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Old 10-31-2016, 02:55 PM   #1
Tony Godonis
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Exton, PA
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The “Falcon Jamestown NY” decals on wooden propellers from the WWI era indicate the Falcon propeller trademark, not a Falcon Propeller Co, and were made in Jamestown, NY. The propellers were sold by Jamestown Propeller Co and manufactured by Jamestown Mantel Co, Falconer, NY (a northern suburb of Jamestown, NY) in 1918 and 1919. The businessmen of Jamestown Mantel Co formed the Jamestown Propeller Co when they received a large military/government order in March 1918 to supplement the supply for propellers for emergency demand of the WWI effort. Jamestown Propeller advertised Falcon Propellers from June 15, 1918 to August 15, 1918 in those dated issues of Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering Magazine published semi-monthly by The Gardner, Moffit Co, Inc, New York. Jamestown Propeller Co applied for trademark copyright patent for “Falcon Propeller” on August 1, 1918, and was approved with patent #124,391 on February 11,1919. It is suggested they manufactured propellers only to drawings and specifications supplied in these government/military contracts. It is suggested that the manufacture of Falcon propellers ended in 1919, when WWI demands ended. It is suggested that Jamestown Mantel had one of the largest capacities of the finest wood workers and finishers in the US and was very well suited to quickly make propellers against contracted specifications (and did indeed make a large quantity as the Forum eludes to due to their capacity). Jamestown Mantel also made, besides mantels, many assorted fine wood cabinets of many styles per major contracts to assorted major companies like Edison, RCA, and other phonograph and radio manufacturers for newly invented and designed products. It is suggested that Jamestown Mantel had only minimal, or no, product design engineering/design/testing capabilities for self-development of their own products, especially including propellers that required the highest of these standards. Also, into the 1920’s, propeller design was moving into metal. It is suggested that the only reason for Jamestown Mantel to possibly continue making propellers, would be by sub-contracting to private propeller and aircraft companies, who selected to make propellers themselves for quality control and for the added profit. Jamestown Mantel Co existed in Falconer NY from 1892 until 1932, closing due to the depression.

The incentive for researching this subject is for me to obtain more information about an HS-2L flying boat wooden propeller that I inherited from my father. It has two “Falcon” and “Jamestown NY” decals with Falcons images. To the level of my limited familiarity with the Forum, I noticed that the Wooden Propeller Website and Forum did not have firm information about the manufacturer of Falcon Propellers. If the Forum already has this information, I apologize for the duplication.

This enclosed information is from extensive Google search into old records and will have all information verified in additional postings with pictorial copies and resources. The Fenton History center in Jamestown also provided some information. The comments noted as "suggested", that are included, are my assumptions and will be noted as such. They are based on a lifelong career in helicopters, assorted manufacturing and distribution, and general business.

It is suggested that in late 1917 and early 1918, the US military had a massive effort to procure and stockpile WWI military materials to assure the win in WWI. One such item was wooden, hand carved, propellers for army airplanes and navy flying boats. These propellers probably had a limited life in operation and needed replacements, along with new supply to a massive manufacturing effort adding many new assorted aircraft.

It is suggested that existing wooden propeller manufacturing capacity around the US couldn’t fulfill the immediate WWI demands, and that new highly skilled resources with existing large capacity were immediately needed. Jamestown NY was the fine-finished furniture and hand carved mantle manufacturing capital of the world at that time and had those sought skills and existing resources. It is suggested that military experts visited Jamestown NY and spoke with numerous businessmen. Or maybe the businessmen contacted the military knowing that resources were short.

One group of three businessmen were selected to create a new resource for hand carved wooden propellers. They then created a new company. The three gentlemen were Fred J Mauer (from Union NY), Alfred L Caflisch (from Union NY), and Howard W Alling (from Jamestown NY). They incorporated, in the state of New York, Jamestown Propeller Company, Falconer, NY (9 West 18th St) on March 15, 1918 with an investment of $30,000 for new company stock that guaranteed the business integrity for supplying propellers for aircraft and aeroplanes. Falconer NY is a northern suburb of Jamestown NY. It had ideal road, water, and rail transportation connections. Union is a nearby city. Jamestown Propeller received a large military order for many assorted style propellers, both two and four bladed, as indicated in their advertisements indication being “contractors to the US Government”.

