I need some help. I realize Westfield is not a favored brand on this site, even though it’s a Bulova product. In any case, I’ve been researching a Westfield watch American Boy Watch that I recently acquired that came in a case labeled the “Admiral Byrd Award”. Rather remarkably, my research has uncovered what I believe is an unknown unauthorized use of Admiral Byrd’s name and endorsement for the watch by the Bulova Company. Among the documents I’ve acquired is correspondence from 1930 from John H. Ballard, which his letterhead identifies as Vice President and General Sales Manager for both the Bulova Watch Company and Westfield Watch Company Bulova, seeking to market the Byrd Award/American Boy watch to jewelers. I also have documents from Admiral Byrd’s representative, seeking to put a halt to Bulova’s use of Byrd’s name on the watch and even complaints from the Hamilton Watch Company about Bulova’s attempt to use Byrd’s name.
In addition, at one point in 1930 Bulova also made an attempt to register a trademark for “Byrd-Antarctic” wrist watches. This trademark registration was brought to Byrd’s representative’s attention by the advertising manager of the Hamilton Watch Company. After Byrd’s representative complained to Bulova and said they would file an opposition, the registration was abandoned. In the letter advising they would abandon the registration, Harry D. Henshel of Bulova wrote to the Byrd folks stating that Mr. Bulova didn’t want to “…do anything which might in any way offend the Admiral.”
I’ve put together a draft of an article for the NAWCC’s Watch & Clock Bulletin that I’m in the process of refining. Their publication process apparently takes from 9 to 12 months after submittal. Anyway, I’m still doing some follow-up research and was wondering if anyone on this site has heard of this matter. I find it fascinating that Bulova, which used many of the aviators and heroes of the day to market its watches, would try to do so without proper authorization, and ultimately had to abandon the effort when they were called on it…
Also, I’d like to cite to some advertisements that are on the mybulova site in footnotes. Is this acceptable? Do I need permission, or can I just cite to the name and date of the publication it came from? How do I cite them properly to give credit to mybulova?