2010 is over and its time to see how we play out there in cyberspace. Nobody would ever call this highly specialized website viral. However, despite relatively low numbers that visit 1898 Revenues, the year has shown steady upward progress in the number of people that visit the site. I was playing with numbers for our web traffic, and produced the chart below:
I've plotted the number of page views by week over the course of the year, omitting January for which I have no data (bad planning on my part). From a simple visual analysis, I see three phases in page view rates on this chart.
Through late May, page views tracked in a band between 200 and 300;
mid-summer experienced a jump up to the 300-400 band (with a major anomaly for one week of nearly 600);
and from August there was a strong jump up to +400 page views per week, with jumps above 500 views.
I am a trained statistician, but I don't have it in me to dust off those skills to analyze this limited data set. However, there are some events that can be plotted against the data that might help explain some of the changes over time:
February: Dave Thompson starts following the site
August: Frank Sente becomes a co-blogger.
Late August: BALPEX/ARA Meeting
December: Bob Hohertz becomes a co-blogger
With the growing number of page views, there should be changes in the ranking the site receives from Google when conducting specific searches:
1898 series revenue stamps Google #1
battleship revenues: Google #2
2 cent documentary Google #1 (Google #13 in March 2010)
US revenue stamps Google #17 (Google #76 in March 2010)
revenue cancels Google #12 (Google #28 in March 2010)
Some improvement here, partially explained by longevity of the site as well as growing numbers of visitors.
2011 should be an interesting year for the site. Given work and family obligations I can't be too sure how soon major projects can be completed, like producing a revised catalog of documentary printed cancels. But with the launch of a major project and the addition of a few more specialists interested in the site, numbers of page views should continue to grow. Frank and Bob have added real experience and expertise to the site, and I am certain that the legitimacy they add to the site is a significant source of draw. What is more, the steady addition of their thoughts and material to this public forum steadily increases the site's status as a source of searchable philatelic information. Thanks again to them for their help, and for the steady contribution of material and moral support from Dave Thompson. Happy New Year to all!!
As regular readers of the site might have noticed, I've got a ton of Lake Shore and Michigan Southern cancels, particularly on R164, the 2 cent documentary. Christmas Eve featured a large LS&MS CDS on a R164. Today is something different. Frank Sente sent in the 1 cent proprietary below cancelled with an LS&MS handstamp. Why would a railroad use a proprietary stamp? Could this have been used on a waybill when copies of the 1 cent documentary were in short supply? Did the LS&MS make its own sparkling wine? I doubt the latter. We do know however that the handstamp used on this proprietary stamp was in regular use on the 2ct documentary. I've included a single example of this exact same cancel used on R164, and the September 1898 page from a R164 calendar composed mainly of railroad and other transport related cancels. The calendar shows 11 examples of this type of handstamp.
Christian Moerlein was born in Truppack, Bavaria, in 1818. He immigrated to the United States in 1841, eventually settling in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1842. In 1853, Moerlein established a brewery in Over-the-Rhine, a predominantly German neighborhood in Cincinnati. In its first year of operation, the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company produced one thousand barrels of beer. In just over a decade, the brewery produced more than twenty-six thousand barrels of beer per year. Between 1812, when the first brewery opened its doors in Cincinnati, to the enactment of Prohibition in 1920, more than fifty different breweries had operated in the city. Moerlein was the most prominent brewer in the city. He sold his product across the United States as well as to other countries. During this time, no other Cincinnati brewery entered the international marketplace. His most popular beer was "Old Jug Lager Krug-Bier." The brewery made Moerlein a wealthy man. In 1884, he invested some of his profits in the Cincinnati Cremation Company. Investors in the company hoped that cremation would become more popular than burials of deceased persons. They argued that cremation was more sanitary and would benefit the living by limiting the spread of diseases. The Christian Moerlein Brewing Company continued to operate after his death in 1897. The brewery closed its doors forever with the enactment of Prohibition.
