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#421 ClevelandShooter

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE (dalbert @ Aug 22 2008, 06:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Guys, I'm putting my board owner/moderator hat on for the moment. Let's tone down the personal stuff. As I stated in the board rules, topical, spirited discussion is fine, but let's not make it personal. Everyone has their opinion on the issue, and that's all I'll say about that...

Thanks!

David Albert
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Thanks Dave.

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#422 PhilOhio

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:02 PM

Dave says,

"Guys, I'm putting my board owner/moderator hat on for the moment. Let's tone down the personal stuff. As I stated in the board rules, topical, spirited discussion is fine, but let's not make it personal. Everyone has their opinion on the issue, and that's all I'll say about that...

Thanks!

David Albert
dalbert@sturmgewehr.com"


And Cleveland Bill says,

"Thanks Dave."

Bill, I think you are (intentionally) misinterpreting Dave's comments for the board's consumption. I think the rest of the board understands what he was saying, that he was squarely aiming at the intentional unprovoked personal insults which start these things, specifically this one:

"I do believe that it is nap time for Phil, Low on Prozac? Perhaps an Ativan or 2.........
Bill Out"


...which you followed and topped with this:

"Hi Phil hope you are better today,
Let's review, You have attacked me for having an opinion, one that is contrary to yours. I thought that this is America not Philsland?
My opinion is based on the Article published in SAR by TD, I have a right to that opinion.
As for Jury duty, here in Cuyahoga county I have served a total of 16 weeks of jury duty in my lifetime, Averaging 2.5 cases per 2 week service = 20 cases, Yep that is a lot. Bet more than you!!!!!!!. No Phil, it is not taught at the Community College, Another Institution that you belittle, What are you a Harvard Grad??????? If so Really do not care. Phil when someone pushes your button, you lose all the respect and credibility that you have built on this board. Go back and reread my post IT WAS JUST MY OPINION.. As for my spelling errors that you so proudly pointed out, once again very childish Phil. In the future please act like someone that this board should be proud of."


The thought processes in that post pretty much tell us the story, but when you say...

"Let's review, You have attacked me for having an opinion,"

Yes, let's review. Where and how have you been "attacked" for having an opinion? Your opinion does not even catch my notice unless it is constructive, interesting, and based upon some facts or evidence I have not seen. So far, that has been "never". In the thousands of words I have posted on this and the previous board, over 6 - 7 years, you will not find an instance where I personally "attacked" any person for any opinion held. Nor will I, ever. Sure, I differ with peoples' opinions, and I may state my reasons, and I may criticize the logic of the opinion, and I may defend my position if it makes sense, but never will I choose your preferred tactic, Bill, to attack the opinion holder personally by insulting him, particularly if it happens to be me. I responded to your familiar and calculated insult, by using more polite and humorous language than it deserved, to highlight the lack of sense it made. There is nothing funny about intentional personal insults, nor was there this time. When it happens, I think it's fair to bounce back a little sarcasm, to hopefully discourage whoever did it and focus on anything said that may have been silly (or even misspelled wink.gif ), but not by "attacking" the person.

A guy like TD understands this. He's a serious guy and, I think, a gentleman. We differ on this "unbroken succession" thing and we state our cases. And sooner or later, the evidence situation may change, and we will probably both be satisfied by the result. But neither of us is slinging mud the way you have, for years, and neither of us is suggesting the other is a mental incompetent who isn't taking his Prozac. And we aren't doing this because neither of us need it; we have the common sense not to launch the sophomoric personal attacks which most people leave behind on the elementary school playground.

I am sure Dave correctly understands this current exchange and doesn't want these things to be initiated by anybody on this board, as you have done over and over. He was trying to make it as clear as he could when he said, to you, "...but let's not make it personal." What he does about it when somebody ignores him, and cranks up the personal attack machinery, is his business. But considering your lengthy history of initiating these things on the earlier board, over a period of years, it would take me less than one second to decide how to resolve the problem permanently and fairly for all parties.

Bill, even Dave is sort of on the other side of this "unbroken succession" debate. Why is he not calling me a hydrocephalic idiot and throwing me off the board, and why am I not mailing him envelopes filled with my cat's latest and proudest accomplishments? Might there be something different about our approach toward getting along together? And might there be something there which you could take another look at?

Each of us, including you, started here with a clean slate...in theory, at least. You should be taking advantage of that.

And Dave,

Thanks for tolerating my defensive posts against this stuff, so far, but I'd rather not be making them. If it's targetted at me personally, and if it and/or the poster isn't deleted before I see it, or shortly afterward, it seems fair that I should have the opportunity to respond to an intentional slap in the face. I hope no more of these attack trial balloons, and their posters, are left unpurged, whether they come from one old familiar source or another. Those sources, primarily just one (not Bill), intentionally instigated the frustration that led to one member's messages which made Frank throw up his hands and give up. There's a long record of this; always from the same two or three places. It killed the old board. But here we are again; same old reasons. Or one very familiar reason.

