Does anyone know the meaning of the letters logo/trade mark

Posting this for Jim as he has trouble with pictures.

The query is :- does anyone know the meaning of the letters logo/trade mark on these boxes. one shows A.P. and the other A.P.C.
It is believed these two boxes were imported into the USA from Germany.

Pictures are courtesy of Pete DeCoux from an article in the latest journal.

Jim is after the info so that he can add it to his data base.


Nobody else has said anything, I have this as the Austin Powder Company of Ohio.

Thanks Will, I will let Jim know.


The Austin Powder Company still exists at:

25800 Science Park Drive
Cleveland, Ohio, USA 44122
Phone: 216-464-2400

Their history is:

[quote]Since 1833, Austin has been linked with the growth of America.

In 1833, America was emerging as a vibrant, growing country with virtually boundless energy and a manifest destiny. The Erie Canal, in operation for eight years, had cut travel time from New York westward to Buffalo by one-third for both people and cargo. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, America’s first passenger train, was opening up the western reserve.

Part of the westward migration involved, literally, moving mountains. Austin Powder was founded in that same year to produce the black powder that would help break the rocks, mine the coal and build the canals. From the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, we grew as the country grew.

We are the second oldest manufacturing company in Ohio. Today, we manufacture a full line of industrial explosives and accessories, and provide blasting services to customers throughout North America and around the world (see “Austin International”).

Our main plants are in McArthur, Ohio; Camden, Arkansas; Brownsville, Texas; and Valle Hermosa, Mexico (see Austin Star Detonator). Distribution in the U.S. and Canada is primarily through 65 company-owned stores.

While our black powder days are long gone, the original spirit and initiative remain as part of our corporate culture. We are pleased to be of service to our mining, construction, and seismic exploration customers in North America and throughout the world.[/quote]

They don’t sound like a good candidate for making ammunition or importing it from Europe.

Their Logo looks old fashion to me, but doesn’t look like the one on either box.

Perhaps someone much better on the internet (wink! wink! Fede), can look up the trade marks and see if they are actually registered. I understand that some of the trademarks used on this type of ammunition made for the US market after WWI are not registered.


Thanks Lew, as before I will let Jim know.


I also have these as Austin Powder Company. Not made by them but made FOR them. They had many cartridges made for them in Germany and Austria and imported it as their brand in the United States prior to WW2. Most even had the APC headstamp.

Perhaps the Austin Powder Company will be glad to resolve this question. I have written them an email with the two photos and asked them if they have ever had any association that they know of with these two items.

The Cartridge Headstamp Guide by White & Munhall, identify headstamp 454 (APC 38.S&W.) as made in Germany for the Clinton Cartridge Company as a trademark for Sears, Roebuck & Company. W&M are not always correct, but, in general, their data is very accurate.


Since there are Braun & Bloem boxes made for J. L. White, the western branch manager/agent of the Austin Cartridge Company located in St. Louis, Missouri -the shotshell factory was located in Cleveland, Ohio-, I also believe that the “A.P.” and “A.P.C.” boxes were possibly brand names made for this same company or one of its agents. Given that the Austin Powder Co. was the parent factory of the cartridge company, this would explain the use of these initials.

I can add that I have searched every single US trademark between 1871 and 1950 and these initials were never applied or registered. Also, the last trademarks applied by the Austin Cartridge Co. date from May 1, 1905, but these were all for shotshells (Advance, Crack Shot, Reliance, etc.). This company ceased to exist in 1907.

Cartridges with an A.P.C. headstamp are also found in “Clinton” brand boxes made for the Clinton Cartridge Co. in Chicago, Illinois, which was a cartridge company brand name used since 1905 by Sears, Roebuck & Co. In this case, I’m not sure if Sears ordered cartridges from the same German company (B&B) or repacked and/or relabeled cartridges made for Austin, as some of the boxes are identical except for the label.

Hope this helps.



The deeper we dig, the more complex the story becomes. I wonder what the Austin Powder Company has to say, if anything!!!

Thanks Fede. Well Done!!!