Most checks payable on sight or demand were taxed from October 1, 1862 until July 1, 1883, then again from July 1, 1898 to July 1, 1901. From late 1875 until the end of the Civil War tax period the only imprint design used was diamond-shaped and printed in orange. A last day use of that design is shown below.
Several companies immediately offered banks facsimile designs that could be printed on checks and drafts, presumably to avoid a feeling of something missing on the part of the general public. A. Gast & Company, of Saint Louis and New York, was one of these. The draft below was one of a set sent out to various banks on July 1, 1883. It features a state seal inside a diamond about the same size of the revenue imprints recently used.
Some accounts used these facsimiles until the 1920's. Invariably, some were used in the Spanish-American war tax period. The handsome draft below, used September 12, 1898, has a Texas state seal in the facsimile, or FAC, and a two-cent provisional tax stamp. It was used by the receivers of the J.B. Watkins Company, which was founded in Lawrence, Kansas.
A Watkins family website provides the following information: "J. B. Watkins was born in Pennsylvania in 1845, law graduate of the University of Michigan, moved to Lawrence in 1873 to start a real estate title and loan business which he later incorporated as the J. B. Watkins Land Mortgage Company. He raised money in the eastern states and in England which he invested in large tracts of land. He also organized a bank to handle his many financial transactions."
Some FACs were more on the order of logos for a particular company. This one was designed specifically for Carter, Rice, who ran a paper company in Boston. When their check was used in July of 1898 a provisional revenue stamp was added.
Several companies had an imprinted revenue added to a check with a facsimile imprint instead of using an adhesive revenue. On most of them the new imprint was added to the lower left to avoid conflict with the FAC.
The user of the check below should have told the imprint printer to do something, since they apparently were not inclined to take it upon themselves to avoid the mess that occurred when they printed it on top of the FAC already on the check. The FAC imprint is shown below it.
The Peruna, or Pe-ru-na, Drug Manufacturing Company was big business at the turn of the twentieth century. The illustrated $259.00 draft called for payment on three days' sight, so was properly taxed at six cents - two cents for each hundred dollars or fraction thereof.
Peruna was located in Columbus and the Stein Vogeler Drug Company was located in Cleveland, but the Western German Bank apparently received the draft on the day it was written, February 23rd, and sent it by runner to Stein Vogeler, where it was accepted the same day and paid into the Peruna account at the bank promptly.
Many merchant's drafts did not allow extra time for the paying company to process them, expecting it to be done "on sight." By giving three days Peruna may have been exercising good business practices but it cost them four cents more in taxes to do so.
And what was Pe-ru-na? From Collier's Weekly, October 28, 1905: "Peruna, or, as its owner, Dr. S. B. Hartman, of Columbus, Ohio (once a physician in good standing), prefers to write it, Pe-ru-na, is at present the most prominent proprietary nostrum in the country." The following material is from the same source, liberally abridged:
"What does Peruna cure? Catarrh. That is the modest claim for it; nothing but catarrh. To be sure, a careful study of its literature will suggest its value as a tonic and a preventive of lassitude. But its reputation rests on catarrh. What is catarrh? Whatever ails you. No matter what you've got, you will be. not only enabled. but compelled, after reading Dr. Hartman's Peruna book 'The Ills of Life,' to diagnose your illness – as catarrh and to realize that Peruna alone will save you. Pneumomia is catarrh of the lungs; so is consumption. Dyspepsia is catarrh of the stomach. Enteritis is catarrh of the intestines. ... Bright's, disease is catarrh of the kidneys. Heart disease is catarrh of the heart. Canker sores are catarrh of the mouth. Measles is, perhaps. catarrh of the skin, since "a teaspoonful of Peruna thrice daily or oftener is In effectual Cure." ... Similarly, malaria, one may guess, is catarrh of the mosquito that bit you.