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#423 colt21a

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 12:25 PM

HOLY COW i just decided to read all of this today.very interesting. now everybody get out the oreo's and milk.and your favorite Thompson or Greaser movie.or old classic horror film and relax.kick back in the chair and take a break!

and come back with all new fresh info, joke's and material next week.
Ron

p.s. did anybody know that J.Curtis Earl owned the Thompson company?
got ya!
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#424 Norm

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:31 PM

Ron,

This post has become....

THREADZILLA!!!


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#425 colt21a

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 01:39 PM

and the one i posted on the "Greaser" has become it's baby....and i always loved "Gojira"

Ron
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#426 PhilOhio

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 01:13 PM

The prompt for this bump to the top was the arrival in my mailbox two days ago of the September 2008 issue of Small Arms Review, which had been impossible to obtain around here until I subscribed to it. The issue was a double whammy (of the good kind) for this board, with great feature articles from two members, host Dave Albert on Manville gas guns, and "TD" Tom Davis on the Kilgore era in Thompson history. The latter article occupies eight full pages and concludes that an undefined entity, repeatedly described as "the Thompson", passed from Maguire Industries, to Kilgore, to Frederic Willis and unidentified associates, and eventually to George Numrich and Numrich Arms Company in what seems to be represented as an unbroken ownership succession. Or maybe I am grossly misinterpreting what is claimed in the last sentence.

The article purportedly lays to rest any doubts as to "the Thompson's" unbroken chain of ownership during the time period covered...and by implication, up to and including the contemporary Kahr Arms era. When I took issue with that conclusion in August, I was taken to task for commenting without having done my homework, by reading TD's article...which supposedly had new information which would lay to rest my reservations.

I've now read the article, two or three times, taking a lot of notes before posting this response to the contention that I was not qualified to comment. As soon as the SAR article came out, it was cited as conclusive proof of the "unbroken succession" theory, that Thompson proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, can be traced directly from the original, documented 1940s owners to Kahr Arms today. It's clear to me that the article was expected to be the final word on the "unbroken succession" debate, with it being published in a respected venue such as SAR. I'm not inclined to let that become the new status quo, for the sake of accuracy. I'm totally satisfied that the opposite is true, and that contention cannot be successfully challenged, with reference to the verifiable facts, or lack thereof, available to each of us as of today. There is no "unbroken succession" that any of us know about, or can prove by citing verifiable independent sources and documents.

Anybody who sets out to do research on a scientific or historical issue which may involve controversey, has to accept that the work is open to peer review. This is that. It is nothing more and nothing less. It is a part of the continuing research to find more facts, for those interested. And I accept that very few of us are. If peer review finds the historical evidence claimed is verifiable, then information presented in the book or article becomes a part of the accepted historical record. If the scientific experiment can be independently repeated, we have a breakthrough for mankind. Cold Fusion didn't make that cut.

The good news is that TD's fine article reveals a wealth of new anecdotal information on what happened to bits and pieces of the Thompson story after Maguire stopped making the guns during World War II and before George Numrich began putting a few surplus pieces together in the 1960s. But continuity of the essence of it, ownership changes of virtually any of the intellectual property involved, is not newly verified in any way. I have to elaborate, because I know this will be hotly disputed.

Weeks before reading the SAR article, I had attended TD's excellent lecture and slide show on the same subject at our recent TATA meeting in August. I asked some pointed questions regarding the implied but unproven intellectual ownership transfers. The responses did not resolve anything. None of this reflects unfavorably on all the positive research, TD's good and exceptional work, done so far. The problem is only about the premature conclusion.

One consistent problem ran through the SAR article, the lecture, and the slide show. Repeatedly, reference is made to the sale or ownership transfer of what is described as "the Thompson", usually without defining the term further or adding descriptive words. Rereading the article, I started counting these and got lost after about 28. It is out of order to use a term like that in a scholarly context without defining exactly what it means, at the very beginning. In this case, I don't believe it is prudent to use it in a vague way at all, in a piece which is being held up as the scholarly resolution of an issue which has been in dispute among Thompson collectors for a long time.

Besides the above 28 uses of "the Thompson", there are references to "the Thompson submachine gun", and "the Tommy Gun", and "the Thompson business". Some of these entities are said to have been "transferred", were "sold off", or "made the move". We don't get details, names, dates, places, where and how the transactions were recorded, or anything which could be independently verified by the reader. It's interesting, of course, and can be considered reason to probe further.

The closest we come to additional facts is reference to a letter from Bill Helmer regarding what he "thought" he remembered about the alleged sale of "drawings, blueprints, dies and other assets". But this is very thin stuff upon which to base a historical theory which is set forth as fact instead.

Further, Helmer is quoted on what he said he "heard" from George Numrich, regarding ownership changes of something relating to Thompson resources. That also is interesting, but not close to fact.

