This is an
interesting but convoluted history that spans more than 125 years and four
companies. I started out to document the history of Harptone cases and
discovered a legacy that spans from Maulbetsh & Whittemore in 1886 all the way
to the present-day trademark holder TKL Products Corporation. I also discovered
that no “Harptone” branded cases were produced during the existence of the
Harptone Mfg. Co. Although many had no marking, those that did, carried the
“Bull’s Head” brand. Furthermore, I learned that the “Bull’s Head” trademark
goes all the way back to the founding company, Maulbetsch & Whittemore.
A Brief Chronology:
1886 - Maulbetsch & Whittemore Company established, (The trademark is a
Bull’s Head image with a G clef music staff and letters M & W, first
registered July, 1893)
1920 - A. L. Felsberg & Co. acquires Maulbetsch & Whittemore, (The Bull’s
Head trademark is retained but with letters F & F)
1922 - Company renamed Felsberg Company (Same Bull’s Head trademark)
1928-29 Harptone Mfg. Corp. acquires Felsberg, (The Bull’s Head trademark
is retained but with letters B & C, representing president Morris Brooks & secretary
1977 Harptone closes
1980’s The “Harptone” name is trademarked and used on cases for the first
time by TLK Products Corp.
Trademarks Through the Years
1886 - Maulbetsch & Whittemore Company
John Maulbetsch and
George D. Whittemore start the business with one employee at an unidentified
location on Market Street, Newark, New Jersey.
A View of Market Street, Newark, N.J. 1908
Somewhere on this street was the first location of Maulbetsch & Whittemore,
1888 – M & W Moves to New Location and Patents
an Innovative Violin Case
95-111 N.J. Railroad Ave. & Green St., Newark, N.J.
There is some very faded lettering painted above the top windows.
Could it say “Maulbetsch Whittemore”?
Patent 386,442, granted July 17, 1888, to Asa T. Winkle,
two-thirds to John Maulbetsch and George D. Whittemore.
A violin case made
of leather, a tapered shape with flat, opening ends.
1891 – M&W Profiled in Business Publication
LEADING BUSINESS MEN
EMBRACING ALSO, THOSE OF
HARRISON, KEARNY, BELLEVILLE
MERCANTILE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
The leather business—that is, tanning and currying of hides and skins—has a
history similar to jewelry (previously profiled), and is now the largest
single interest that is carried on in Newark.
(Note: It makes sense that a city where leather is the major industry
would give rise to a leading company focused on the manufacture of leather
musical instrument cases.)
MAULBETSCH & WHITTEMORE, Manufacturers of Cases and Satchels for Musical
Instruments, Brass, String and Reed, Web and Leather Drum Slings and Belts,
Canvas Cases for Guitar, Banjo and Mandoline, Sample Cases and Leather
Novelties, 108 to 114 N. J. Railroad Avenue, Corner Green Street, Newark, N.
J. In presenting their new patent professional sole-leather violin case to
the trade, Messrs. Maulbetsch & Whittemore do so with the assurance that it
will fill a long needed want, viz. a case constructed entirely of leather,
handsome in design, light in weight, strong and durable, and perfectly water
and dust proof. As will be seen by the above cut, the case opens on the end
and is accessible without placing either on the lap, table or chair. As it
stands upright it is specially convenient in traveling, or when strings or
rosin are needed. It can also be carried on the arm, or in the usual manner.
On the inside of the case, at the bridge, is placed a steel band, which
makes it a perfect protection for the instrument. Two straps encircle the
case, which are both ornamental and useful, as many things can be carried by
their use. These cases will fit any model violin snugly, and are lined with
a heavy flannel plush. They are made in colors of black, russet, orange and
maroon, and are for sale to the trade by the manufacturers and jobbers. The
leather industry in the city of Newark is one of its chief and
representative enterprises, as everybody knows, and the many varied uses to
which leather may be put is as well known. Take, for instance, the
establishment conducted by Messrs. Maulbetsch & Whittemore; it is of the
most interesting nature, for is there anything manufactured from leather any
prettier than musical cases? We doubt it, for some of the finest pieces of
leather work are in this line of goods, and the highest degree of skill and
workmanlike execution are put into them. To the musical world these goods
are of especial interest, and no good musician now-a-days can dispense with
a proper case or satchel for his or her favorite instruments, for such cases
are actually necessary for their preservation. Musical instruments, and
especially string instruments, are very susceptible to the changes in
weather, and should be kept, when not in use, in proper receptacles. Leather
and canvas cases fill the bill, and are conceded to be superior to anything
made in this line. The trade need no introduction to the house of Maulbetsch
& Whittemore, for the standing of the establishment for the superiority of
their goods is well known upon the market. It is not out of place, however,
in a work of this kind, to call the attention of the public to the
assortment of musical cases and satchels which this firm manufacture and
carry, and all who need such goods would do well to pay the sample room of
Messrs. Maulbetsch & Whittemore a visit of inspection before giving their
orders. Catalogues are sent upon application, and the trade will find that
the prices on these goods are very reasonably quoted. The establishment was
inaugurated by the present proprietors in 1886. Mr. John Maulbetsch is a
native of Germany, and Mr. Geo. D. Whittemore of Newark, N. J. Twelve
assistants are given employment, and the premises are 3,500 square feet in
2 154-156 Summit Street, is now a modern parking
garage for the New Jersey Institute of Technology
3 40-46 Cross Street was at the corner of Spring
and Cross Streets. Cross Street and the factory building no longer exist as this
became the corridor for the I-280 freeway, completed in 1973. By 1941 The
Harptone Corporation had moved from this location to 127 South 15th
St., Newark, N. J.
4 95 Bruce Street is now a parking lot for a
– “Bull’s Head” Trademark Registered
What was the origin
of the Maulbetsch & Whittemore “Bull’s Head” trademark? It’s a name and image
that has had widespread use since ancient times. There is a famous English brand
of Colman’s Mustard with a Bull’s Head logo. That product did exist earlier but
the U.S. trademark was not filed until slightly later, in 1895. Some have
speculated a relationship to the famous Bull’s Head Tavern on Manhatten Island
and the neighboring “Bull’s Head” district; a rough and tumble area of tanneries
and slaughterhouses that later became known as the Bowery. I think the answer is
a bit closer to home. Newark was also a center of leather production, and in
fact leather was its largest industry in the late nineteenth century. A
ubiquitous symbol of leather companies was the bull’s head. See the
advertisement below for Couse & Bolten, one of the many Newark leather companies. Since Maulbetsh
& Whittemore’s first cases were constructed of leather it makes perfect sense
that they would incorporate the Bull’s Head image and wording into their
“Bull’s Head” Trademark:
The application was filed on May 24, 1893. Trademark #23375 was issued on
July 18, 1893.
The trademark is a bull’s head superimposed on a G clef music staff
containing the letters M and W on either side of the bull’s head, standing
for Maulbetsh & Whittemore.