"Peruna is not a cure-all," virtuously disclaims Dr. Hartman, and grasps at a golden opportunity by advertising his nostrum as a preventive against yellow fever! That alcohol and water, with a little coloring matter and one-half of 1 per cent. of mild drugs, will cure all or any of the ills listed above is too ridiculous to need refutation. Nor does Dr. Hartman himself personally make that claim for his product. He stated to me specifically. and repeatedly that no drug or combination of drugs, with the possible exception of quinine for malaria, will cure disease. His claim is that the belief of the patient in Peruna, fostered as it is by the printed testimony, and aided by 'gentle stimulation,' produces good results.
"Any one wishing to make Peruna for home consumption may do so by mixing half a pint of cologne spirits, 190 proof, with a pint and a half of water, adding thereto a little cubeb for flavor and a little burned sugar for color." The article goes on to cite some lurid stories involving alcohol poisoning.
The Pure Food and Drug Act was not passed until 1906.
The Hawkeye Fire Insurance Company of Des Moines, was organized in 1865, by E. J. Ingersoll, B. F. Allen, J. B. Tiffin, F. W. Palmer, and James Callanan. Mr. Ingersoil was chosen President, and Mr. Allen, Treasurer.
Hawkeye Insurace Map of Des Moines, Iowa with picture inset of E.J. Ingersoll
from the PIONEERS OF POLK COUNTY, IOWA AND REMINISCENCES OF EARLY DAYS
BY L. F. ANDREWS, Volume II, DES MOINES, BAKER-TRISLEE COMPANY 1908:
E. J. INGERSOLL: Of the many old settlers of Polk County who impressed themselves upon the community, few were more conspicuous than Ebenezer Jared Ingersoll.
Born in Pulaski, Oswego County, New York, March Twenty-eighth, 1828, of English ancestry, which embraced the names of men eminent as ministers, lawyers, and statesmen. He lived with his parents until twenty-one years old, and acquired a thorough academic education. After reading law in the office of Judge Huntington, of Pulaski, he entered the United States Law School at Balston Springs, and was graduated in 1852, with the degree of Bachelor of Law, and was admitted to practice in the state and federal courts. He opened an office in Adams, Greene County, New York, where he secured a large and profitable practice.
In the fall of 1858, he joined the tide of emigration westward and came to Des Moines, where he was admitted to the Bar and at once took high rank with the members of the profession. A man of optimistic temperament, remarkable force and energy, he soon discovered greater possibilities for the Capital City, and became a booster and promoter of business enterprises, not only in the town, but throughout Central Iowa. He demonstrated his faith in their growth and prosperity by engaging in several business enterprises. He also purchased several farms and engaged extensively in raising thoroughbred stock.
One day, in 1860, Ingersoll, S. R. Ingham, J. M. Elwood, and John Browne were sitting in a social game of whist in the old Exchange Building, at Third and Walnut. Browne had been the Western agent of the Globe Insurance Company, of Utica, New York. During the play, insurance was discussed, quite naturally, as the Globe Company had just collapsed, and Browne said to his friends: "Why don't you start an insurance company?" Ingersoll at once began to consider it, but the Civil War came on, during which there was little inducement to undertake enterprises of that kind. He, however, with his usual pertinacity, stuck to it, and March Sixth, 1865, with B. F. Allen, Frank W. Palmer, James Callahan, and J. B. Tiffin, organized the Hawkeye Fire Insurance Company. For three years, the company did business as a partnership. Ingersoll was elected President, and held the office until his death, in 1891. He was the pioneer in a business system which has expanded until Des Moines is now known as the "Hartford of the West."
April Seventh, 1868, the company was incorporated under the laws of Iowa, the following persons signing the Articles of Incorporation: F. W. Palmer, J. B. Tiffin, B. F. Allen, James Callanan, Junior, W. S. Pritchard, and E. J. lngersoll. Mr. Callanan was elected Treasurer, and held the place several years. The capital stock was fixed at one hundred thousand dollars.