It gets even murkier, when we read that Numrich "said" Kilgore "reportedly" paid $385,000 for all rights and interests in "the Thompson submachine gun". No further verifiable sources for this alleged remembrance are cited. To say this is smoke, would be an understatement. Yet to me, this is one of the most tantalizing fragments. That amount could have bought a lot of unfinished guns and parts and tooling, and there are suggestions that it may have been stored at several locations. It might also have bought some intellectual property, the essence of "the Thompson". But we don't know any of that; the evidence is simply not there. It may have bought both. We just don't know.

We are vaguely told that Numrich supposedly purchased "the Thompson assets", whatever that means, from Frederic Willis and unidentified associates at an unspecified time, at an unspecified place, for an unspecified amount, in a year which I think I can narrow down to 1951. More thin stuff? You bet. But all of the above is very interesting, and some of it is worth pursuing further, to try to get at those nuggets which would shift the intellectual property sale theories into the realm of verifiable fact.

Nowhere in the article, the lecture, or the visual aids is there even reference to the existence or sale of such key intellectual property assets such as the Thompson bullet logo, the Thompson name for a firearm, or the corporate name of Auto Ordnance. Without these, "the Thompson" does not exist. There can be no scholarly discussion of "the Thompson's" ownership progression without these questions being answered with what lawyers describe as "reasonable specificity".

The red flag went up for me as I hit these references to "the Thompson" on the first page of the article. We simply have to define things better than that.

TD says at the very end of the article that his research has "laid to rest" questions of what Kilgore planned to do with the hard assets and tooling and parts they reportedly purchased. I agree with your conclusion on their intentions, TD; they planned to manufacture guns. But they didn't. Where all of this good research falls to pieces is in the very last sentence, where there is a giant leap to the claim that somehow it has now been "established" that Kilgore purchased "theThompson" and that this still undefined entity was passed along to successive owners, with Numrich Arms Company being named last. Nothing of the kind has been established.

But it may be, sometime. Right now, we do not have the verifiable facts and documentation at hand to make that sweeping statement with scholarly accuracy. To represent it as a theory, or guess, or assumption would be fair. But that is not what has happened. It is being represented as fact. And my credibility for taking exception has come under direct fire...unwarranted fire. I'll stand on my assessment. And my mind is open. If and when new facts surface, and if they can be objectively verified, I'll be happy to accept that.

But right now, there is not one shred of evidence to support the "unbroken succession" theories on the chain of ownership of Thompson intellectual property rights, which consist of the product name, the bullet logo, and the corporate name of the original Auto Ordnance Corporation.

It just ain't there. ph34r.gif

...as I said long before reading the excellent and interesting SAR article.

If I could make it happen, I would. We'd all be happier and TD would not be upset with my voicing of this analysis. Honestly TD, I commend you for all this research and the great article. My only criticism is that the new anecdotal results which you unearthed do not logically lead to the conclusion reached at the very end. The facts are not yet there. That is not a situation of my making; I only describe it.

I'm not any less happy with any of the people holding opinions on the other side, and I just hope I don't get hosed from all directions when I get on the Newark PD range next year. laugh.gif Maybe by that time we'll have found all the missing documents. But I wouldn't be unhappy if we never find the missing link connecting all these honorable people and their companies to those little old elf craftsmen, builders of guns and drums that occasionally work, at Kahr Arms in upstate New York.
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#427 Bridgeport28A1

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 05:37 PM

Phil, after reading articulate post, I will need to run down a copy of SAR to read. I'll need to try a more well stocked magazine book store as my local Barnes & Noble does not carry it, not much of a surprise but thought it was worth a walk inside.

On a more light note I figured it was time member #161 posted on most read thread.

Phil, thanks for replying in regards to the other item I inquired about today.

Ross
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#428 ClevelandShooter

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:44 AM

Phil, I really enjoyed your post on the SAR article, and I understand your position. Now that we have both read it, I hope that you understand my opinion on this subject. I just am not in need of the documentation that you require. As the new saying goes "it is what it is". And as previously stated "I am not an expert in any way on the subject. However I feel that TD is. He presented his research in his article and I am in agreement with his findings. This like all opinions is subject to change with the presentation of new evidence to the contrary.
The reason I visit this board is to learn, and you and others have educated myself on the Thompson subject. To all on this board I say thank you.
This is but one of my hobbies, one that I enjoy greatly.
So, to yourself, Dave, TD, Arty, Norm, Inertord, Colt 21A, and all the wonderful folks that contribute here I say thanks.
MY .02
Bill Out

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#429 PhilOhio

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:56 PM

Well, Bill, I appreciate your post and the comments. What I said about the lack of evidence on the unbroken succession thing was not a matter of my opinion, though. And it is not a matter of what I "need". It's only a question of what is objectively required to reasonably prove the succession matter, in the eyes of anybody who starts out with no opinion on the matter.