One of 11 advertisements by local leather companies in the program of the 1916
The Bull’s Head was a ubiquitous symbol of leather and a natural
choice for the logo of M&W, which specialized in leather cases
1899 – New Business Location on Summit Street
Whittemore moves to a building at 154-156 Summit Street. This building no longer
exists; the location is now a modern parking garage for the New Jersey Institute
1901 – M & W Patents a Bow-holding Device
Patent 34,447, granted May 7, 1901, filed January 25, 1901, to Nelson E.
Kennedy, assignor to Maulbetsch & Whittemore. Design for bow-holding spring
for violin cases.
spring soon becomes a standard feature on most violin cases.
1902 – M & W Produces Another Innovative Violin
Patent 35,833, granted April 1, 1902, filed February 5, 1902, to Nelson E.
Kennedy, assignor to Maulbetsch & Whittmore. Design for a violin case
This “New Century”
patent is not for the composite material or the molding process but is a Design
Patent for the
design itself, which features a very innovative curvy shape. The typical wooden
“coffin cases” of the 1800’s were straight-sided boxes. The previous decade had
seen attempts to create shaped violin cases cut from solid wood or made from paper mache, but this
new design took the idea to its ultimate conclusion. This new case
uses the 1901 patented bow-holding spring clips. The composite material itself
is quite remarkable, being strong, light, and without seams. The ingredients
can’t be known for certain, but probably included starch, rosin, and perhaps
ground up leather, all formed and cured in a heated metal mold. Geib & Schaefer
produced their own composite case beginning in 1924 which was trademarked Kant
1904 – New Factory Building Constructed, and
Veneer Cases are Produced
40-46 Cross Street
Corner of Spring and Cross Streets
Home of Maulbetsch & Whittemore, The Felsberg Company, and the Harptone Mfg.
From 1904 to about 1940
Cross Street and the factory building no longer exist, as this area became the
corridor for the I-280 freeway, completed in 1973.
By 1941 The Harptone Corporation had moved from this location to 127 South 15th
St., Newark, N. J.
Seeger and Guernsey's Cyclopædia of the Manufactures and Products of the
United States, 1900
CASES MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
Crane Bros., Westfield Mass
Mrs Peter Gilgen, 676 W 14th St Chicago, Ill.
Hugo Kleineick, Newark NJ
Maulbetsch & Whittemore, Newark NJ
JJ Warren Co Worcester Mass
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT BAGS
GE Constantin, 82 Sackman St Brooklyn NY
Chas F Hanson & Sons Worcester Mass
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT CASES LEATHER
Maulbetsch & Whittemore Newark NJ
Theo Kraft & Sons 534 W Broadway New York
Lyon & Healy 199 Wabash Av Chicago, Ill.
Goodyears India Rubber Glove Mfg Co 503 B’way NY
1906 Gibson A4 Mandolin Case
A typical canvas case of the period, it could have been produced by Geib &
Schaefer, Maulbetsch & Whittemore, Lyon & Healey or many other builders. These
may have been named “canvas cases” but as you can see they are canvas covered
cardboard or strawboard and offered a reasonable amount of protection.
An Early Example of Double-Diamonds on Compartment Lid Indicating Maulbetsch &
The raised Double
Diamond shape on the accessory compartment lid is an identifying mark that
appears on Maulbetsch & Whittemore Bulls Head cases starting around 1906. The Double
Diamond and Bulls Head trademark continues to be used through the years by
successor firms The Felsberg Company, and the Harptone Manufacturing
Corporation. This is pure speculation; but is it possible that the Double
Diamond shape was intended to represent a stylized M & W?
1913 – M & W Profiled in History of Newark
CITY OF NEWARK NEW JERSEY
TWO AND A HALF CENTURIES
The Lewis Historical Publishing Co.
NEW YORK CHICAGO
MAULBETSCH & WHITTEMORE
What can be done to further the growth of a business from a small beginning
to one of national importance is excellently illustrated in the case of
Maulbetsch & Whittemore Company, Incorporated, manufacturers of cases for
musical instruments, in the city of Newark, New Jersey.
The two men who established this firm — John Maulbetsch and George D.
Whittemore — were accomplished mechanics when they started the business in
1886, in Market street1, but they had very little capital, and
but one employee to assist them. The excellent quality of their wares soon
found proper appreciation, and their small shop was soon inadequate to fill
all the orders that came to them. In 1888 they removed to a larger building
in Railroad avenue2, and at the expiration of eleven years (1899)
removed to 154-156 Summit street3. It was during this time (in
1902) that the business was incorporated as the Maulbetsch & Whittemore
Company, with the following officers: George D. Whittemore, president;
George Maulbetsch, vice-president; John Maulbetsch, secretary, and Richard
L. Whittemore, treasurer. After five years the business was again removed to
its present location4. The factory building is a commodious brick
structure which was planned and erected especially for their needs, and is
equipped with all the most modem machinery and appliances of all kinds to
facilitate their manufacture. They occupy the entire building, including a
well-equipped basement, these together furnishing a floor space of more than
thirteen thousand square feet. They furnish employment to between forty and
fifty expert workmen. Their trade mark is a ''G" clef with a bull's head,
and this is recognized everywhere as an emblem of merit by dealers in
instruments and cases, and the M. & W. goods are so well known that there is
no need of traveling salesmen, their carefully compiled catalogues giving
all necessary information.
John Maulbetsch, who up to his death in 1912 was treasurer and senior member
of the firm, was born in Giengen-am-Brenz, Germany, March 9, 1846. In his
native country he had learned the trade of harness-making, and was occupied
with it for some time after his arrival in this country in 1871. He was in
military service in Germany for a period of four years, and took an active
part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. In political matters he was an
ardent Republican, and he gave his active support to the interests of the
German Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Maulbetsch married Fredericka
Gebhardt, of Germany, and they had children: John, residing in Geneva,
Switzerland; Annie, married --- Haas, of Brooklyn, New York; George and
George, son of John and Fredericka (Gebhardt) Maulbetsch, was born in
Newark, New Jersey, November 28, 1878. His early education was acquired in a
German school, and he then became a pupil at the Newark High School, from
which he was graduated in 1893 after a thorough training in the commercial
department. Immediately after completing his education he became an
assistant to his father in the business of which mention has been made
above, and, upon the death of his father in 1912, took his place in the
affairs of the firm, becoming treasurer of the company. In political matters
he is a Republican, like his father, and he is a member of Eureka Lodge, No.
39, Free and Accepted Masons, the Scottish Rite, and Salaam Temple, Nobles
of the Mystic Shrine.
George D. Whittemore, president of the Maulbetsch & Whilttemore Company, was
born in Newark, April 17, 1846. He is a descendant of one of the oldest
families of the State of New Jersey, his paternal great-grand-father having
settled in the State when he removed there from Guilford, Connecticut, prior
to the War of the Revolution. He was one of that body of men who actually
built the old First Presbyterian Church, and who gave of their time and
personal labor as well as of their means to further this purpose.
