The Case of the Leather Case



When our new Hall arrived, after spending a good amount of time playing with the mechanism, our attention turned to the once beautiful leather case in which it came.



Not only does the burnt outside suggest a story to be told, but the imprint of Crouch & Fitzgerald, New York, suggested that a bit of research could be conducted to discover some of its secrets!


Crouch & Fitzgerald, established in 1839 (No author, 2010; We Connect, 2018; C&F Trunks, n.d.), was a popular leather case manufacturer, producing everything that is meant for carrying: travelling trunks (C&F Trunks, n.d.), specialized trunks for musical instruments and salesman samples, (trunkman, 2014), suitcases, traveling bags, portfolios (JUSTIA Trademarks, 2009), hand bags, and briefcases (New York Stories, n.d.). The founder had several patents to his name, which may have included the one printed on the latch of our case, pictured above.


Hall sold his first typewriter in 1881 out of a plant in New York (National Museum, n. d.), the same city where Crouch & Fitzgerald was located.  The company was still around in 1891, as witnessed in this advertisement below from Life magazine (Advertisements, 1891). (Notice that it is right next to an ad for a Hall typewriter!) Our Hall, which came in the leather Crouch & Fitzgerald box, was from the second Salem plant. By 1889, Hall was selling out of a Boston plant, which is also evidenced in this 1891 ad.


What are the chances of finding the typewriter and carrying case ads right next to each other even after the Hall Company moved to a different state? It seems possible that Crouch & Fitzgerald and Hall Typewriter Company had a relationship that went back earlier than 1891 if the leather case that came with our Salem Hall typewriter was original. That wouldn't be hard to believe considering at least one Hall Type-Writer Co. location was 853 Broadway, New York, NY, (Hall Type-Writer, 1883), and at least one Crouch & Fitzgerald location was right down the street at 556 Broadway, New York, NY. Unfortunately, it appears the Crouch & Fitzgerald store is now closed (New York Stories, n.d.). When did it close? How close was I to being able to have the typewriter carrying case re-furbished by the original company?


Looking at the trademark history, the most elaborate trademark, shown to the right (USPO, 1929), was established January 29, 1929. The company renewed its trademark in 2009, suggesting it was not expecting to close that year (JUSTIA Trademarks, 09/24/2009). In 2012, the trademark was handed over from Crouch & Fitzgerald by Su-Nae Ltd. to 1839 LLC, a company with the name of the year of establishment of the company (USPO, 2012). Both companies appear to have been in New York, NY. This trademark status is 800, registered and renewed. Interestingly, the last sale of the 400 Madison Ave property block in New York, built in 1929, was also in 2012.


I explored the other trademarks owned by 1839 LLC (JUSTIA, n.d.). This first, to the left (JUSTIA, 2009), provided no further detail. This was a newer trademark, first registered in 1947, and still in status 800, registered and renewed.


The next, to the right (JUSTIA, 3/19/2018), was a bit more interesting. First, it shows that the trademark was in status 606, abandoned - no statement of use filed. This is mostly interesting since the trademark had first been filed in 2014. An extension was filed in 2016, and was granted in July 2017. By March 19, 2018, no use statement had been filed, which indicated to the US Patent Office abandonment. This suggests that at least in 2016, someone was interested in using this trademark.

But alas, just when I thought I could solve the mystery of when the store closed, I found that a very similar trademark (the same?, see right, JUSTIA, 5/3/2018) was filed in January 2018, and the status is 681, publication/ issue review complete. This suggests that someone is still interested in using this trademark. Perhaps only the store closed?

Interestingly enough, it seems that there is a bankruptcy group named Fitzgerald and Crouch (2018), who have been in operation for over 25 years with New York and New Jersey locations. While this is likely completely unrelated, I wonder if bankruptcy is what happened.

In any case, the store was at least open through 2007, given a newspaper article mentioned the store in present tense (Agins, 2007). A book on shopping in New York (Gershman, 2008) indicated the store was sold and downsized, but still open in 2008. For now, I will leave this mystery unsolved, but will post if I ever find the date of final closure. All said, this is a beautiful case from a prominent leather case company for a unique typewriter.


