Trademark records held in the Oregon State Archives begin in 1864 when the first trademark law was passed. This law required anyone who wanted the exclusive use of any name, mark, brand, designation or description, for any article of manufacture or trade, or for any mill, hotel, factory, machine shop or other place of business, to file with the Secretary of State, a particular description, or a facsimile, of such mark, brand, name designation or description with a fee of two and a half dollars.
Trademarks in this exhibit reflect products being produced during the later part of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. Oregon's fertile lands, huge forests and abundance of fish influenced the settlement of Oregon from the time of its first human habitation. Some of the earliest products of the land included flour, fruit, salmon, and dairy products. Trademarks from Oregon and from other states are registered with the Secretary of State. Other groups of trademarks in the Archives include patent medicines, clothing, liquor, household items, auto supplies and various business establishments.
There are over 10,000 cancelled and expired trademark registration certificates, 1864-1971, and 29 volumes of trademark registers, 1864-1965, in the Oregon State Archives.
The trademark labels featured in this exhibit represent exclusively Oregon companies and products. While many of these companies were based in Portland, products from other cities throughout the state display the wide range of business activity in Oregon over the decades.