From the 24/7 Wall St. site, the ten oldest company logos.
If the comment thread is anything to go by, the dates aren’t entirely accurate (and Cherri’s aunt makes $68 every hour on the computer).
Image via Stephen Magsig
In his recent chat about why logos endure, Michael Bierut said he believes the earliest known logo is the Bass triangle.
Although there is seemingly no evidence for this, according to Zythophile, the generally accepted story is that after the passing of the Trademark Registration Act of 1875, when applications to apply for trademark registration opened on January 1, 1876, a Bass employee was sent to wait overnight outside the registrar’s office the day before in order to be the first in line to file to register a trademark the next morning, and that is why Bass Pale Ale was renamed to Bass Trademark No.1.
Édouard Manet’s 1882 painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
This PDF mentions that the Guinness harp is another well known trademark registered in 1876. Of course, registration is a different thing from when a design was first used.