And as I have repeated almost every time I have commented on this, I'm not saying that the documentation, the only acceptable proof, is not out therre someplace. We simply don't have it. Nobody can dispute this. And sometime all, or pieces of it, may be found.

In the meantime, I don't think the issue is all that important. What is important is to be accurate. And to say that we know the succession has been continuous and unbroken is simply neither factual or accurate.

Like you and most of the rest of us here, I liked TD's article very much and admire all the dedication and work that went into it. I also grew up with all the great quality Kilgore cap guns and things, most of which I still have. I even have unopened boxes of some of the uncommon types of caps they made. What a shame that we lost Kilgore and all that they produced. For those of you who are younger, I can tell you that what happened to that company was a very direct, intentional result of years of hard work and fanatical dedication to a sick cause on the part of the very same rabid antigunners who did so much damage to the Second Amendment during that period. The cap gun part of it was not publicized so much, as it was outside of NRA's scope of interest, apparently.

The current Senator Dodd's corrupt senator father, later a convicted felon, was a key person in the propaganda war against toy guns, along with Ohio's Abner Mikva and the usual screamers of the time. They launched quite a campaign, and product safety war, and "bad influence on kids" war, and harrassed retailers and distributors in all sorts of ways to get rid of the cap guns and most other toy guns. All of it was thoroughly coordinated. They saw this as a way of helping to shut off the supply of younger members for the NRA and new, young gun buyers. I guess it was somewhat successful.
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#430 colt21a

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 03:36 PM

guys all great stuff.i'd like to be back in another hundred year's to see how it all works out. and i'm sure somebody during the civil war said the same thing to somebody.but as far as we have come since 1865. not sure in 2108.....what things will be like on this planet,and maybe just maybe.somebody who is having a baby now. that baby will be here to debate it all.of course as a really old man.

everybody keep the history alive. lately thats about all we've got!

Ron

p.s. just had a great cheese turkey burger.{ that may have clouded my thinking.}
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#431 Zamm

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 05:58 PM

Guys,
Wow! That was really, really a great read!
Damm I love this stuff!! What a thread.
Best, Z
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#432 October1971

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

Phil Ohio,
I must confess I had not given a lot of DETAILED attention to your many postings on this topic. I, like some of the others, have just re-read all of the most recent thread on this subject.

Based upon your posts throughout this thread, can I ask a couple of questions of you, relating to some other similar (?) situations?

1. When MAC ( Military Armament Corporation ) auctioned off its completed mgs, tooling, accessories, etc. during their financial troubles in the early 1970s, were there written transfers of legal documents for the use of the "MAC" name, or M10 or M11, etc.?

2. When RPB Industries, and later Leatherwood, then Cobray, produced similar guns to the original MAC, did they do a legal filing or transfer of the name, logo, intellectual rights, or other "non-hardware and tooling?"

3. When the Reese brothers of Rock Island Armory and Springfield Armory, Inc. fame started producing M1A semi-auto rifles etc. was there a legal, filed document, transfering the "right" to use the Springfield Armory name, etc? Or was the Springfield Armory (original Govt arsenal) name Public Domain by the time the SA Inc. was formed?

I must confess I'm not very knowledgeable about the transfer of "intellectual" rights, logos, copyrights, etc. Are the above cases similar or different than the Auto Ordnance situation? If similar, do we know if either of the above-mentioned entities filed paperwork with any governmental agency, court, etc.?

Is it safe to say that the bulk of this whole thread boils down to (2) parts:

1. It is fairly certain that all the entities in the Thompson game legally purchased guns, parts, tooling, brochures, etc
But that 2.) they just didn't necesssarily "legally" purchase the right to the name and logo and/or trademarks? (Or at least no one has seen the documents.)

If )2 above is correct, is there a statute of limitations or time line ( like there is on some patents and ...? ) so that even if no written, legal, documents ever surface to show the transfer of the intellectual property, the company can still legally use the name, logo, etc.?

I admire TDs massive research (and ALL of the opinions on this board) , and I admire your tenacity in sticking to the "legal" issue of the intellectual rights transfer.

And OT, does everyone realize how important the November election will be, compared to those in the last several decades?

The SINGLE biggest reason to vote for McCain/Palin over NoBama and company is the future appointment of possibly (3) Supreme Ct Justices.
Put another way, how would you like to have Nancly Pelosi as atty General and Hillary a Supreme Ct Justice?
Does any of that scare you as bad as it does me?

Sorry for the OT tail on this post, but I feel we are at one of those major "tipping points" in the history ( and future) of this country...

Bill D
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#433 TD.

