When I posted a story about the new Paramount 100th logo the other day, movie memorabilia dealer and collector Bruce Hershenson questioned my citation of 1916 as the date of its first use, in print and onscreen. He thought he’d seen instances of it in 1915. I told him that I had, perhaps foolishly, trusted the studio’s official press release. (I have a feeling that they’re referring to the photographed trademark on film, and not the print version.)
He has now followed up with an e-mail in which he writes, “By a strange coincidence, I was going through some 1914 exhibitor magazines today, and they were actually using it in their ads at least as early as August 29, 1914! I have attached the image of the cover of the magazine and the ad (their logo is small in this ad, but they used larger versions in later ads, and of course it might have been used even earlier).
“So I guess Paramount is not that up on their history as they could be. It is really fascinating to go through the exhibitor magazines from 1910 to 1914, because they completely cover the history of the Paramount program, and they also cover Carl Laemmle’s transition from New York film distributor to New York film producer to his moving to California in 1915. I wonder if that information (and the tons more contained in those magazines) is available anywhere else?”
I’m grateful to Bruce for sharing this with me, and I pass it on to all of you. As to his final point, this is why David Pierce’s Media History Project is so vital. (See my article HERE.) I know David is working on further developments for his amazing database, and I will keep you posted as we enter the new year.