Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fullerton List: Organizing for a Revised Catalog

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.

Jay Gould. 
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  John Langlois

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