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 08:48 PM

I want everyone to know that Zamm was a very big help with this story. Without his help, I would have never located a second copy of the book "Tommy" - the first book about the Thompson Submachine Gun (written by Frederic A. Willis and presented to Russell Maguire). When I would locate records pertaining to Willis, Zamm would make and send the copies to me. A longer version of the Kilgore story will be published soon. Much of the additional information told about this era of Thompson history is a direct result of Zamm's efforts. And for that I owe him another big THANK YOU!!!
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#434 Zamm

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 08:26 AM

TD,
your much to kind and give much too much credit.
All I did was a little flatfooting around NY city hall.
But the story, plus everyones take and angle has become quite
a remarkable saga. Legal, opinion, etc...
Love this thread!
Z
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#435 PhilOhio

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (October1971 @ Sep 6 2008, 09:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Phil Ohio,
...Based upon your posts throughout this thread, can I ask a couple of questions of you, relating to some other similar (?) situations?...


Bill,

I have absolutely no specific knowledge about the sale of any of those firearms business assets you mentioned, other than what I read here and there, and in reference books. But all of the same principles apply, absolutely. If there were valuable intellectual assets which changed hands (trademarks, copyrights, logos, etc.), and somebody paid a substantial amount of money for the exclusive and legally protected right to use them in the future, you can be 100% certain that the transaction was not conducted casually, with a handshake or the banging of an auctioneer's gavel. A fool and his money are soon parted. No real businessman, who survives at least, flies by the seat of his pants. He has a lawyer and accountant who screen and monitor the transaction and offer advice. You do not just casually pee away $10,000 or $100,000 or maybe $2 million on unprotected intellectual assets. It doesn't happen in the real world. Or else they color you bankrupt. So if any of those ownership transfers took place in a protectable way, i.e. being properly recorded in the manner prescribed by applicable law, state or federal, that fact and the supporting documentation is accessible; now and in the future. If not, then in a legal sense it did not happen. All of this applies to the history of the Thompson intellectual assets.

I'm not talking about the patents on design features, which expire after a specified time and can be renewed, within limitations.

Is all of this some new way of doing business, and something which was not yet set in concrete back in the 1940s or '50s? Certainly not. The same fixed rules applied in the 1860s, '70s, and '80s, when some of the greatest technical breakthroughs in firearms history determined which companies flourished and which ones perished. Read the history of Colt, S&W, and all the others. It is mostly a story of major battles over intellectual rights and patents, and in some cases how to evade them without being sued out of existence. Lawyers didn't just happen yesterday, and "casual" never was. wink.gif

The interesting situations arise when a company folds because its intellectual assets lose their earning power. The companies either go bankrupt or else circumstances arise where something artificial intervenes, keeping otherwise good intellectual property from earning money as before. It seems like legal and regulatory problems end the businesses of small submachine gun manufacturers, sooner or later.

Variations of this happened with MAC, RPB, the Cobray name and logo, and others. We know there were auctions and sales of hardware, completed guns, and parts in various stages of manufacture. I know of cases where Cobray logos were milled from finished lower receivers, which were then sold through other company's channels for years. This suggests to me that the Cobray intellectual assets might have been been sold to somebody else, who was expected to be protecting them. But I don't know even that.

Springfield Armory, Inc., is entirely different. The "real" original one was a government facility, the name being in the public domain. And in later registering the private corporation, a clear effort was made to see that it was declared to be a private business in Illinois. I imagine there were no significant obstacles. Remember Capitol Records, with their logo being a picture of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington? Again, no problem.

Then we come to the (first) end of the trail for the Thompson, as WW-II wound down. All the big government contracts were over. The intellectual property rights apparently had no more earning power. Tons of surplus Thompsons were being given away to PDs. You could buy cheap parts by the truckload. They were burning new surplus stocks for heat in pot bellied stoves in West Virginia. The bones, some unfinished and finished receivers and parts, were sold and passed through the hands of two previous owners, Kilgore and Fred Willis et al, before George Numrich ever bought the undefined package and assembled or sold one gun in the 1960s. So about 20 years elapsed between the time the last Thompson was manufactured during the war and the time George Numrich pieced together the next one from the crumbs. He only put together a very few of those, as far as we can reconstruct from ATF registry records.

In nearly 20 years, from 1943 to the mid-'60s, we see no evidence that the Thompson name, bullet logo, or design was attached to one new product which generated one new dollar for anybody. So after the original Auto Ordnance Corporation stopped making them, did anybody else purchase and protect (register new ownership) the intellectual assets? Is it logical that anybody might have done this, knowing that the reason these legal rights had become available was that they had no demonstrated ability to earn back anybody's investment? We see not one shred of documentary evidence that anybody did this. But still, negative knowledge is not evidence that it didn't happen. We just don't know that it did happen, so we are completely out of order to claim anything else. Finally, in the '60s, as I recall, George Numrich went to a court clerk in the state of New York and registered the AOC name, with no previous owners challenging him; either because nobody knew, or nobody cared. I suspect the latter. This is what George's legal successors later sold to Kahr Arms, which consistently claims a much longer unbroken continuity which, I am confident, they would be hard pressed to prove in any court of law. Even in the current issue of Small Arms Review, Kahr advertises itself as the same original manufacturer of the Thompson. The word "ludricous" doesn't do the claim justice.

