What’s in a label? The Genealogy of Big Mac by JC Penney
July 10, 2011 § 35 Comments
History of Big Mac by JC Penney:
James Cash Penney (what a name) was born September 16, 1875 on a farm outside of Hamilton, Caldwell County, Missouri to James Cash Penney, Sr. and Mary Frances (nee Paxton) Penney, the 7th of 12 children. In 1898 he began working at a small chain of dry goods stores called The Golden Rule.
In 1902, he opened his own Golden Rule clothing store in Kemmerer, Wyoming. According to that venerable and exclusive source, Vintage Fashion Guild, he partnered at that time with William Henry McManus. But according to that equally respectable research institution, Wikipedia, he partnered with Guy Johnson and Thomas Callahan to open The Golden Rule, but did not partner with McManus until 1913. Regardless, achieving success, The Golden Rule moved its headquarters to Salt Lake City either in 1909 or 1913, depending on which source you’re looking at, “to be closer to banks and railroads.” Around this time Mr. Penney acquired the majority holdings, and they incorporated under the name J.C. Penney Company. In 1920 they acquired The Crescent Corset Company, their first wholly owned subsidiary. But most importantly, “In 1922, the company’s oldest active private brand, Big Mac work clothes, was launched.” Big Mac work wear continues to be produced by JC Penney to this day.
That’s a nice one, don’t you think?
Penneys opens a whole bunch of stores, grows and grows, spawns one Sam Walton in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1940, who went on to found a well-known behemoth in 1962.
James was both a a Freemason and a born-again Christian. In 1971, James Cash Penney died at the age of 95. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, in the Bronx in New York City.
Out of respect for their founder, the company adopted the JCPenney logo, which they use to this day:
Wikipedia lead me to these little gems at Southern Methodist University (which is where my grandfather, James Lowell “Bill” Hamilton used to teach): pdfs of The Dynamo, the J.C. Penney Co. newsletters from 1917-1932. Finding mentions of Big Mac in them proved complicated since they’re not well indexed, and since they are chock-a-block with articles such as “Benefits I Receive From Attending Church,” and tracts on how to be a good J.C. Penney wife, in addition to news about the company, inspirational tips on how to be a better salesman, and charmingly, birth and marriage announcements for Penney employees.
Incidentally, the J.C. Penney Historic District in Kemmerer, Wyoming is now a national landmark.
The Big Mac by JC Penney Trademark:
|Word Mark||BIG MAC|
|Goods and Services||IC 025. US 039. G & S: Men’s Ready-to-Wear Clothing-Namely, Work Shirts Made of Cotton Goods. FIRST USE: 19220104. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19220104|
|Mark Drawing Code||(5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM|
|Filing Date||July 21, 1922|
|Current Filing Basis||1A|
|Original Filing Basis||1A|
|Registration Date||February 27, 1923|
|Owner||(REGISTRANT) J. C. Penney Company CORPORATION UTAH NO. 370 SEVENTH AVENUE SALT LAKE NEW YORK(LAST LISTED OWNER) J.C. PENNEY PRIVATE BRANDS, INC. CORPORATION BY ASSIGNMENT DELAWARE 6501 LEGACY DRIVE PLANO TEXAS 750243698|
|Assignment Recorded||ASSIGNMENT RECORDED|
|Attorney of Record||ALAN S. LANGER|
|Type of Mark||TRADEMARK|
|Affidavit Text||SECTION 8(10-YR) 20030422.|
|Renewal||4TH RENEWAL 20030422|
1923 Big Mac Label Specimen:
Big Mac by JC Penney shirt available for sale at Vintrowear.com:
Red, white, and blue plaid Big Mac by JC Penney vintage mens western shirt. Gripper pearl snaps. Tag size: Tall LT. Cotton poly blend.