I agree with Fede’s assessment.

Austin, the powder co., had shells made with their name on them as Fede notes, and those without their name & house-brand (they used other hulls like Winchester’s, for a time) and had a (patented?) single dot punch in the side of the brass-head to secure the head to the paper body. Also a typical (for Austin) but not name-printed topwad was used as part of the complete shell.

They had labels printed for their powder brands & shot shell boxes. No one (that I’ve ever heard from) has any knowledge of any center fire ammunition with the Austin name. Just this attribution.

So if they would have had center fire metallic ammunition manufactured for them, they would have at the very least had it packaged with their name on it but none seems to exist. Why just put A.P. on it & not spell out their full name as was done with their other products? Would there be enough national name recognition at that time to use just initials? I think not. Certainly should have cost the same (other than perhaps a few pennies more for a one-time typesetting) to have either “A.P.” or the full name on the labels.

Thanks all for your input, I am sure this will have helped Jim.


I may be pretty confused here. As mentioned back in the 2005 article Werner Richter and I did on these type boxes, I thought they were made back in the 1920s and early 1930s. This is a time when the German economy and ammunition market were having problems and the American ammunition market would seem attractive.

The info Pete’s article provides on the Austin Cartridge Company indicates it was bought by Olin/Western in 1907. That means either box marked Austin Cartridge Company, and probably the other similar boxes date from this time. Fede’s information in the article

indicates this ammunition probably dates from before WWI.

Fede, you mentioned above:

Is this in reference to the “Austin” marked box at the end of Part 2 of Pete’s article??? What identifies Mr white to this label?

With my mind set of the 1920s & 1930s, I thought this was a case where someone, perhaps the Austin Powder Company, retained ownership of the name “Austin Cartridge Company” and used it in the 1920s. Another possibility is that Olin/Western bought the name when they bought the company in 1907 and later used the name for the import of ammunition, but this seems unlikely. Perhaps someone else bought the name and used it for import of ammunition.

Basic Question!!!

When was this ammunition produced and imported into the US?

I suspect I am really screwed up on this one.


If Western/Olin bought Austin in 1907, then who owned the Austin Cartridge Company name in the 1920s and 1930s? If Western/Olin owned it, did they have a hand in the import??? or did someone else like " J. L. White" mentioned by Fede.

Lew, here is a picture of an example of the Eagle Metallic Cartridge Co. box made for the Austin Cartridge Co. As you can see, it has the same design registered by B&B on September 18, 1906, but since it was applied after the Act of February 20, 1905, its first use in commerce was not documented. This last information was required since 1886 and results very useful, but it was not reinstalled until 1909, at least for cartridge related trademarks.

Also, note that the box label mentions a St. Louis, Missouri address, which do not belongs to the Austin Cartridge Co., but to J. L. White, his manager and western branch agent. The following ad dates from 1898.



Thanks Fede for the great answer to the Austin marked box, however neither of the A.P. or A.P.C. boxes are identified as Austin by other than an attribution.

I looked through every page of Jim Scones trademarks book & through a couple of gun books that list trademarks (Byron). & saw nothing either like the two boxes in question or a listing for Austin Powder Co. with other than the numerous shot gun shell brands noted above by Fede.

I still submit if Austin had these made they would have had the Austin Powder Co. name on the box. It is on the box label provided by Gerry Bernstein in the journal and the box Fede uses to illustrate the connection with Mr. White.

So why not these if they are by / from Austin?

Perhaps these trade marks were only listed in Germany / Europe? Can a ‘trade mark’ search be done in that direction?

Pete, you are right about “A.P.”, “A.P.C.” and Austin, to my knowledge there is actually no documented connection except for the attribution of the initials with those of the parent powder company, which may be just coincidental. Also, I admit that before knowing of the existence of the Eagle/Austin box I thought that even this attribution was very unlikely.

I forgot to mention that the “A.P.C.” headstamp in .38 S&W is mentioned in an assassination case from 1912 describing circumstances occurred in 1910, so at least we can confirm that these already existed by this date.