So Bill, I think your conclusions are accurate, especially if you note what I say about George getting rights to the AOC name, years after it ceased to be a functional business entity, and most probably not as the result of having purchased those rights from a previous owner; at least as far as anybody here can document. He walked into a court clerk's office, filled out some blank forms, and became AOC. Later, in 1967, he showed me a small garage-sized white cinder block building which he said was all there was of AOC, besides the paper in some musty court archive file folder. That's as far back as the current Kahr record of continuity goes, as far as I can see. It's a dead end in a tiny white building in sleepy little town at the end of a quiet little street in West Hurley, New York...if the block building is still standing.

Maybe Mr. Moon, of Kahr Arms, could straighten us out on why and how the origins of his company actually go directly back to the original AOC of the 1940s, in an unbroken and absolutely continuous chain of ownership succession, as he advertises and others also claim. wink.gif

We're all waiting to hear about it. ...and waiting. ...and waiting.

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#436 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 08:34 PM

Even Dave and TD acknowledge that the AOC that Kahr uses in its advertising is not the AOC of pre 1945. The post war AOC, as first used by Trast in the production of brand new semi auto carbines and full auto smg's, is a totally different entity. The location of the crates of the Thompson Submachine guns and the machines used to make them has never been a mystery. From the time Maguire put them in storage, to when he sold them five years later to Kilgore and the subsequent transfer/sales to Willis/Numrich/Trast/Kahr was never in dispute. For some, it is essential to characterize this as an "unbroken chain" of possession.

I guess by this standard, the only way to break a succession is if everything burned up in a fire in 1944 and five years later, after the patents and copyrights had expired, some enterprising soul started to buy and sell existing TSMG's using the name AOC and the Thompson bullet logo in their advertising. Well, except for the fire, this is essentially what happened. Kilgore paid $385,00 for machines that came from two different factories, Savage in Utica New York, and AOC in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Considering that McGuire made over $20 million with the TSMG in WWII, this is a fire sale. In the mid 1950's, a yearly retainer for a top tier lawyer was $200,000. For less than double that you could purchase the equipment to turn out the best smg ever devised.

While the Thompson being made today is of course not being made by the original AOC, until we see evidence to the contrary, Kahr's claim that their "Thompson" is not only being made by the same company, but that Kahr somehow absorbed the vintage history of the pre 1945 TSMG, is a total confabulation. This maybe trite to some, or most, but to those who find the subterfuge too much to just go along with the flow, it is important to remain skeptical about claims that do not have the facts to back them up.

Edited by Arthur Fliegenheimer, 07 September 2008 - 08:36 PM.

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#437 PhilOhio

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 03:36 PM

Pondering some of the valid points reiterated by Arthur, it occurs to me that there are some entertaining ironies here. The Chinese maker of repro Crosby drums, who stamped them with the word "Thompson", to describe what the drums fit, was taking no real legal risk and infringing on nothing, no matter how loudly the Kahr lawyers blustered. But the repro drum's importer had the marking removed from future production runs, to eliminate the pointless expense of fighting a frivolous lawsuit.

On the other hand, Kahr seems rather exposed to charges of flagrant false advertising, over a long period of time, by claiming to be the original AOC, which they clearly are not. They have no connection to it. Never did, never will, as far as any of us have been able to determine. And we have been trying for a long time.

All this Kahr misrepresentation and lawyer threatening is especially funny when you realize who Kahr Arms is; "Reverend" Sun-myong MOON's Unification Church, the Moonies, represented in the U.S. by one of his sons who runs the business and presumable funnels profits back home. Papa MOON could never do it himself, as he was thrown out of the U.S. decades ago by our Immigration and Nationalization Service as a moral undesirable, banned from reentry, following statutory rape convictions in the northeast. Just one case or one underage child? Hardly. smile.gif I'm not sure if he is still alive, but he was a subject of my abiding interest for years, from the early '60s until much later. Considering his extensive experience with high speed reciprocating motion, you'd think Kahr would be building a more smoothly running semi-auto Thompson. wink.gif

You serious researchers could have some fun here. New York state and New Jersey are where all the court records are; and of course Washington, D.C....and nearby. INS retains the controlling file on this one. The correctly romanized Korean name to search is MUN Sun-myong, with standard variations. I love to ressurect this every now and then; the guy was just such an energetic, overweight little package of concentrated testosterone, and with a face to match his preferred English spelling of the family name.

But I don't know how one would be able to identify a wronged party in an alleged Kahr false advertising case, or determine damages. Maybe the damage involves hernia repair bills for those of us who laugh ourselves into semiconsciousness over the "original manufacturer" claims in each new issue of SAR or the American Rifleman. But I suppose they can roll merrily along with more of the same. And only a handful of collectors will smile or frown and object.

Maybe I'll become the original manufacture of the button hook or something, as long as nobody cares; unbroken succession, straight back to the 1850s. Yep. Proof? I think I've got one someplace.
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#438 TD.

