Sign in to follow this  
$um Fun

Water Slide Decals

Recommended Posts

When did water slide decals start appearing on parts? I have some parts I am restoring I believe  from the mid teens and they have a water slide decal with the company name on them.   Before I reproduce the decal I want to make sure water decals are correct for the time period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you reproduce any decal, especially with a company name, slogan or trademark, make sure that  you check for any copyright infringements or permission from the original manufacture to avoid some messy legal issues. Many companies take a very hard line on this kind of thing! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wikipedia says decals were invented by Simon Ravenet, a Frenchman who died in England in 1764.  It appears there were water-slide decals long before cars were developed.

 

I don't think you can get in trouble for making a decal to place on parts of your own car, especially if the company went out of business many years ago.  Trouble begins when you start selling decals to others.  It seems that trademarks lose protection if the originator stops using them and/or doesn't formally protest to someone else using the design.  The "protest" does not have to be an immediate law suit, only a letter to the infringer.  But, I'm not a lawyer.  Of course, in this litigious age, some organizations would be extremely unhappy if you duplicated their copyrighted logos, registered trademarks, etc., especially sports teams and fashion designers, but also Ford and GM.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Decalcomania or transfers were invented in the mid 1700s and industrial use was wide spread by 1850. I haven't pinned down the exact date for your water slide decals but certainly something like them was used before cars were invented.

 

In the 1920s and earlier it was common for decals to be silk screened on paper in reverse so that when the paper was soaked in water and laid on a hard smooth surface the design would come off and stick to the new surface. The surface had to be coated with varnish so the decal would stick, then the decal was painted with a protective coat of varnish.

 

The difference between that, and a water slide decal would be insignificant and undetectable.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jpage said:

Before you reproduce any decal, especially with a company name, slogan or trademark, make sure that  you check for any copyright infringements or permission from the original manufacture to avoid some messy legal issues. Many companies take a very hard line on this kind of thing! 

The above advice is technically correct; however, in my opinion, if one produces decals involving trade-marked material for personal use, the entities involved will never become aware of your technical transgression.  I won't tell.  Now, on the other hand, if one reproduces a trade-marked Disney image, the "Evil Empire" will track you down to the ends of the earth.

 

As Gary and Rusty both pointed out above, the process for decal color transfer has been around for a long time ... 1750, or thereabouts.

 

As with Rusty, I'm not clear on when the water slide process for decal application was developed, but if you care to spend a few minutes reading about it, here is the link to the best decal history I was able to find on line:  http://ceramicdecals.org/History_of_Decals.html

 

The process that Rusty described has been around since the late 1800s, so if you use that process you should be period correct with your restorations.

 

Cheers,

Grog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, its a very good point not reproduce anything including a decal  without  permission. In this case we have done the proper patent and trademark searches and found nothing from the company and along those lines the company  has been out of business for over 100 years.

 

I did read about the history of the decal, but was concerned that it may have not come on something from the teens.  Most everything I see from then have a tag of some sorts riveted on.  This is a thin walled cylinder that held oil and would be very hard to rivet a tag on and keep it from leaking.

 

I just want to be correct in the restoration and thank you for everyone for their comments and concerns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest water slide decal I have seen in use were on some NOS mechanical turn signals that were an after market accessory produced in Dayton, Ohio starting in 1923 . these were  on the 100+ turn signals I discovered a mile from my house about 5 years ago stored since new ( unsold by the local car accessory store of that era)  in the loft of a garage ( saved because no one wanted to take the trouble and effort to throw them away). To answer a question some of you who are reading this may have - No , I do not have any left except the two I kept for my own collection. the rest were brought to Hershey and were sold and went home with new owners. A fellow from Belgium bought 10 of them from me and walked off with two bags full . He told me  if all his friends saw he bought one and didn't buy them one they would be mad at him!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Walt,

I have one of your turn signals on my 20 Studebaker touring bought at Hershey a couple years back.  I live in Dayton, , Ohio area.

It works and looks good but the modern drivers just wonder what the heck it is!

Dennis

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dennis, so happy to read that you took it out of the box it was sealed in when new for the first time and are using it! Modern drivers do not understand hand signals either and when I use them in my 30 Packard I usually get someone waving hello back at me ( ! ) as they think I am trying to be friendly. As of a couple of years ago the building where those turn signals were made and sold in Dayton still existed as did the residence a few blocks away where the inventor /manufacturer lived with his wife. The Dayton Library staff was so accommodating when I was trying to learn more about their history. I believe I gave you a sheet with that information on it. I do remember you because you showed me pictures of your Studebaker touring and I was so pleased to know eventually it would have one of the turn signals on it! thanks so much for taking the time to comment, really appreciate that!

Walt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason, I was under the impression that he wanted to make these decals for resale. My bad! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen NOS Henderson X decals as installed by the factory on Henderson motorcycle gas tanks in the twenties and thirties. They were the kind that were silk screened on paper in reverse. You were supposed to varnish the gas tank, stick the decal to the varnish, then soak with water until the paper came off. Smooth down the decal with a cotton ball and when it is dry give it a protective coat of varnish. Sign painters did this kind of work all the time.

 

I also recall the water slide decals from model kits of the fifties and sixties. They were much the same but printed the other way up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can make individual water-slide decals using a dye sublimation printer. A friend of mine used Photoshop or the like to do the art, then had someone print them out for him. I think the process used in the model-making field.

 

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was quite young, this must have happened in about 1951 when my younger brother was born.

Our grandmother had some decals made up with our full names on them.

About 1/2 inch high and maybe two inches long. They were red and gold and quite handsome.

There must have been twenty or thirty of them in an envelope for each of us.

I would put them on things that I wanted to make sure people knew that the item was mine over some years.

I happened across these decals a few years ago after losing track of them for some fifty years.

They didn't work any more, When I soaked them to remove them from the paper backing they would just fall apart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this