James Whittemore, grandfather, was a man whose good deeds were not soon
forgotten. He conducted a shoeshop in which many apprentices learned their
trade, and he not alone taught them carefully but assisted those who were
deserving of it in their later careers.
Mahlon, son of James Whittemore, was known and appreciated not alone in
Newark, but far beyond its limits. His magnificent voice was heard for many
years in St. Patrick's Cathedral and in the Second Presbyterian Church, of
which he was the choirmaster.
George D., son of Mahlon Whittemore, in early life was famous as a choir boy
in Grace Episcopal Church. There he was taught by one of the most
accomplished instructors the country has ever produced. He was only a lad of
fifteen years at the time of the outbreak of the Civil War, yet he at once
volunteered his services, and enlisted in 1861. He served through the
greater part of the war, and his arduous work was with the First New York
Engineers at Port Royal, Fort Wagner, Folly Island, in front of Petersburg,
Virginia, and on other important fields of battle. During all this time he
was but once on the sick list. While serving under General Butler in
Virginia, he was detailed to the Engineers' Supply Depot at Fortress Monroe
during the last six months of his service, and was honorably discharged at
the expiration of his term, at Varina, Virginia. He is a charter member of
Marcus L. Ward Post, Grand Army of the Republic; Pythagoras Lodge, No. 118,
Free and Accepted Masons; Kane Council, Royal and Select Masters; New Jersey
Consistory, Scottish Rite; and Salaam Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Mr. Whittemore has amply demonstrated his ability in every walk of life,
both public and private, and has with Justice earned the esteem and
confidence of his fellow citizens.
154-156 Summit Street, is now a modern parking garage for the New Jersey
Institute of Technology
“Present location” mentioned in this article is 40-46 Cross Street, at the
corner of Spring and Cross Streets
1914 – Co-Founder George Whittemore Dies
The Music Trade Review 1914
Death of George D. Whittemore
President of Mulbetsch & Whittemore Co., Manufacturers of Music
Instrument Cases, Succumbs This Week After Long Illness.
(Special to The Review)
Newark, N. J., June 23 – George D. Whittemore, president of Maulbetsch &
Whittemore Co., manufacturers of musical instrument cases, died last night
at his home in the Cecil apartments, 247 Belleville Avenue, from a
complication of diseases. He was sixty-eight years old and had been ill five
Mr. Whittemore was a descendant of one of the oldest families in the state,
his paternal grandfather having come here from Connecticut prior to the
Revolutionary War. He was born April 17, 1864, and when fifteen years of age
enlisted in the Civil War. His father was Mahlon C. Whittemore, one of the
oldest resident musicians in this city and leader of the old Handel and
Haydn Society here.
Mr. Whittemore was a charter member of the Marcus L. Ward Post, G. A. R. He
was also a Shriner and prominent in Masonic activities throughout the state.
Besides a widow, he is survived by a sister, Miss Anna F. Whittemore, and
two sons, Richard and William Whittemore.
The funeral will be held with Masonic and G. A. R. rites Friday afternoon.
Interment will be in Fairmont Cemetery.
Orpheum Banjo and M&W Case
Corduroy Lining with Double Diamond on Pocket Lid
1916 – M & W Advertises in the Program For
Newark’s 250th Anniversary Industrial Exposition
1919 – First Known Published Illustration of M&W Veneer
cases covered with Keratol imitation leather had been around since at least
1904, this is the first published illustration that has been found.
1919 – M&W Produces Rectangular "Fitted"
Cases for Fretted Instruments
"Fitted" cases had
long been in existence and had been used for violins as well as pistol cases or
medical kits. M&W is the first to apply the design to cases for fretted
Century Pistol Case
1910-12 M&W Rectangular Case with Gibson F-4 Mandolin
earliest rectangular M&W cases have a single square diamond design on the pocket
lid rather than the double diamonds.
1917-18 M&W Rectangular Case with Gibson F-4 Mandolin
is the same design case as above but now with M&W's double-diamond trademark
1913-15 Case for Gibson F-4 Mandolin
Another variation of the fitted design.
& Schaefer Fitted Rectangular Case for Gibson 1924 F-5 Mandolin
M&W sold out to Felsberg in 1920 it's clear that G&S won most of the Gibson
business. G&S produced fitted cases for the Gibson's F-5 mandolins which were
introduced in 1922. These cases were copied after the previous M&W F-4 cases. It's
easy to spot the difference between M&W and G&S fitted cases. The corners of the
G&S cases have a smaller radius whereas the M&W cases have rounder corners.
1920 – M & W Becomes A. L. Felsberg & Company
The Music Trade Review
June 26, 1920
Small Goods Houses United
Maulbetsch & Whittemore Combined with A. L. Felsberg, Who Will Head New
Company – Both Houses Long Established in Trade
A deal of considerable interest to the small goods trade was consummated
last week, when the well-known musical instrument case making firms of
Maulbetsch & Whittemore and A. L. Felsberg, both of Newark, N. J., were
consolidated. The business will be continued under the name of A. L.
Felsberg & Co., successor to the Maulbetsch & Whittemore Co.
The Maulbetsch & Whittemore Co. has for years enjoyed a reputation
throughout the trade as makers of cases of the highest possible quality. It
was established in 1886 by John M. Maulbetsch and George G. Whittemore. It
was incorporated in 1902 by Fred W. and George W. Maulbetsch, sons of the
founder. George W. Maulbetsch has been president of the company, which is
principally known through the celebrated trade-mark Bull’s Head brand of
The original factory was located at New Jersey Railroad avenue and Green
street1, Newark, twenty-one years ago. In 1889 larger quarters were secured
on Summit street2 and five years later the present modern factory at Spring
and Cross streets3 was built. The business will be continued at this
Alfred Felsberg, who will be the head of the new corporation, is also a
well-known case maker. He has been manufacturing instrument cases and has
operated a large factory at 95 Bruce street4. Both plants will be used by
the new company. The Bull’s Head trade-mark will be retained, the letters
“F. F.” being substituted for the “M. & W.” at either side of the bull’s
The Felsberg Co. comes to the Maulbetsch & Whittemore factory at a time when
business is unusually good and when there is an abundance of unfilled orders
on the books of both factories. In a statement to the trade announcing the
sale of their business, the Maulbetsch & Whittemore Co. express the hope
that the pleasant business relations they have always enjoyed with the trade
in the past will be transferred to their successors. The announcement also
contains the information that the new company will continue to make the same
styles and quality of cases that have built up the enviable prestige of the
The Maulbetsch brothers had nothing to say regarding their future plans
further than that George M. Maulbetsch would take an extended trip through
in this article: See earlier photo of this site
earlier photo of this site
154-156 Summit Street, is now a modern parking garage for the New Jersey
Institute of Technology
Cross Street was at the corner of Spring and Cross Streets. Cross Street and the
factory building no longer exist as this became the corridor for the I-280
freeway, completed in 1973. By 1941 The Harptone Corporation had moved from this
location to 127 South 15th St., Newark, N. J.
