Brown & Williamson Trademark registration books, 1879-1950

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Brown & Williamson

Title:  Brown & Williamson Trademark registration books, 1879-1950

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department.

Size of Collection:  3 vols.

Location Number:  Mss. BB B877

Historical Note

Brown & Williamson (B&W) Tobacco Corporation was a U.S. tobacco company and a subsidiary of multinational British American Tobacco (BAT) that produced several popular cigarette brands.  B&W had its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky from 1927 to 2004.

In 1893 George T. Brown and Robert F. Williamson, brothers-in-law from prominent North Carolina tobacco families, formed a partnership and took over Robert’s father’s business in Winston-Salem.  Before World War I, the company focused primarily on chewing tobacco, but as the demand for manufactured cigarettes increased following the war, Brown & Williamson sought a new niche in the market for “tailor-mades.”  In 1927 the company’s growth caught the eye of British American Tobacco (BAT) Industries, which purchased B&W as one of its subsidiaries.

The acquisition gave B&W the financial resources to become a national competitor.  In 1927 Brown & Williamson executives decided that, rather than expand the facilities at Winston-Salem, the company should search for a new location.  Louisville was chosen as the site for the new manufacturing plant and headquarters because of its central location, transportation links, and proximity to the major burley markets.  Construction at the site near Hill and Sixteenth Streets began later that year, and manufacturing started two years later.  The executive offices formerly based in New York City moved to Louisville in 1931.  By 1971 seven buildings and a headquarters building had been constructed on the seventy-two-acre site.


The Encyclopedia of Louisville


Scope and Content Note

Tobacco trademark registration books for Brown & Williamson, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco (BAT).  The volumes record the following: Branch, Date of Registration, Registered Number, Registered Proprietor, Goods (e.g. Tobacco, Manufactured Tobacco, Cigars, Cigarettes, etc.), Renewal date, and Representation of Trademark. The representation of trademark is often a colorful brand label pasted into the volume; sometimes it is just a brand name.

The volumes are organized geographically.

Volume 1: Trade Mark Registrations for Africa, especially provinces of South Africa: Orange River Colony, Rhodesia, Natal, and Transvaal.

Volume 2: Trade Mark Registrations for the following countries: Uruguay, Brazil, Argentine [sic], Chili [sic], Costa Rica, Barbadoes [sic], Bermuda, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Canada, Newfoundland, Japan, Fiji Islands, New Zealand, and Egypt.

Volume 3: Trade Mark Registrations for the Australian States: Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia, Victoria, New South Wales.


Folder List

Volume 1: Trade Mark Registrations for Africa, esp. South African provinces, 1886-1931

Volume 2: Trade Mark Registrations for the Americas, the Pacific Islands, and Egypt, 1880-1950

Volume 3: Trade Mark Registrations for the Australian States, 1879-1920


Subject Headings

Business enterprises.


Smokeless tobacco.

Tobacco industry – Trademarks.

Tobacco products.