Piracy was a serious issue in the early days of the silent movie. Unscrupulous film companies would regularly steal a movie, replace a scene or two with newly shot material and release it as a brand new production.
The Biograph Company devised a crafty solution to the problem. It started to ensure that its trademark, the initial’s ‘AB’, appeared somewhere in every shot. Doors, walls and windows were all fair game. Buffs can have a great time trying to spot the ‘ABs’ in old Biograph movies, an activity comparable to searching for the director’s inevitable cameo appearance in a Hitchcock film. The device was first used on a portable gipsy piano in Her First Adventure (1908).