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:35 PM

Arthur,
I hope you have had an opportunity to read the story. It is not the complete story that will come soon. New information about any subject is often controversial. The Thompson gun is but a product of a corporation - the only major product of Auto-Ordnance Corporation; one of many with Maguire Industries. It was the product that was sold off to Kilgore, not the Auto-Ordnance name. That name was simply abandoned when the corporation changed names.

The succession of this great product between owners is what I documented. I thought Bill Helmer did a pretty good job with just the material provided in The Gun That Made The Twenties Roar. I never needed any of this new information to see the continuous succession of the Thompson gun from one owner to another. Apparently, some disagreed and started espousing a lot of information that was far from the truth. There is now no doubt how the Thompson moved from one entity to the next. The acknowledgment of the subsequent sales by high level company officials and the supporting information with dates provided as a result of the Internal Revenue Service investigation puts any argument to the contrary to rest. I found what these new owners did with the Thompson quite fascinating, especially Kilgore Manufacturing. Except for the IRS, the filing of legal documents about the successive sales of the Thompson with any government agency was not required for anything that occurred. These subsequent owners were all privately held corporations or sole-proprietorships. All the records would be kept in house and used and produced only if needed. While some may not like Numrich Arms and Kahr Arms because of the quality of workmanship, their place in history with the Thompson gun is undeniable.

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#439 PhilOhio

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 12:03 PM

QUOTE (TD. @ Sep 9 2008, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Arthur,
...There is now no doubt how the Thompson moved from one entity to the next...

...The acknowledgment of the subsequent sales by high level company officials and the supporting information with dates provided as a result of the Internal Revenue Service investigation puts any argument to the contrary to rest...

...Except for the IRS, the filing of legal documents about the successive sales of the Thompson with any government agency was not required for anything that occurred...

...These subsequent owners were all privately held corporations or sole-proprietorships. All the records would be kept in house and used and produced only if needed...


C'mon TD, you can't defeat my understanding of the facts by refusing to acknowledge my posts. wink.gif This is a key, critical issue among collectors of a very fascinating American firearm, upon which a whole lot of collectors are, and always will be, focused. You have written and published an article claiming to set the record straight for once and for all, in deciding the facts and laying to rest all previous debate. I'm not trying to be a bad guy, but I won't sit quietly by when such a controversial case has been stridently argued over such a long period of time, and the known set of historical facts and current claims does not support the idea that the question is settled...when all evidence shouts that it has not been. That's all I have been saying. And you are saying, as I understand it, 'ignore all that'. The facts Phil says are necessary are not necessary. Just aren't. Weren't required. Aren't. There was unbroken succession, just because there was. And "the Internal Revenue Service investigation puts any argument to the contrary to rest..." blink.gif How so? The IRS investigated none of this. So how could their investigation of one question resolve an entirely different one? Or maybe the reader isn't supposed to figure that out.

We really do have to start getting it right about what those late '40s contemporary circumstances were and what the known facts which you describe meant. This repeated reference to "the Thompson" really is not descriptive enough to be helpful anymore. Do you mean hardware, patents, copyrights, logo, product name, all of these, some of these, none of these, machinery, tools and dies, or precisely what? What in the world is "the Thompson", within the context of your article?

Number One, the role of IRS in all this had not one thing in the world to do with the ownership succession of any Thompson intellectual property rights, or of the corporation, or anything other than one narrow type of hardware, receivers and guns. IRS did not, in any way whatsoever, endorse any corporate ownership changes, if there were any. They couldn't care less, and their involvement does not support one single issue you argue. IRS became involved for this reason: They learned that some of the Thompsons, and Thompson receivers, had changed hands without proper paperwork being completed and without transfer taxes having been paid. This was negotiated and corrected. By no stretch of the imagination did this have one solitary thing to do with ownership of the Thompson name, logo, copyrights, or any such thing changing hands...if it did or did not. That I do not know. Nor do you. Nor does anybody here. This was an apples and oranges issue. IRS did not care one fig either way. They only addressed firearms possession, taxable submachine gun receivers. They played no...other...role...at...all.

Number Two, what you say about "all of the records" being "kept in house and used and produced only if needed" is simply not a factual description of required intellectual property rights ownership transfer records, then or now. Nor is the statement "the filing of legal documents about the successive sales of the Thompson with any government agency was not required for anything that occurred...". Totally. If you are talking about records directly relating to the ownership transfer of the Thompson intellectual property rights, which are the sole proof of this "unbroken succession" issue, they are most certainly required. If you are talking about sales of miscellaneous machinery and hardware other than receivers, then you would be correct. But then again, it's hard to say, when all this is confusingly whipped together in this vague, undefined mixmaster term "the Thompson". It has no meaning. It is a legal requirement in every state in this nation that if intellectual property rights exist in a form which is to be protected under law, then there is no validity to a transfer unless the change is witnessed, agreed, documented and filed according to the form specified in that jurisdiction. The filing would always be with the controlling state or federal government regulatory agency and usually would involve a court. There are no undocumented transfers. Zip, zero, nada.