Bruce Street is now a parking lot for a townhouse complex
The Revised Bull’s Head Trademark with F & F replacing M & W
The Music Trade Review
September 11, 1920
Bull’s Head Business Good
A.L. Felsberg & Co., the Newark concern which has succeeded Maulbetsch &
Whittemore as the manufacturer of the “Bull’s Head” brand of musical
instrument cases, has plenty of Fall orders and the plant is running at
capacity to fill them. Mr. Felsberg sees no immediate letup in sight in the
small goods demand which is reflected in the need for cases. People are
buying the best in everything and the demand for cases for instruments is
for those of the better grade, which means prosperity for the “Bull’s Head’
line, according to Mr. Felsberg.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
JULY 17, 1920
ALFRED FELSBERG & CO. REORGANIZE
Fred Maulbetsch Remains With New Company —"Bull's Head' Trade-Mark
The work of reorganization and readjustment of Alfred Felsberg & Co.,
Newark, N. J., which recently took over the old-established case
manufacturing business of Maulbetsch & Whittemore, of that city, is rapidly
being completed. Practically all the work of the manufacture of cases is now
being carried on at the old Maulbetsch & Whittemore plant at Spring and
Cross streets. The Felsberg factory on Bruce street will also be used.
Fred Maulbetsch, whose years of untiring effort and unlimited skill have
contributed greatly to the renown accorded the M. & W. "Bull's Head" cases,
has been retained temporarily by the new company. The "Bull's Head"
trademark has been retained, its value as a synonym for quality in musical
instrument cases being recognized by Mr. Felsberg. The letters "M. & W." in
the trade-mark, however, have been supplanted by "A. F. & Co."
1921 - Alfred L. Felsberg in ill health
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JANUARY 29, 1921
SEES A YEAR OF PROSPERITY
Alfred L. Felsberg, Head of Large Case Manufacturing House, Expects
Alfred L. Felsberg & Co., manufacturers of musical instrument cases at
Spring and Cross streets, Newark, N. J., are operating the plant at capacity
production. This company manufactures the Bull's Head brand of musical
instrument cases made famous by the Maulbetsch & Wittemore Co., which firm
was succeeded by Alfred L. Felsberg & Co. about a year ago. The Bull's Head
trade-mark has been retained, with a slight change which consists in a
substitution of the letters "F. F." for "M. W." Alfred Felsberg, head of
this concern, expects another year of good business. He says that the
prosperity of the small goods market is only reflected in the demand for the
better grade cases. He believes that the increased demand for musical
instruments is a permanent one and represents a great addition of both
professional and amateur musicians in the past few years.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW MARCH 26, 1921
FELSBERG PRODUCTS IN DEMAND
Bull's Head Cases for Instruments Increasing Rapidly in Popularity
NEWARK, N. J., March 22.—A. L. Felsberg & Co., manufacturers of the Bull's
Head cases for band and orchestra instruments, have just received an order
of considerable size from a large musical merchandise house in London. This
house writes the Felsberg Co. that it has been experiencing considerable
difficulty in securing cases of quality either in England or on the
continent and has decided that, in spite of the size of the cost of exchange
between England and this country, it is advisable to purchase American-made
cases. A representative of this house was in the United States not long ago,
and after looking over the field thoroughly decided to place an order with
the Felsberg Co.
H. C. Ball, who is in charge of the Felsberg plant in the absence of A. L.
Felsberg, who has been ill, states that the demand for the Felsberg product
has been excellent throughout the Winter months. The growth of the demand
for music instruments generally found its expression in a corresponding
demand for instrument cases. The Bull's Head line of cases is also selling
well throughout Canada.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW APRIL 16, 1921
ALFRED FELSBERG RECOVERED
President of Felsberg & Co. Again
NEWARK, N. J., April 11.—Alfred Felsberg, president of A. L. Felsberg & Co.,
successors to Maulbetsch & Whittetmore, manufacturers of cases for musical
instruments, Spring and Cross streets, this city, has returned to his duties
at the factory after a few weeks' absence, due to illness. Mr. Felsberg has
put in such a busy Winter in an endeavor to keep his production abreast of
the demand for the Bull's Head line of cases that he was forced to give up
and give himself a thorough rest. He is now back in harness again and will
apply himself to the task of supplying the jobbers who handle the Bull's
Head cases with goods. Under the direction of Mr. Ball, who as in charge in
Mr. Felsberg's absence, the Felsberg factory has been unusually busy the
past few weeks, for orders for Felsberg products have been accumulating
steadily for several months.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JULY 23, 1921
FELSBERG & CO. BUSY
Musical Instrument Case Makers Ready for Big Business During the Fall
NEWARK, N. J., July 18.—Proof of the fact that business has picked up
considerably during the past two or three weeks with the small goods trade
generally is seen in the splendid recent showing of Alfred Felsberg & Co.,
manufacturers of cases for musical instruments. This company closed down for
inventory, repairs and general gathering of loose ends recently, but the
orders began to come in so fast that normal production has been again
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JULY 30, 1921
PROSPECTS BRIGHT WITH FELSBERG
Newark Casemaker Views Fall Outlook for General Music Industry
NEWARK, N. J., July 25.—Alfred Felsberg & Co., manufacturers of cases for
musical instruments, report that buying of merchandise for the Fall trade
has started. Dealers have been allowing their stocks of cases to run low in
view of uncertain conditions, but now that prospects are better for a
general increase in retail music business starting in the early Fall when
schools open and normal conditions return in the music field, dealers are
beginning to stock up.
The Felsberg concern markets its product through jobbers and large orders
have begun to come in from this source, indicating a general betterment of
conditions. When instrument sales give promise of picking up it is reflected
in the demand for cases. Manager Ball is confident of a busy Fall season.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW SEPTEMBER 3, 1921
FELSBERG BACK FROM TRIP
Musical Instrument Cases in Increasing Demand, Says Alfred Felsberg on
Return From Trip Through the Middle West
NEWARK, N. J., August 29.—Alfred Felsberg, head of the musical instrument
case manufacturing firm of Alfred Felsberg & Co., Spring and Cross streets,
returned last week from a business trip which took him through all the more
important musical instrument centers of the Middle West. Mr. Felsberg found
a decidedly optimistic feeling prevailing everywhere and considers the
outlook excellent for Fall business. His house deals entirely with the
jobbing concerns and his visits were with the more important jobbers, but he
was able to observe retail tendencies.
He reports that the retailer of musical instruments will shortly enter the
market for larger quantities of merchandise, for all signs point toward a
better demand which will extend at least right up through the Christmas
season. This improved demand for cases is a reflection of a growing demand
for instruments, for the case industry can nearly always be taken as the
barometer for showing the general condition of the small goods trade.
Mr. Felsberg left last week for Boston, where he will visit the trade. He
will make several business calls in New England before returning to Newark.
1922 – New Catalog, Company Reorganized with New
Name and Officers
Note: Alfred L.