In 1870, Mr. Ingersoll abandoned his other enterprises, and devoted his time and energy to build up the Hawkeye. It was uphill work. The older Eastern companies, represented by agents, interposed every possible obstacle to his progress, but they reckoned without their host when they struck Ingersoll, for he was a man of indomitable will and courage, denoted in every line of his face, which, like an electric current, became stronger as resistance against it increased. Opposition only intensified his force. The Hawkeye was his creation. He was the moving spirit of it, making it one of the strongest financial institutions of the state, but he had to fight for it, step by step.
As a business man, he was eminently successful. He was a person of athletic build, nervous, lymphatic temperament, brusque and plain of speech, often using very vigorous swear-words; was no hero-worshipper; was strong in his convictions, which, once fixed, were not easily removed. I remember an incident which occurred soon after the Legislature had made a change in the insurance laws, tending to protect the public against the watering of stock, and among other requirements was one that joint stock companies must have the words, "Stock Company," prominently printed on the face of their policies. His supply of blank policies having become exhausted, he ordered several thousand printed by Mills & Company, and one day when they were running through the press I called his attention to the omission of the words, "Stock Company," which the statute required put in, supposing that it was an error which sometimes occurs in the best-regulated printing offices, and that he would order the presses stopped to make the correction, but, instead, he retorted: "I don't care a d — n what the d— n fools over at the State House require. I'll have my policies printed the way I want them." The job was finished, but a few days after, he ordered another lot printed, with the required words in place, but he never changed his opinion resisting the Legislature.
Politically, he was a Democrat, of the ultra variety, but abjured politics entirely. He was not built for a politician, and would have failed had he attempted to play the game.
Socially, he was a person of high ideals. Brusque and blunt as he was, his heart pulsated with tenderness and sympathy for those in want or suffering, and his purse was always open to such for relief. He was not a good mixer, but his friends were those who knew him as he was, a man of probity, honesty of purpose; and they never faltered in their attachments. He was not a member of any clubs or fraternal organizations.
A few years ago a small stack of accounts payable checks from the Cincinnati, Portsmouth & Virginia Railroad Company appeared at a paper money show. They were particularly interesting in that the goods or services that occasioned each check were spelled out in some detail. For instance, the check below was written on August 1, 1898 for fifty dollars, paying for "Postage and Int. Revenue Stamps for use in General Offices."
The next check is even more interesting, written on August 10, 1898 to the Strobridge Lithographing Company for "Imprinting Revenue Stamps on PayRoll checks #7160 to 8500, Vouchers 500 blanks." It is rare that we know which of the initial 28 companies printed the revenues on any given document. Strobridge was located in Cincinnati, so it was a logical, but not necessary, choice. Unfortunately, I do not have one of their imprinted paychecks. If any reader does, I'd like to see one.
The C, P & V had imprints put on their accounts payable checks as well. The one below, written on August 25, 1898, paid $3.25 for "Full amount of claim account for one lamb killed and two injured near Fenton tank, by Train 42. July 17th, 1898, as per papers."
One more, written October 27, 1898, paying $13.00 for "Amount of claim account of loss of two cases of sausage. account of delay caused by burning of West Fork Bridge in October 1897, as per papers."
All of these checks were signed by Thomas Hunt, Treasurer, and Samuel Hunt, President. Samuel was also President of the Ohio River and Charleston Railway. Both of his companies are pictured in the 1901 map below.
Samuel Hunt went on to become President of the Detroit Southern, which went into receivership by 1904 and was absorbed into the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton in 1905. Hunt was President of that company briefly, dying later that year.
This post is part of a continuing series on Richard Fullerton's 1952 Catalog of Railroad Company, Street Railway & Express Company Printed Cancellations on the 1898 U. S. Revenues.
Should there be a new catalog for documentary printed cancels? The ongoing work to review Mr. Fullerton's catalog has revealed for me various reasons to update and revise his original work. Nowadays we've serious advantages he did not have, including Google and the internet as a research tool, email and the internet as a collector's association tool, and websites and the internet as a publishing tool.