It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller Co quickly integrated the new drawings and specs, the new technology into existing manufacturing processes, and trained the skilled craftsman. It is suggested they or the military selected the trademark name “Falcon” for all of their propellers based on the suburb of Falconer and on the awesome Falcon bird representing our fighting aircraft. It is suggested that they started shipping accepted propellers in June 1918.

In the June 15, 1918 edition of Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, published semi-monthly by The Gardner, Moffit Co, Inc, NY, Jamestown Propeller Co placed its first advertisement for propellers. The ad states “Falcon Propellers”, “Jamestown Propeller Company” “Jamestown NY USA”, and “Contractors to the US Government”. It shows a four bladed propeller, like an ”X”. This magazine also has a listing of aircraft suppliers and Jamestown Propeller Co was first included in this listing in this issue. This same advertisement was then in the issues dated July 1, 1918, July 15, 1918, August 1, 1918, and August 15, 1918. It never appeared again in any further issues, or in any other advertising media searchable from Google or local historical centers and museums.

Jamestown Propeller Co was in the list of military suppliers in the magazine until the end of 1918, when the listing stopped at the end of WWI. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller continued manufacturing propellers at least into early 1919 for a continuing demand for additional aircraft for the militaries and governments of the US and other worldwide nations. The Curtiss HS2L flying boat, for instance, was sold all over the world, including many to Canada as their bush plane to explore the outback country into the mid/late 1920’s. It is suggested that the business was sufficient and Jamestown Propeller Co did not need to advertise any further and did continue to manufacture against previously supplied designs for existing designed aircraft still being manufactured and used.

On August 1, 1918, Jamestown Propeller filed for Patent Copyright for the trademark with an image of a Falcon bird with the name “Falcon” over the bird. This application was published on October 18, 1918. The Trademark Patent #124,391 was issued on February 11, 1919. The patent indicates that the trademark had been in continuous use since June 15, 1918. The post office address of Jamestown Propeller is listed as Jamestown Propeller Company, PO Box 474, Jamestown, NY (not a street address). The patent reads that “the trademark was to be applied to the product by printing preferably by transfer or decalcomania to the wood of the product”. The Patent shows Howard L Alling as the President and Treasurer of Jamestown Propeller Co, and as the requester of the trademark application. It is suggested that the government/military specified all markings on the propellers for “traceability”.

Jamestown Propeller was still in existence and was an exhibitor in the US Aeronautical Exhibition from March 1 to 15, 1919. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller did not have any real engineering development capacity for competitively advancing propeller design, and remained as a skilled wood working company. It is suggested that propeller demand greatly diminished in further years and other propeller companies with aeronautical engineering abilities provided their own new design patents to outdate the Jamestown Propeller designs. Then they provided their own manufacturing capacity to maximize their business. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller Co ended supplying propellers in 1920. No other reference to Propellers is found after that date time. However, it is suggested that, with their large capacity, they did indeed manufacture a large quantity of propellers during their “run”.

It is suggested that the military eventually sold-off the over supply of propellers in the early/mid 1920’s. Being of a very ornate nature and result of winning WWI, these propellers probably had a high appeal as they do today and weren’t burnt. The aircraft industry went through such rapid change in the 1920’s, that airplane models didn’t last very long with new ones needing new designs of propellers, obsoleting the existing.

the next posting 2 of 2 will have the remainder of the narrative
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Jamestown Propeller Incorp c.jpg (109.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Falcon Propeller Ad 6-15-1918.jpg (49.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Falcon Name Copyright e.jpg (99.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Jamestown Mantel Principals.jpg (19.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Jamestown Mantel Picture.jpg (20.8 KB, 8 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Jamestown Mantel Edison Contract.pdf (827.8 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by Tony Godonis; 10-31-2016 at 04:12 PM.
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