Felsberg was in ill health the previous year. Now in August 1922 the company is
reorganized. The name is changed from Alfred L. Felsberg & Co. to The Felsberg
Co., and new officers are elected. President Edward E. Felsberg and
vice-president Arthur P. Felsberg, are presumably the sons of Alfred L. Felsberg.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JANUARY 14, 1922
NEW FELSBERG CATALOG
Attractive Booklet Featuring Complete Line of Musical Instrument Cases
NEWARK, N. J., January 9.— Alfred L. Felsberg & Co., successors to
Maulbetsch & Wittemore, manufacturers of fine musical instrument cases,
Spring- and Cross streets, have just distributed among the jobbing trade
their latest catalog of cases. The catalog is an attractive one of fifty-two
pages. It is printed on high-grade paper and the printing and engraving are
of a high order.
It is divided into three parts, the first covering violin cases; second,
band instrument cases, and the third, banjos and mandolin cases. Cases of
every kind and shape for musical accessories are listed in the catalog,
including violins, single and double; cornets, clarinets, saxophones,
trombones, music stands, French horns, cymbals, drums, banjos, guitars,
mandolins, shoulder straps, slings and waist belts, music cases, music rolls
Since the distribution of the new catalog Mr. Felsberg reports a large
volume of business. The quality of high-grade cases has been very good and
the Christmas trade was also exceptionally large. Mr. Felsberg predicts an
excellent year for the musical merchandise business in 1922.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW MARCH 4, 1922
SELL A CASE WITH EACH INSTRUMENT
A. L. Felsberg Thinks Dealers Can Sell More Cases by Stronger
Alfred L. Felsberg & Co., Newark, N. J., manufacturer of the "Bull's Head"
cases for musical instruments, has found the Winter months unusually
productive of orders. This company sells its product exclusively through the
leading jobbers, but takes a great interest in the dealer who handles
"Bull's Head" cases. Mr. Felsberg believes that every person who buys a
high-grade banjo, violin, saxophone or other musical instrument can also be
sold a good quality case just as easily as a cheap one, for the reason that
it adds just so much more to the life of the instrument in question.
THE MUSIC TRADES
August 26, 1922
Felsberg Co. Elects Officers
Firm is Successor to Maulbetsch & Whittemore Co. – Located in Newark, N.
Newark, N.J., Aug. 22 – The firm of Alfred L. Felsberg & Co., successor to
Maulbetsch & Whittemore Co., this city, manufacturer of all kinds of musical
instrument cases, was reorganized last week with a change in the company’s
name and the election of new officers. Edward E. Felsberg was elected
president and Arthur P. Felsberg, vice-president and treasurer.
Hearafter the firm will be known as the Felsberg Co. All advertising,
booklets, literature, etc., and letterheads have been changed to carry the
new name of the company.
The same policy as heretofore obtained will be carried out in the future
with no change in the quality of the cases, which have been made for more
than half a century. Announcements of those changes have been sent to
members of the musical merchandise industry throughout the country.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW SEPTEMBER 2, 1922
NOW THE FELSBERG CO.
Newark Manufacturers of Musical Instrument Cases Change Name of Firm
NEWARK, N. J., August 28.—A change in name has been announced to the trade
by Alfred L. Felsberg & Co., manufacturers of cases and musical instruments.
They will now be known as the Felsberg Co.
This firm is the successor to Maulbetsch & Whittemore, famous in the trade
for many years as the manufacturers of the famous "Bull's Head" line of
musical instrument cases.
The change in name was decided upon at the annual meeting of the company
last week, at which time the following officers were reelected: Edward E.
Felsberg, president, and Alfred L. Felsberg, vice-president and treasurer.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW SEPTEMBER 9, 1922
A. P. FELSBERG IS VICE-PRESIDENT
Arthur P. Felsberg Elected Vice-president of Felsberg Co. at Annual
NEWARK, N. J., September 5.—The new vice president and treasurer of the
Felsberg Co. is Arthur P. Felsberg and not Alfred Felsberg, as was
incorrectly reported in a recent issue of The Review. Mr. Felsberg was
elected to these offices at the annual meeting of the company last month
when the firm name was changed to the Felsberg Co.
This firm manufactures the celebrated "Bull's Head" line of cases for
musical instruments. Early orders for Fall business indicate that demand for
the line will be more active than ever during the coming season. Felsberg
products are handled by practically all the leading musical merchandise
1923 – Edward Felsberg Takes Full-Time Role,
Addition to Factory Building
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW FEBRUARY 10.-1923
WITH FELSBERG HOUSE ENTIRELY
Edward E. Felsberg Resigns From Fidelity Union Trust Co. to Devote Entire
Time to Musical Instrument Case Firm
NEWARK, N. J., February 5.—Edward E. Felsberg, for several years an officer
in the Fidelity Union Trust Co., the largest and one of the strongest trust
companies in the State of New Jersey, has resigned in order to devote all
his time to the affairs of the .Felsberg Co., the musical instrument case
manufacturing company of which he is president. The Felsberg Co. operates a
large plant devoted exclusively to the manufacture of high-grade cases for
musical instruments at Spring and Cross streets and is one of the best-known
companies in the field.
This company took over the business of the famous Maulbetsch & Whittemore
firm about two years ago and if possible has added to the splendid
reputation enjoyed in the trade by the old company. The Felsberg Co. has
kept the old trade name "Bull's Head," which over a long period of years has
come to mean a great deal to buyers of cases.
In discussing business conditions with a representative of The Review to-day
Mr. Felsberg said:
"Our company enters another year with the brightest prospects in its whole
history. Our January business showed an actual increase."
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW MAY 19, 1923
FELSBERG TO ERECT ADDITION
Newark Case Manufacturer to Increase Plant in Order to Meet Heavy Demand
NEWARK, N. J., May 14.—The steadily increasing demand for the "Bull's Head"
line of cases for musical instruments has made it necessary for the Felsberg
Co. to begin an addition to its plant at Spring and Cross streets. The
addition will give much-needed manufacturing space.
"For some time we have been getting behind in filling the steadily growing
orders for our products," stated Edward E. Felsberg to The Review
representative today. "The unusually excellent demand for musical
instruments is reflected on our order sheets. In fact, the case-making
business is always a barometer of the industry.
"I believe the country is in for a great musical era. We see on all sides a
vast increase in the public demand for music. There are many causes for this
and, for my part, I am inclined to place no little credit for this growing
interest in music to the radio. The broadcasting of good music has been
instrumental in stimulating a demand for all forms of music, according to my
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JANUARY 12, 1924
Felsberg Cases Move Well
The Felsberg Co., Newark, N. J., manufacturer of cases for all musical
instruments, reports that orders for the first months of the year are much
heavier than usual at this time.
This company's product is sold through jobbers and practically all the
leading ones have placed heavy orders for the well-known "Bull's Head"
trade-mark line of cases. The demand for tenor banjo cases of the better
grade is especially large, due to the development of a marked demand for the
high-grade type of banjo. Saxophone cases are also selling extremely well
with this house.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW MARCH 22, 1924
Felsberg Go. Increases Production to Meet
Newark Concern Reports Increasingly Heavy Demand for Musical Instrument
Cases—Products Now Handled by Leading Jobbers
NEWARK, N. J., March 17.—Under the management of Edward Felsberg, who is now
in complete charge, the Felsberg Co., manufacturer of high-grade cases for
musical instruments, has made rapid progress during the past several months.
