Saturday, April 10, 2021

Wallace Supply Company's Rubber Stamp Flag Cancel

Yesterday, David Thompson found an interesting item on Ebay for the canceling of battleship revenue stamps.  The Wallace Supply Company of Chicago produced rubber stamp cancels in the form of a flag with the necessary identifying information to legally cancel revenue stamps.  The company promoted the rubber stamps through postcards (and perhaps other means as well), as the item in question is a postcard sent to the Exchange Bank in Ackley, Iowa.  






W. S. Co.
JUL  12  1898
CHICAGO

Inset from the upper left corner of the postcard.

I looked through a part of my collection to see if I could find an example and one showed up within  minutes of searching.  


M.  &  S.
MAR  25  1901
SAYBROOK,  ILLS.

This is an interesting little piece of 1898 revenues history, tucked away for sale under advertising postcards on Ebay, unlikely to be found by most 1898 collectors.  It is for sale for $50.  

Friday, April 9, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Muller, Schall & Company


MULLER, SCHALL & CO.
JUN
19
1901
New York.


R172p block of six





MULLER, SCHALL & CO.
SEP
12
1901
New York.


MULLER, SCHALL & CO.
FEB
24
1902
New York

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: William Salomon & Company

William Salomon was born in Mobile, Alabama before the Civil War.  He found his way to New York where he would eventually establish a brokerage house with one of Wall Street's best known names.  He began in the brokerage business with Speyer & Company, but would open his own shop in early 1902.



WILLIAM SALOMON & CO.
JUN
13
1902
NEW YORK.

Document fragment for taxes of $2.44.



Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company

 


The Rock Island Line was in operation from 1852 to 1980 and ran west and south west from Chicago.  For many years it was a US Class I railroad, but one of the weaker roads.  Its prospects might have been the brightest at the time of the cancel below:


C. R. I. & P. RY. CO.
  JUN
16
1900
CHICAGO.



A check made out the the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad to pay for forwarding freight charges, presumably for cargo heading east of Chicago.




Rock Island route map

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad and The Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company

The Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad was part of the New York Central's western division and would become totally absorbed by the NYC in a few years after the cancel of the stamp below.  The II&I ran through territory experiencing rapid economic growth and would profit from freight and passenger traffic in the region.  


THE I. I. & I. R. R. CO.
NOV
10
1899
CHICAGO.


IND.  ILL.  &  IA. R. R.
APR  4  1902
SOUTH BEND, IND.

The 2 cent documentary above almost certainly was removed from a check.  The cancel immediately above comes from the bill of lading below from the Studebaker Company which would become one of the United States most significant car makers in the early 20th century.  The BOL appears to be a document to send Studebaker vehicles to Roswell, New Mexico, the home of Area 51.  At the time, Studebaker's vehicle product was an electric car.  


Studebaker had been a coach and wagon builder in the 1800s.  But in 1902 they began to make electric cars, making it possible that this BOL for 31,000 lbs of freight (only 1c tax for 31,000 lbs?) could be for electric cars.  Most of the carriage for the trip to New Mexico was completed by the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe.


The association here between Roswell and Area 51, space aliens, electric cars from 120 years ago, Tesla, Elon Musk, and Space X would have made a great April Fools post.  No such creativity this year!

Meanwhile, these cancels would be great additions to the work started by Tolman and continued by Bob Mustacich on his site to inventory RR cancels on battleships.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society

 Another David Thompson find.  Norwich Union continues to exist, though now branded as Aviva.




N. U. F. I. S.
APR   17   1901
NEW YORK.




Saturday, April 3, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Lawton, Flint & Co; Lee, Kretschmar & Co; Maxwell & Scoville; McIntyre & Wardwell

Today is a catch-all day for several firms that have no representation in my usual reference books like King's View of the New York Stock Exchange.  I've not found much in the way of column advertising for these firms or any pictures of their members.  So instead we just have four memos plus the insets of their accompanying cancels.  All of these come from the Eames and Moore pile of memos courtesy of David Thompson.  


Lawton, Flint stock memo of sale for 100 shares of Union Pacific Railroad.



Lawton, Flint & Co.,
25 BROAD STREET.



Lee, Livingston stock memo of sale overstamped by the new firm Lee, Kretschmar & Co.  



LEE, KRETSCHMAR & CO.




Maxwell & Scoville stock memo of sale, likely to Eames and Moore for what appears to be US Steel, for what also appears to be $47 1/8 per share.  

Now that the NYSE has gone decimal, I wonder how many investors out there know that we all once traded shares by fractions, sometimes down to the 32nd or even less?  Now with machines trading millions of shares in seconds, the buy sell spread can come down to a thousandth of a cent or less on some trades.  The old manual world of the NYSE clearing house is long gone.




MAXXXXX X SCOVILLE.
APR
22
1901

*



McIntyre & Wardwell stock memo of sale to Eames and Moore for 100 shares of something I'm still guessing at...maybe Wire? for the American Steel and Wire Company?



Mc I & W.
FEB
5
1900
NEW YORK.

