In 2010 we featured a speculative post about two trademarks for “Ratnip” rat poison. At the time, I wasn’t sure whether the earlier 1908 trademark (shown in the ad above) was for the same product whose trademark was the back-slanting sans-serif logo from 1927. Or not.
Later, a chance discovery on national television of some “new old stock” of rat-nip with the 1927 style trademark led me to reconsider the question. Was “Ratnip” one continuous brand whose turn-of-the-century logo had been modernized in 1927? Or were they two distinctly different rat poison brands with the same name?
Trademark filings show that, although the Ratnip name has been owned by various business entities—(The Fulton Chemical Company, Buffalo Specialty Company, Nip-Co Manufacturing, The Liquid Veneer Company)—there is a chain of custody cited within the two trademarks.
Poisoned By Eating Ratnip On Saturday
John, the Little Son of Mr. and Mrs. Bentley Thompson, Recovers at Fulton Hospital.
HANNIBAL, Sept. 9.—Saturday night John, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. Bentley Thompson, ate a small quantity of Ratnip. Dr. Acker was called and took the child to the Fulton Hospital where his stomach was pumped and the little lad was brought to his home Sunday out of danger.
Cover story from The Cato Citizen, Cato, NY, Sept. 11, 1930
Above: an early advertorial for Ratnip published in 1919 in The Press (New Zealand)
The registration for the 1927 Rat Nip trademark expired in 2008. There is now an unregistered “Ratnip” brand poison, with a ™ rather than an ®. This one, I believe is an entirely different product with no connection to the earlier brand. (Brand discontinuity.)
Still haven’t ever seen the original 1908 Ratnip packaging. Wondering what that was like.