Mr. Felsberg has succeeded in speeding up production in the factory without
any varying from the high standard of product that has been responsible for
the prestige enjoyed by "Bull's Head" cases since the days of Maulbetsch &
Whittemore, who were succeeded several years ago by the present company.
Nearly all leading jobbers now handle the Felsberg cases.
Mr. Felsberg is also president of the Fibre Products Co., manufacturer of
loud speakers and radio horns, Bloomfield, N. J. This new company has grown
to be one of the largest in the business. It employs 190 men, and, according
to Mr. Felsberg, nine out of ten of the better grade radio loud-speaking
horns in use to-day are made in this plant.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW APRIL 19, 1924
Felsberg Go. Insures All Its Organization
Well-known Manufacturer of Musical Instrument Cases Places Group Policy
Covering All of His Employees
NEWARK, N. J., April 14.—Edward L. Felsberg, president of the Felsberg Co.,
manufacturer of musical instrument cases, has arranged for a group life
insurance policy for his employees under which each worker's life is
protected for $1,000. This group policy, providing for insurance totaling
$60,000, is one of several held by manufacturers of musical instruments.
The payment of death claims is but one of the manifold benefits offered to
the insured by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., with which the policy
was placed. The company maintains a welfare division whose nursing service
will be available to all the insured Felsberg workers in the event of
illness. In addition to this instructive literature is distributed at
frequent intervals, so that the advice of experts on health conservation and
disease prevention always is available to those who come under the
provisions of the policy.
A Policyholders' Service Bureau, also maintained by the Metropolitan, is a
group of well trained technicians who will, upon request, offer any
suggestions the Felsberg Co. may desire in the administration of its
business or other such problems.
Geib & Schaefer’s Kant Krack case uses a similar composite construction to M&W’s
patented 1902 “New Century” case
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW AUGUST 23, 1924
Felsberg Report Demand
NEWARK, N. J., August 16.—The Felsberg Co., maker of cases for musical
instruments, has an excellent business month in June, according to Edward E.
Felsberg, head of the company. The sales figures exceeded last year's sales,
and the 1923 record was considered good. Mr. Felsberg reports that dealers
are finding the Bull's Head cases as popular as ever.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW NOVEMBER 22, 1924
Reports Distinct Revival in Small Goods
E. E. Felsberg, Manufacturer of Instrument Cases, States That Increasing
Demand for His Product Indicates General Improvement
There has been a revival in activity in the small goods industry growing
steadily since early Fall, according to E. E. Felsberg, head of The Felsberg
Co., Newark, N. J. Mr. Felsberg's company is a large producer of cases for
all kinds of musical instruments and he is usually in a position to forecast
the trend of the trade accurately.
"We noticed business beginning to increase in a healthy fashion immediately
after election," declared Mr. Felsberg to a representative of The Review.
"Although orders had been growing larger all the time since the first of the
Fall season, it seemed as though the big buyers were holding off until after
election. The encouragement lying in the election returns has apparently
been enough to give business just the impetus it has needed and it seems
reasonable to believe that we are in for a period of good business.
"Demand for cases is general throughout all the lines of instruments. Tenor
banjo cases are being ordered in a way that indicates that this instrument
in particular is in for another unusually good season. Violin cases also are
enjoying an excellent demand. It is encouraging to note that the heavy
demand seems to run toward the better grade merchandise both in instruments
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW MARCH 7, 1925
Manufacturers Announce Increased Case Prices
Advanced Manufacturing Costs Reflected in New Price Lists Issued by the
Increases in the wholesale prices of cases for stringed musical instruments
and band instruments have been announced by several of the manufacturers in
the East during the past month. Because of steadily rising manufacturing
costs during the past several months an increase in case prices has been
predicted for some time and a further increase in raw materials made the
step finally necessary last week. Among the manufacturers who have announced
a new scale of prices on most numbers of cases are the Felsberg Co., Newark,
N. J., and Lifton Mfg. Co., New York.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JUNE 6, 1925
Two New Cases Are Added to Felsberg Line
One for Trombone and One for Trumpet—Company Reports Good Demand for the
Two new band instrument cases have been added to the Bull's Head line of
cases for musical instruments manufactured by the Felsberg Co., Newark, N.
J., it was announced last week by Edward Felsberg, head of this
old-established firm. These cases include one for the trombone and one for
the trumpet and are both well built high grade cases, covered with imitation
leather, plush lined and with nickel-plated trimmings. The trombone case is
built of veneer and the trumpet case of fiber.
Mr. Felsberg reports a good demand for these new cases as well as the entire
line. Among the jobbers who have already stocked the new cases are such
houses as Carl Fischer, Inc., and Chas. H. Ditson Co., New York; Oliver
Ditson Co., Boston; Haffner & Sutphin and H. A. Weymann & Sons, Inc.,
Philadelphia, and the Fillmore Music House, Cincinnati. The Felsberg Co.
makes a line of products that includes cases for violin, clarinet, guitar,
banjo, saxophone, ukulele, banjo-ukulele, etc., and the cases are made in
leather, imitation leather, veneer, fiber and duck.
Harry Ball, sales manager, will represent the firm at the Chicago Convention
of the Music- Industries Association.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW AUGUST 1, 1925
Fretted Instrument Cases Are Leading in
Head of the Felsberg Co. States Tenor Banjos Seem to Lead the
Demand—Entire Banjo Family Widely Purchased
Trade in musical instrument cases tends to run strongly to the cases for
fretted instruments, is the report of Edward Felsberg, head of the Felsberg
Co., manufacturer of the well known Bull's Head line of cases, Newark, N. J.
This firm has long supplied manufacturers, jobbers and retailers with its
cases and keeps in close touch with the situation at all times and
consequently its reports are considered authentic.
Mr. Felsberg finds that tenor banjos" continue to enjoy a brisk demand
judging from the number of orders for this type of case. The entire family
of banjo instruments is being well bought and the demand is general
throughout the fretted instruments. Ukulele and banjo-ukulele cases of the
better grade are in better demand this Summer than ever before, many ukulele
purchasers insisting upon a good keratol case rather than a bag.
This firm also makes a very popular line of cases for band instruments
including cases for every instrument in the band. They are made in every
finish that is popular and are sold by dealers in all sections of the
country. The Felsberg plant has been operating at capacity.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW OCTOBER 31, 1925
H. N. White Co. Now Using "Bull’s Head"
Well-known Band Instrument Firm Adopts Felsberg Cases as Its Standard
NEWARK, N. J., October 26.—"Bull's Head" brand instrument cases manufactured
by the Felsberg Co. of this city have been adopted by the H. N. White Co.,
maker of King band instruments, Cleveland, O., it was announced to-day by
Edward Felsberg, head of the Felsberg Co. Mr. Felsberg is extremely pleased
with the deal for the reason that Felsberg cases were adopted after a
careful examination by officials of the White firm of a number of other
cases. The entire Felsberg line of cases is showing great activity and Mr.