Friday, April 2, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Arnold Leo & Company

 




Arnold Leo & Co sale memo to Eames & Moore for 100 shares of the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad @ 64 1/4.


ARNOLD LEO, & CO.
APR
11
1901
N.  Y.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Betel Nut Tax

 Today we reprise a previous post:


The extremely rare Scott US RB20 overprinted GUAM by the US occupation government in Guam for taxing betel nuts.  This overprint is unlisted by Scott in the Guam section of the US Specialized catalog.  Betel nuts were considered a substitute for chewing gum by revenue authorities.  Fewer than 10 copies of this stamp are known to exist.


After the seizure of Guam from the Spanish as a trophy in its war against Spain, United States government officials were forced to confront the here-to-fore unknown and rather nasty habit of chewing betel nuts for the first time.  The nuts are bitter, and stain gums and teeth.  By World War II, and after years of active US engagement throughout the South Pacific, the practice would become well known, and even popularized by Rodgers and Hammerstein in their musical South Pacific. 

From the song Bloody Mary:

Bloody Mary's chewing betel nuts.
She is always chewing betel nuts.
Bloody Mary's chewing betel nuts.
And she don't use Pepsodent!
Now ain't that too damn bad!


Whole and split betel nuts


The requirement to tax chewing gum and its "substitutes" according to the 1898 war revenue act, bedeviled US revenue agents assigned to Guam in 1898.  Betel nuts, a substitute for chewing gum, were sold everywhere on the island - from traditional village markets to the shops of foreign traders.  But the products were cheap.  In the United States, chewing gum was taxed at rates that required 2 and 4 cent proprietary stamps as specified in the war revenue act.  The low price of Betel nuts relative to chewing gum required a tax far lower than two cents or four cents. 

Naval Governor of Guam, Captain Richard Leary

The US Governor of the island, Captain R. P. Leary, had to find a solution to at least cooperate with the spirit of the law.  So he issued an order to tax each whole betel nut at a rate of 1/8 cent.  Vendors of the nuts were required to procure the 1/8 cent proprietary battleship tax stamps and apply them to each nut sold.  Unfortunately, there are no remaining examples of the stamp on piece.  After two months of use though, Governor Leary chose to have the stamps for this provisional rate overprinted in large serifed letters "GUAM".  As a result, we are left with a collectible legacy of this curious fiscal situation.

Morton Dean Joyce considered a half betel nut with a fragment of the overprinted 1/8 cent proprietary stamp attached to be the highlight of his 1898 material.  Unfortunately, the nut disintegrated with time and the remaining on-piece example no longer exists. 

In a written report, Leary stated that several sheets of RB21, the quarter cent proprietary, were overprinted GUAM for the use of vendors who sold nuts in pairs.  There was little demand, as a local taboo kept vendors from selling their nuts by the pair.  No examples of the quarter cent stamp overprinted GUAM are known to exist. 

*****


A less scarce collectible from the US occupation of Guam can be found in this Spanish coin with a US occupation overstamp.

*****


If you have an unusual 1898 Revenue item in your collection, please consider sending a scan of it to 1898revenues@gmail.com so it can be featured on this site.  For an example of other material of interest, read the story of the stamp below by clicking here.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Thomas L. Manson & Company


Column Advert, The Sun, April 21, 1904


Sale memo for 100 shares of Southern Railway 

This memo, like all those posted in the past week, comes from the Eames and Moore pile that David Thompson shared with me a few weeks back.  I've been looking over some of my previously posted memos and I'm finding many memos written to Eames and Moore.  I can't help but think that some stamp dealer on Nassau Street, located very near the Stock Exchange, knew someone in the Eames and Moore firm when they were getting rid of old files and documents since there are so many of these out there.  I also figure they pulled out the good ones with the high dollar values, easily parting with the $1 and $2 taxed memos.  




T. L. M. & CO.
MAR  29  1901
New  York 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Kelley, Miller & Company

 


Mssrs Albert Kelley and Charles Miller, Brokers and Bankers


Memo of sale for 100 shares of Steel @ 43 1/8
Most likely Steel was US Steel, only recently created through the merger of Carnegie, Federal, and many other companies.




KELLEY, MILLER & CO.
NOV   11   1901

Additional 3 star die cut cancels

Kelley, Miller used wax seals on their most sensitive mail. This seal was used on an envelope in late 1902, and includes the same address as on the sale memo:






Sunday, March 28, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Frederick W. Perry

 

Column advert from The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, May 6, 1899


Stock memo of sale for 100 shares of Republic Steel common stock to Eames and Moore for 19 1/8 per share

F.  W.  P.
AUG
12
1901




Mr. Perry from "The Stock Exchange in Caricature" from 1904.  The upper right cartoon depicts a scene for which society is finally starting to render proper judgment over racist representations.  Which brings to mind the whole subject of cancel culture.  On this site we pride ourselves in the advancement of cancel culture, specializing in railroad cancels, printed cancels of all sorts, and stock broker cancels, among others.