References

Advertisements. (1891, May 28). Crouch & Fitzgerald and The New Model "Hall". Volume 17. Page 344. Retrieved from Google books: https://books.google.com/books?id=qDzZAAAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA344&lpg=RA1-PA344&dq=Crouch+%26+Fitzgerald+hall+typewriter&source=bl&ots=FSH1AQ6Pst&sig=D5_AuKCTV8J9IhjiPi-qnMttbh0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi15sTGu9baAhVMmK0KHVjFCYwQ6AEIQjAE#v=onepage&q&f=false

Agins, T. (2007, January 18). Death of the Briefcase. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB116908083716679623

Crouch & Fitzgerald Trunks. (n.d.). The Man. Retrieved from https://crouchandfitzgerald.wordpress.com

Fitzgerald and Crouch. (2018). Home page. Retrieved from http://www.fitzgeraldcrouchlaw.com

Gershman, S. (2008, August 6). Born to Shop New York. Pg 89. Retrieved from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=fr-A9kg7LnsC&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=400+Madison+Ave,+new+york+crouch+and+fitzgerald&source=bl&ots=XDiz0ocRCq&sig=CEfd3XQqaXPRTPDCUOnDwnEQf30&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiS4tnr4fLbAhUKZawKHfgYAxgQ6AEwB3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=400%20Madison%20Ave%2C%20new%20york%20crouch%20and%20fitzgerald&f=false

Hall Type-Writer Co. (1883, December 05). Advertisement. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/20554500/?terms=Hall%2Btypewriter

JUSTIA Trademarks. (n.d.). 1839 LLC Trademarks. Retrieved from https://trademarks.justia.com/owners/1839-llc-2418851/

JUSTIA Trademarks. (2009, September 24). CROUCH & FITZGERALD FINE LUGGAGE NEW YORK ESTABLISHED 1839 - Trademark Details [Data file]. Retrieved from http://tsdr.uspto.gov/caseviewer/assignments?caseId=71271169&docIndex=6&searchprefix=sn#docIndex=6

JUSTIA Trademarks. (2009, August 11). C&F NY - Trademark Details [Data file]. Retrieved from https://trademarks.justia.com/715/45/c-f-71545242.html

JUSTIA Trademarks. (2018, March 19). CROUCH & FITZGERALD - Trademark Details [Data File]. Retrieved from https://trademarks.justia.com/861/75/crouch-86175741.html

JUSTIA Trademarks. (2018, May 3). CROUCH & FITZGERALD - Trademark Details [Data File]. Retrieved from https://trademarks.justia.com/877/53/crouch-87753148.html

National Museum of American History. (n. d.). Hall Index Typewriter. Retrieved from http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_850013

New York Stories. (n.d.). Crouch & Fitzgerald. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/listings/stores/crouch_and_fitzgerald/

No author. (2010, April 19). Crouch & Fitzgerald (Closed). Time Out. Retrieved from: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/shopping/crouch-fitzgerald-closed#tab_panel_2

Property Shark. (2018). 400-408 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10017. Retrieved from: https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/20782/400-408-Madison-Ave-New-York-NY-10017/

trunkman. (2014). Crouch & Fitzgerald Trunk [Trunks 1369 of 2043, Comment 1]. Message posted to Collectors WeeklyShow & Tell: https://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/121108-crouch-and-fitzgerald-trunk

United States Patent Office. (1929, January 29). Trademark 252,278 [Registration Certificate]. Retrieved from http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn71271169&docId=ORC20051028053212#docIndex=11&page=1

United States Patent Office. (2012, August 7). Trademark REEL: 004840, FRAME: 0041 [Trademark and Domain Name Assignment]. Retrieved from http://tsdr.uspto.gov/caseviewer/assignments?caseId=71271169&docIndex=6&searchprefix=sn#docIndex=6

We Connect Fashion. (2018). Crouch & Fitzgerald, Corp. Retrieved from: https://www.weconnectfashion.com/businesses/crouch-fitzgerald-corp

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