Felsberg is looking to an excellent Fall and Winter trade. Production is
being pushed to a high degree to meet a number of large orders that have
come in from manufacturers, jobbers and dealers.
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW OCTOBER 24, 1925
Tenor-Banjo Cases Are in Great Demand
Head of the Felsberg Co., Maker of "Bull's Head" Line, Points Out
Popularity of This Instrument
NEWARK, N. J., October 20.—"Bull's Head" cases for musical instruments are
enjoying one of their best seasons in many years, according to reports
received from music dealers in various parts of the country by Edward
Felsberg, head of the Felsberg Co., Spring and Cross streets, manufacturer
of this celebrated line of cases. These cases, which are steadily becoming
more popular with musicians, have long been a favorite with the trade. They
were a Maulbetsch & Whittemore product for many years and, when that firm
retired in favor of the present company a few years ago, the Felsberg Co.
immediately laid plans to make these cases even more widely known. This
campaign is now bearing fruit, and the "Bull's Head" cases have a reputation
for quality greater than at any time in their history.
Felsberg reports that the demand for tenor banjo cases has taken on an
increased impetus, indicating that the vogue for this instrument is by no
means on the wane. The factory has a host of orders on hand for tenor-banjo
THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW JANUARY 9, 1926
Good Gases Promote Sales of Musical Instruments
Edward Felsberg, Head of Felsberg Co., Emphasizes the Growing Importance
of Quality in Cases
NEWARK, N. J., January 4.—That musical instrument sales are increased by the
use of good cases is the contention of Edward Felsberg, president of the
Felsberg Co., manufacturer of "Bull's Head" cases for musical instruments,
Spring and Cross streets. This company has made a great success of the
case-making business by specializing in the art of making cases that are in
keeping with the high-grade instruments now being sold. Realizing the
importance of this factor Mr. Felsberg has insisted upon keeping his cases
up to a high level of quality, with the result that his business has
expanded to the point where the firm now occupies over 25,000 square feet of
floor space in a thoroughly modern and constantly busy factory.
"Strict adherence to quality ideals has made possible the growth of the
Felsberg Co.," declared Mr. Felsberg to a representative of The Review
recently. "This means eternal vigilance in the selection of the raw
materials that go into the finished product and careful supervision of the
methods pursued in the construction of the cases. This is a costly
procedure, but we have found that the trade appreciates it in the long run.
"This company has the tradition of over thirty years to maintain in keeping
its products up to the point that the dealers expect. The trade knows that
when it sees a 'Bull's Head' stamped into a case it is receiving the best
possible case and we realize that in this we have a big responsibility."
In the Felsberg factory there are now nearly a hundred skilled operatives
working under the supervision of Mr. Felsberg, who, although he started in
the business after a successful career in the financial field, has by
constant application and much hard work secured an intimate knowledge of
every detail of his business. The factory now has complete modern machinery
and equipment in every respect.
"Bull's Head" cases are sold by dealers in every part of the United States
and a considerable export business is also maintained. The cases are handled
by all the leading jobbers. The products include cases for violin, viola,
banjo, banjo-ukulele, guitar, mandolin, saxophone, clarinet, cornet,
trumpet, trombone and drum, as well as such items as cornet satchels,
drum-stick cases, drum and music stand cases, cymbal sacks, music bags,
cases and rolls, bass and snare drum slings, shoulder straps, leather and
web drum slings, waist belts, handles and case hardware.
The Music Trade Review OCTOBER 30, 1926
New Felsberg Case
NEWARK, N. J., October 25.—The trade has accepted with enthusiasm the new
Felsberg Bull's Head tenor-banjo case, according to Edward E. Felsberg, head
of the Felsberg Co., Spring and Cross streets, who reports that jobbers and
dealers throughout the country are rushing orders for this new number. The
new Bull's Head case has a number of new features that commend it to
banjoists and as a result dealers are reporting good business on it despite
the fact that it is still a new item. A heavier advertising campaign is in
prospect for the Fall months, according to Mr. Felsberg.
1927 - Last published mention of The Felsberg
The Music Trade Review JANUARY 1, 1927
French Horn Cases in Great Demand
Felsberg Co. Ships More of This Item in December Than in Entire Two
NEWARK, N. J., December 27.—An idea of the present popularity of French horn
cases may be gleaned from the fact that there is a constantly increasing
demand for them, as reported by Edward E. Felsberg, president of the
Felsberg Co., manufacturer of Bull's Head cases for band and orchestra
instruments. Mr. Felsberg reports that his company shipped more French horn
cases during the month of December alone than during any two previous years.
He further reports that a demand for cases throughout the general line is
excellent and the amount of unfilled orders is running so high that the
factory should be running at capacity for some time to come. Another item
that is selling well is the Bull's Head case for guitars.
The Music Trade Review JULY 23, 1927
Felsberg Co. Alterations
NEWARK, N. J., July 18.—In order to take care of the increasing demand for
violin cases, Felsberg Co., manufacturer of Bull's Head cases for musical
instruments, has rearranged the entire third floor of its three-story plant.
This includes the veneer department, where the forms and shells for the
cases are made. Officials of this company report that business at the
present time is considerably better than it generally is at this season.
Note: Companies of
the era would close for two weeks during the summer and the entire workforce
would go on vacation. This would be an ideal time to make any necessary
reorganizations of the factory.
Music Trade Review FEBRUARY 11, 1928
Musical Instruments & Accessories Ass'n Will Meet at White Sulphur
CONSIDERABLE interest has been aroused in the coming annual mid-winter
meeting of the National Association of Musical Instrument & Accessories
Manufacturers to be held Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 at White
Sulphur Springs, W. Va., at the Greenbriar Hotel. This site was selected as
a common half-way meeting ground between the New-York and Chicago sections
of the trade, thus assuring a large attendance.
There are a number of important trade matters to come before the
deliberations of the association, including a discussion of ways and means
for the national promotion of demand for musical instruments, a subject that
has occupied the attention of the body since its formation a few years ago.
President Walter M. Gotsch announces that a good representation of the
Chicago trade will be there, and interest shown among the easterners
indicates a goodly attendance all around. The other officers of the
association include: H. C. Lomb, vice-president, Alfred L. Smith, secretary
and treasurer; board of directors, G. F. Chapin, E. E. Felsberg, Walter M.
Gotsch, H. H. Slingerland, William L. Ludwig, Maurice Lifton, H. C. Lomb,
Carl W. Nelson, 1. R. Stewart and H. W. Weymann.
1929 - First Mention of Harptone Mfg. Co.
