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Chapter 128 of the Statutes of 1850 required stock-issuing companies in California to file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of State.  The first company to do so, the California State Mining and Smelting Company, filed its documents (shown here) on May 27, 1850.  Since that time, hundreds of thousands of articles of incorporation have been submitted to the Secretary of State, many of which are located at the California State Archives.  These records provide valuable insight to California's economic, cultural, and social life.

In addition, since 1861 California's Secretary of State has maintained an official trademark register whereby manufacturers can record and protect their brand names or product symbols.  Creative packaging and labeling played an important role in the development of nineteenth century merchandising.  The trademarks shown here (including the first trademark filed, by Delahanty, Shelly & Co.) all date from the period between 1861 and 1865.


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The first set of articles of incorporation filed  in California.  California State Mining and Smelting Company, 1850.  Articles of Incorporation, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

The first set of articles of incorporation filed in California.  California State Mining and Smelting Company, 1850. 

Articles of Incorporation, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives


The first trademark filed in California.  Delahanty, Shelly & Co., manufacturers and bottlers of soda water, 1861.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

The first trademark filed in California.  Delahanty, Shelly & Co., manufacturers and bottlers of soda water, 1861.

Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives


Fish's Infallible Hair Restorative for Restoring Gray Hair to its Original Color Trademark. Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Fish's Infallible Hair Restorative for Restoring Gray Hair to its Original Color Trademark.

Glucolein, Cod Liver Oil Trademark.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Glucolein, Cod Liver Oil Trademark

Indian TLA Quillaugh's Balsam the Great Blood Purifier and Rheumatic Pain Killer.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Indian TLA Quillaugh's Balsam the Great Blood Purifier and Rheumatic Pain Killer. 

Pure Old Bourbon Whiskey Selected and Bottled Expressly for Medical and Family Use Trademark.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Pure Old Bourbon Whiskey Selected and Bottled Expressly for Medical and Family Use Trademark

Salutaris Bitters a Purifier & Strengthener of the Stomach Trademark.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Salutaris Bitters a Purifier & Strengthener of the Stomach Trademark

Salvator Patriae Trademark.  Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives.

Salvator Patriae Trademark

Various trademarks dating from 1861 to 1865.
Trademarks, Secretary of State Records, California State Archives



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