The process to review his catalog has revealed several areas where this 1950s work falls a bit short: unlisted railroad cancels, unlisted non-railroad use of printed cancels, information on which to base a new organization for the catalog, and the possible reasons and purpose behind the use of printed cancels.
This post considers a new possible basis for the organization of the railroad cancels.
In Richard Fullerton's list, the cancels are listed alphabetically by railroad. No surprise there, as this is logical and enables a collector to readily find the railroad to which their cancels belong. However, while this is a simple and logical idea, the catalog provides little guidance about the basic nature of documentary printed cancels, their purpose, and the small group of companies which chose to prepare and use printed cancels. A little knowledge about these companies provides a different picture about the railroad printed cancels than is presented by Fullerton, despite the short railroad descriptions he supplies in the back of the catalog.
The business relationships between the railroads that printed and used the cancels is for me the most compelling organizational basis for these cancels. Three large corporate groups were responsible for all but one of the railroads that used printed cancels and that are listed in the Fullerton catalog.
Fullerton includes two unnumbered pages at the back of his catalog of historical information on the 20 railroads he lists. He cites the Poor's Manuals from 1873-73 and 1888, and Henry Tolman as sources on these railroads. The historical information includes dates of original incorporation and succession and name change information. There is some reference to ownership or control by larger railroads, including some listed in the catalog. However, the simple descriptions don't knit the information into a clear pattern, which with resources like the internet and Google is a simpler task today. I am still something of a journeyman in understanding the railroad business of the late 1800s. I would be interested if there are any experts out there who could shed light on the associations within and between these railroad ownership groups.
There are 3 major railroad groups to be found among the railroads in the Fullerton Catalog:
1. The Burlington group
2. The Gould/Southwestern group
3. The Northwestern group
The Milwaukee Road, aka Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, is the one railroad that I have not been able to identify as part of one of these groups.
The largest group of railroads in the Fullerton catalog are the railroads controlled by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Those railroads include:
RR020, CB&QRR, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy: This was the mother company.
RR005, B&MRRRinNeb, Burlington and Missouri River RR in Neb: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1872.
RR010, CB&KCRy, Chicago, Burlington & Kansas City Ry: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1880.
RR015, CB&N, Chicago, Burlington & Northern RR: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1890.
RR025, CFM&DMRR, Chicago, Fort Madison & Des Moines RR: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1901.
RR050, H&StJRR, Hannibal & St. Joseph RR: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1883.
RR070, KCStJ&CBRR, Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs RR: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1880.
RR085, StLK&NWRR, St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern RR: Acquired by the CB&Q in 1881.
Pass good for 4 CB&Q Railroads
The second largest group of railroads in the Fullerton catalog are those that were part of the Gould empire, initially built or acquired by Jay Gould in the southwestern United States and carried on by his sons. This group of railroads includes a printed cancel and a railroad unlisted by Fullerton (TSERY). A likely source for unknown printed cancels would be southwestern railroads associated with the Goulds.
RR050, I&GNRR, International and Great Northern RR: Acquired by Jay Gould in 1880.
RR060 Memphis Route Kansas City, Fort Scott & Memphis Ry. See the article attached to the original post on this railroad and its cancels. RR065, KCNWRRCO, Kansas City, Northwestern RR Co: Part of Gould's MOPAC.
RR075, MOPACRYCO, Missouri Pacific Ry Co: Controlled by Jay Gould from 1879.
RR080, StLIM&SRY, St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Ry: Acquired by Jay Gould in 1883.
RR090, StLSWRYCO, St. Louis, Southwestern Ry Co: Not sure when and if Jay Gould took control; however, Edwin Gould, Jay's son, was the VP of the company in 1891.
RR095, STLSWRYCOofTEX, St. Louis, Southwestern Ry Co of Texas: This the Texas branch of RR090, and therefore in Gould control as well.
RR105, TSERY, Tyler Southeastern Ry: A subsidiary of the Gould controlled St. Louis and Southwestern Railway.
John Rockefeller of Standard Oil said that Gould was the most skilled businessman he had ever known.