The Music Trade Review December 1929
Ralph E. Kenny, formerly buyer for the Platt Musk Co., Los Angeles, and
prior to that connected with the Rudolph Wurlitzer Co., has been appointed
Pacific Coast representative for the Harptone Mfg. Co. of Newark, N. J. He
will make his headquarters at 927 W. 7th street, Los Angeles.
The Revised Bull’s Head Trademark, with the Letters B & C Replacing F & F
B & C represent the last names of Harptone President, Morris Brooks, and
Secretary John Carner
Morris Brooks was a
former salesman for the Lifton Mfg. Co., and had filed patents:
Annual industrial directory of New York State, Volume 1, 1913
Harvard Leather Goods Mfg. Co.
9-13 Walker, NY
19 men in shop, 1 office force, total 20
Polk's New York copartnership and corporation directory: boroughs of
Manhattan and Bronx, August 1915,
Harvard Leather Goods Mfg. Co. (N Y) Solon Singer, Pres., Morris Brooks,
V-Pres, Jos W Brightman, Sec., Capital, $10,000. Directors: Jos W. Brightman,
Sol Littenberg, Harry B. Freeman, Solon Singer, Morris Brooks, 9-13 Walker
Patent 1,155,880 October 5, 1915, Morris Brooks, Harry B. Freeman, Handbag
AUGUST 28, 1920 - THE MUSIC TRADE REVIEW
LIFTON MFG. CO. BUYS FACTORY
The Lifton Mfg. Co., 15 West Twenty seventh street, New York City, leather
goods manufacturer, has purchased a factory in New York City and will
manufacture musical instrument goods for the trade. The firm is now
specializing in sheet music rolls and cases.
The company recently gave a dinner at the Hotel Pennsylvania to their
salesmen. It was the first get-together party of the firm, and it is planned
to make it an annual event. The salesmen attending the dinner were A. R.
Epstein, Julius Scherof, Van Lifton, Henry Lifton, J. M. Schaeffer, Peter
Castro, Morris Lifton, Aaron Lifton and Morris Brooks.
Patent 1,481,182, granted January 15, 1922, filed September 18, 1922, to
Morris Brooks, assignor to the Lifton Mfg. Co. for a Brief Case, a strip
element for reinforcing the brief bag where the handle is attached.
US Patent 1,481,182 filed September 18, 1922, issued January 15, 1924
Morris Brooks, of New York, N.Y., assignor to the Lifton Mfg. Co, of New
York, N.Y., composed of Maurice Lifton and Aaron Lifton.
An invention for brief bags, to provide a strip element to build up and
reinforce where the handle is attached.
Oct 6, 1931, design patent 85,280 for accordion case, Morris Brooks, John Carner
Morris Brooks of East Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, and John Carner of
New York, N.Y.”
Patent 2,118,819, granted May 31, 1938, filed May 15, 1937, to Elwyn T.
Orcutt, East Orange, N.J., assignor of one-half to Harptone Mfg. Co., a
non-refillable closure for bottles
Presto Magazine, 1939
LIST 0F EXHIBITORS
Harptone Mfg. Corp., Newark, N. J., room 646
May 2, 1939, patent 21569010 for an improvement in accessory compartments
for use in musical instrument carrying cases (a spring clip to keep the
compartment lid closed.), Morris Brooks
Morris Brooks of Newark, New Jersey
List of Exhibitors
40th Annual Convention and Music Trade Show (NAMM)
HOTEL NEW YORKER, N. Y. July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1941
Harptone Mfg. Corp., 127 S. 15th St., Newark, N. J.
LIST OF EXHIBITORS 40th Annual Convention and Music Trade Show
HOTEL NEW YORKER, N. Y.July 29, 30, 31, and August 1, 1941
Harptone Mfg. Corp., 127 S. 15th St., Newark, N. J., room 617
127 South 15th St., Newark, N. J.
Home of The Harptone Corporation from before 1941 to after 1969
1946 and Onward: Post-War Cases
Bull’s Head Trademark Label Inside Guitar Case
“Over Sixty Years” from the founding of M&W in 1886 would date these “Bull’s
Head” labels to post-1946
Post-War Bulls Head Cases
Post-War Bulls Head Cardboard Case
The Details of the Patents Listed on the Label Above
Interestingly, none of the patents apply the to this case
Patent 2,197,275, granted April 16, 1940, filed Dec. 24, 1937, to Maxwell
Meyers, an accordion carrying case.
Patent 2,156,910, granted May 2, 1939, filed April 16, 1936, to Morris
Brooks for musical instrument carrying case: a spring latch for accessory
Patent 85,280, granted October 6, 1931 to Morris Brooks, John Carner for
design of an accordion case.
1950's Era Cardboard Case with Bulls Head Sticker and Martin Case Tag
1960's - Bulls Head Cases
1966 – Harptone Mfg. Corp. Manufactures Guitars
have been posted on the internet claiming that Harptone manufactured and
distributed musical instruments before World War II, but no evidence has been
found to support this.
In 1966 the Harptone company offered to build guitars for Standel, and hired luthier
Stan Koontz to design a line of acoustic and electric guitars and basses. These
were made at Harptone’s facilities in New Jersey. The Harptone brand name was
used on instruments only in 1966 and 1967. In 1968 the Standel brand name began
to be used. There were approximately 300 instruments produced in 1967-68 for the Standel
Amp Co. This included acoustic flat-top guitars, arch-top guitars, semi-hollowbody
electric guitars and basses. These instruments were beautifully made and are
quite rare. Prices ranged from $385 to $1,200 (in 1967 dollars). Production
continued until 1975 and an estimated total of 2,500 instruments were produced.
In 1975 Harptone's guitar division was sold and became Diamond D guitars.
1969 Price List
In addition to guitars, it lists cases and the “Bulls Head” brand
Models: S-6NC, RS-6BC, Eagles; E-6N, E-6NC, E-6S, Zodiacs; Z-6N, Larks:
L-6N, L-12NC and the George Harrison/Ringo Star Model RS-6NC, the B-4
acoustic bass. One full page showing "features of Harptone Guitars"
frets, headstock design, double truss rod and arched back. Includes original
information about Harptone or Standel Instruments:
August 5, 1977
Harptone Trademark Filed, claiming first use October 30, 1975.
September 16, 1980,
Harptone Trademark Registered by Trochal, Inc.
February 13, 1987,
Harptone Trademark Cancelled
1984 – TLK Products Corporation
established TLK, a leading supplier of quality cases and bags for musical
instruments and equipment. In an effort to preserve tradition, TKL bought the Harptone name.
They produced Harptone cases for a time during the late 1980's and 1990's. This
was the first time cases had been produced bearing the Harptone trademark, as
cases built by The Harptone Mfg. Corp. had always used the Bulls Head trademark.
Tom owns a considerable number of Harptone cases and hopes someday to establish
a museum to showcase the weathered artifacts.
Harptone Trademarked Case from the late 1980's:
Harptone Emblem from 1980’s during TLK Ownership
The last known
sighting of Harptone cases was around 2010 when some Harptone Chipboard cases
were sold by online retailers. They were apparently produced or authorized by
TLK Products Corporation.