TD, it don't happen no other way. Ain't nuttin' "in house only" or casual about it. That's not my opinion, or my say-so, or my debating position, but just how it is. Period. I don't care. I have no axe to grind. Long ago, businessmen and lawyers and judges and politicians got together and decided this was how they wanted to do things. They wrote some laws, and we have been doing it that way ever since; even in the days of AOC and Maguire and Willis and Kilgore and George Numrich. There was no historical disconnect where, for a couple years, they didn't have to do it and that's why we see no evidence of the transfers. To say that all this documentation and proof "was not required" is absurd. Sure, it would have been "not required" if there was no transfer, or if there was a casual transfer but the buyer had no interest in legally protecting what he bought. But then the succession would be broken. That is not what you have been arguing, if I understand correctly. You insist that there is an unbroken succession of what you refer to as "the Thompson", which cannot not be identified in any other way without referring to the product name, the logo, AOC name, manufacturing rights...i.e., the whole ball of wax which is "the Thompson".

I don't see any of these questions being addressed. I only see repetition of the same generalized "unbroken succession" argument about "the Thompson", which is not supported by one single speck of verifiable documentary evidence that has been presented so far. It it most certainly is required, in order to prove your point.

I could write 50,000 words backing my point of view (we're gettin' there laugh.gif ), and you could write 50,000 from yours. None of it would change a thing. Only the evidence counts. Evidence of succession IS required and it is missing. Neither of us can change the facts. We can look for them, but we can't create them or make them go away when we don't like some of the pesky things. The lack of them supports my understanding of what did or did not happen. That's all I am saying, and it's an easy, open and shut case. Nothing there but smoke, and a lot of interesting anecdotal stories and memorabilia. Unbroken succession it is not.

And what do I think of all this debate? It's great. It's fair, it's reasonable, it's a free-for-all, it's in a spirit of honesty and good humor, it's candid, and it's fun. Most importantly, it's how things get figured out. The only winner is facts. And the prize is truth...whether it's about something really important to a lot of people, or just to a tiny group of us Thompsonites, who may be considered a bit deranged anyway. laugh.gif

Don't anybody go away mad. I won't, if tomorrow TD gets in the mail a big box from Ira Trast and it contains copies of all the unbroken succession documents, proof of everybody's court filings and business records, from 1945 through the early '60s. That would only say that we didn't know it yesterday, which is all I have been saying, but we know it today. For now, until that theoretical mailman arrives, maybe, we don't know it. We see only scattered succession fragments.


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#440 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:05 PM

Any information about the TSMG as found in books, magazines, TV /film productions or seminars, is always a welcome treat. When the information contained in any of these mediums is selected to fit an agenda then it invites scrutiny as to the pre determined conclusions of the research. TD seem to be motivated to blur the lines of distinct separation between the AOC of pre 1945 and the one that Kahr is currently using in its ads. Why? The answer to that is not found in the SAR article. But TD's article does pose more question than it answers. Perhaps the most nagging of these for me is whether history can be sold, or is it an intangible commodity that has to be earned, not borrowed? What part of the history of the original AOC can Kahr legitimately lay claim to?

1) They are the same company that hired Warner & Swasey to manufacture the prototype Annihilator? No

2) They are the same company that hired Colt to manufacture the 15,000 TSMG's? No

3) They are the same company that sold TSMG's to the IRA? No

4) They are the same company that got a black eye when the underworld purchased AOC TSMG's for eliminating their competitors? No

5) They are the same company that sold the FBI TSMG's for law enforcement? No

8) They are the same company that sold American police departments TSMG's? No

9) They are the same company that contracted with the U.S. government to produce arms for use in WWII and then used again in the Korean War? No

10) They are a firearms manufacturer that produces a facsimile of a TSMG in a closed bolt semi-auto configuration that is marketed to nostalgic buyers that want to own a simulacrum of an obsolete weapon. YES

General Thompson's image has slipped into the public domain. Would he be miffed that it is used on the cover of the National Firearms Museum Thompson Collectors Association brochure? Probably not. Would he be proud of his association with the Kahr version of his Thompson?

I do not see the upside of enabling Kahr in their campaign to borrow the original AOC history in an effort to lend credibility to their product that would never meet the manufacturing standards of General Thompson. TD says that poor standards of manufacturing has no bearing with Kahr's place in Thompson history. Well, it does account for Kahr's accomplishments during the post 1944 AOC history that began for them in 1999. What are the historical contributions to Thompson lore under the Kahr regime?................................................................................
..............

The pirating of another company's history for strictly commercial gain is the sort of egregious behavior that General Thompson would be the first to condemn and the first to dissociate himself from.

Edited by Arthur Fliegenheimer, 10 September 2008 - 04:15 PM.

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