The last group of 4 railroads was controlled by the Chicago and Northwestern
RR035, C&NWRy, Chicago & Northwestern Ry: The mother company.
RR040, CStPM&ORyCo, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Ry Co: Controlled by the C&NW by 1882.
RR045, FE&MVRR, Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley RR: The C&NW gained control in the late 1800s and merged the railroad into the C&NW by 1903.
RR100, SC&PRR, Sioux City & Pacific RR: Became a part of the C&NW system in the 1880s.
Lastly there was one independent railroad in the Fullerton catalog that do not appear to be associated with other railroads issuing printed cancels:
RR030 CM&StPRY Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Ry
There is much to unlock philatecally in these associations, and many questions that are raised. Consider:
Why are all these railroads in the midwest and southwest? Why didn't eastern railroads used printed cancels? Just as the USPS issued the Kans. and Nebr. overprints on definitive postage stamps for security reasons, was security in this part the United States the coherent compelling reason behind the use of printed cancels for these railroads?
Why did these corporate groups use printed cancels when others in the region did not?
Are there possible "orphan" railroads associated with the railroad groups that might have used printed cancels that are unknown to philately? These corporate groups provide an interesting lead or basis in which to start a search.
I would be interested to know what others think about such an approach, and who would be willing to help in the building and authorship of a revised documentary printed cancel list. Please write to email@example.com. John Langlois
As promised, here is some information on the drawing room car ticket with a battleship revenue that I recently won on eBay.
The seller listed this ticket as being from the Boston-New York Shore Line. Fine, but when I went to do some research on it, I couldn't find any such railroad existing in the proper time period. It does not help that the battleship revenue was applied over much of the name, and that the handstamp cancels do not show the railroad name clearly.
What I finally did track down was a Shore Line Express as part of the New York and Boston through train service of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The Shore Line service left New York daily at 3:00 p.m. and stopped at New Haven, New London and Providence before reaching Boston at 9:00 p.m. A reverse route with the same timing also existed. The Official Guide of the Railways for February, 1901 described the Shore Line Express thus: "Vestibuled Parlor Cars and Vestibule Buffet Smoking Car New York to Boston and Through Coaches. Vestibuled Dining Car New London to Boston."
I'm satisfied that this is the correct railroad service for two reasons. First, there is definitely an "N.H." on the partial cancel on the back of the ticket, and something to the left of it, probably "N.Y. &." Second, on the front one can see that the General Ticket Agent's name was States, and J.N. States held this position for the New York, New Haven & Hartford in the relevant period.
John's recent post with a Saint Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern cancel on a one-cent battleship triggered this one.
One-cent battleship revenues weren't really made for use on checks - that's why the two-cent ones were printed, after all. Finding pairs of those with printed cancels used to pay the check tax is a bit unusual. I've only run into three so far.
The first example is the use of two one-cent battleships with Saint Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern printed cancels used to pay the check tax in Little Rock. I wasn't able to get information on J.R. Miller tying him to the railroad, but someone of that name was on the Board of Directors of the Little Rock, Hot Springs and Texas Railroad Company and could have had access to the overprinted stamps. One Mrs. J.R. Miller died in her seventies in June of 1916.
The second example is also from Arkansas. P.H. (?) Hammond of the P.M. Company used a pair of battleships with Saint Louis Southwestern cancels to pay the tax. If anyone can guess what the P.M. Company was and how Hammond got hold of the stamps for his personal use, I'd be interested.
My last example is of a pair of one-cent battleships with printed American Express cancels being used to pay the check tax. S.J. Hopper was a Sturgis railroad agent in the correct time period, which would explain how he obtained the stamps.
Companies did put printed cancels on two-cent battleships for use on checks. The battleship on the check below has a Mo Pac cancel, and was properly used by the railway.
Another proper use is shown on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad railroad draft below. The auditor of the B.&M.R.R.R. was requesting payment of car service fees from the Chicago & West Michigan Railway, which became part of the Pere Marquette on January 1, 1900.