

The discovery was made in 2002 and caused a minor sensation when it became public. It was a front-page item in the journal The Trademark Reporter for Jan./Feb. 2003. The news came as a surprise to Faber-Castell, too, and we decided to investigate further. There was a growing suspicion that we could be the oldest surviving company to have registered a trademark in the USA. Numerous attempts to find out what became of J.J Turner & Co., R.E. Danforth, J.H. Zeilin, and Dale Ross & Co., who occur before A.W. Faber in the register, led up blind alleys. Incidentally, it was little surprise that Eberhard Faber was so progressive. Just like his brother Lothar von Faber in far-off Bavaria, he was relentless in his fight against the numerous imitations of his products. Lothar was successful in his representations for legal protection for trademarks in Germany, which came into force a few years later in 1874.

The company name A.W. Faber-Castell today:
Until 1898, the company was owned by the Faber family and was known as A.W. Faber. Then Ottilie von Faber, the heir to the business, married Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen. But her grandfather Lothar von Faber had stipulated in his will that the name Faber should remain in the company for all time. And so, they changed their surname to Faber-Castell.

Faber-Castell - Corporate uses the official name A.W. Faber-Castell. The company and brands are usually described however, under the name Faber-Castell.