Monday, May 30, 2011

Imprint Plus Adhesive - Part 3

From an obituary in the Kingston Daily Freeman, Thursday evening edition, February 1, 1917: "Mark Shultis,… formerly a merchant at Saugerties, died Tuesday at Brookline, Mass. For a number of years he was engaged in the commission business in Boston and amassed a fortune there."

One of the best sources of adhesive revenues added to imprinted drafts was Mark Shultis, during his time as a commission merchant in Boston. The following drafts are a selection from those in my collection.

First, a draft originated by Milmine, Bodman & Company's Chicago office (see the blog entry for April 26, 2010.) It asked Shultis to pay $1,410 to their account in New York. Shultis accepted the charge and added an adhesive stamp.

Another Chicago draft, this one from Nye & Jenks Grain Company which, though headquartered in Chicago, had an office in Boston. Again, Shultis added an adhesive stamp to the draft.

This draft was originated by the Northwestern Consolidated Milling Company of Minneapolis, which operated about a quarter of the flour mills in the city at the time. They, Pillsbury-Washburn and Washburn, Crosby accounted for some 97% of the Minneapolis market at the turn of the century. It isn't at all surprising to see that they did business with Shultis.

A handstamp, present on all of the drafts shown this far, is clearly readable on this draft from Hunter Brothers of Saint Louis, and explains why the additional adhesives are present. It reads, "ACCEPTED PAYABLE AT/ FOURTH NATIONAL BANK,/ Boston………..189…/ MARK SHULTIS,/ Per…….."

Internal Revenue Circular 508 contains the following commentary: "Sight drafts drawn upon or issued by any bank, trust company, or any person or persons, companies or corporations, require a stamp, and, if the acceptance of the draft is accompanied by an order to the bank to pay the same and charge to the account of the drawee, this accompanying order requires, in addition, a 2-cent stamp as 'an order for the payment of money.'" Shultis, in making his acceptance, specified that funds were payable at the Fourth National Bank of Boston, and properly added an adhesive to pay the additional tax occasioned thereby.

(In an article in The Check Collector I mistakenly assumed that Shultis did not know what the imprint stood for and accused him of being the type that wore both belt and suspenders. I owe him an apology.)

As proof that Shultis knew exactly what he was doing, the following draft originated by A Fred Brown of Boston properly does not bear an additional adhesive. Since it was already specifically payable to an account in the Fourth National Bank of Boston there was no need for Shultis to make a second payment order, so he didn't add a stamp.

Of course, there is always one exception to almost every rule. Churchill & Company, Grain Merchants in Buffalo, New York wrote the following draft, which Shultis accepted using the same handstamp as before, specifying payment at the Fourth National Bank. However, there is no sign of an additional stamp. Was the stamp removed, or did this one slip by? Or did the manuscript notation "c/o Fourth Nat. Bk" at the lower left side somehow make a difference? Since an attorney was accepting these drafts and presumably knew all of the facets of the tax law, perhaps it did.


Dave Thompson doubts that the last figure in the cancel featured in Saturday's post (May 28) is an E.  I am inclined to think he's right.  Any ideas out there regarding this last figure and the source of this cancel?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Charles Metz

On May 14, I posted an article in Chambers Stamp Journal written by Charles Metz in 1951 about his efforts to list documentary railroad printed cancels.  It is apparent that Mr. Metz had been working to establish a comprehensive list, likely independent of Mr. Fullerton, and before the publication of Mr. Fullerton's list.  And it is also apparent that Mr. Metz' work is derivative and from the work of Clarence Chappell, and that somewhere along the way the collection of Harold Field meant much to the study of these cancels.  Yikes.  I'm not sure if anybody can claim original ownership of this work, even if there exists this list by Mr. Fullerton. 

In the late 1940s, The American Revenuer republished several of Mr. Metz's pieces from the Chambers Stamp journal.  The list below, from the cover of the September, 1948 edition of TAR, appears derived from the work of Clarence Chappell:

The short letter below was included in the November, 1948 edition of The American Revenuer, which was also borrowed from the Chambers Stamp Journal:

Extra thanks to Frank Cunliffe for sending these morsels.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mystery Margin Number

Dave Thompson sent in this scan of an RB20 pair with a three digit number stamped in the margin.  Just what is this number?  Was this a control number placed in the margin by the user?  I assume that the BEP never used numbers of this type. 

Can any of our wiser readers posit an explanation for the 228?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Beyond Holcombe: James S. Kirk & Company

Editors Note: Malcolm A. Goldstein is a contributing blogger for 1898 Revenues. This post is part of a continuing column on the companies that used proprietary battleships.

J. S. KIRK & CO.
OCT   x   1900

Recent discussion of a stock certificate of James S. Kirk & Co. in this blog prompts this column. James S. Kirk & Co was a Chicago, Illinois soap manufacturer that advertised widely, produced many colorful trade cards and had a long run. The salient dates, drawn from the current Kirk’s Soap’s website, are mentioned in the paragraph describing the stock certificate. The company was founded by James S. Kirk in Utica, New York in 1839. In 1859, Kirk moved the company to Chicago, and, as the featured certificate showed, under his son’s guidance, it incorporated in New Jersey in 1900. The corporation was sold to Proctor & Gamble in 1930. Since 1996, a new incarnation has operated as Kirk’s Natural Products Corp. first in Chicago, its original home, and now in Cincinnati, where Proctor & Gamble had moved the business. Its featured product is Castile soap.

While soap itself appears not to have been subject to the Spanish-American War tax, nevertheless the company cancelled battleship revenues, presumably to reflect payment of the tax due on its line of perfumes. The example of RB31 shown (courtesy of Robert Mustacich) was meant to pay tax on an item retailing between $1.75 and $2.00 - a generous splurge of a purchase in that era - which supports the notion that it originally graced a perfume bottle. A website called Perfume Intelligence lists over fifty perfumes that the company marketed between 1893 and 1925. “Jap Rose,” dating from 1918, was Kirk’s most prominent perfume, and was one of the significant products mentioned as prompting Proctor and Gamble’s purchase of the company.

James S. Kirk

James S. Kirk, the founder of the company, was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1818, the son of a prominent shipbuilder and civil engineer. The family migrated to the new world when he was six months old, and he grew up in Montreal, Canada. While still in his teens he was already engaged in the manufacture of soap, candles and alkali, and later ran both a lumber camp and a lumber drive down the Ottawa River. At twenty-one, he married and moved to Utica to open his own business. He produced a brood of seven sons, no less than four of whom were later involved in the business: James A., John B., Milton W and Wallace F. Described as a “stern old churchman,” he lived in South Evanston, IL, and was a benefactor of Evanston’s Northwestern University. Upon his death in 1886, it was said that “there never was a resident of Chicago who was more highly respected and esteemed.” The tall stone shaft that marked his grave was noted in Chicago guidebooks as a prominent marker in the local cemetery.

Kirk Factory

The company flourished and prospered in the next generation. It was exceedingly proud that its name remained the same for almost a hundred years from 1839 through its sale during the Depression. It also took pride that its Chicago factory was located on the site of the first home in Chicago, built in 1779 by Jean Baptiste Point De Sable, “a Negro from Santo Domingo,” as the plaque erected on the site in 1913 by the company (but now apparently lost) read. With but a brief interruption because of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, it quickly became the largest manufacturer of soap both in Chicago and the United States, with sales in 1880 estimated at over 2 million dollars. In 1895, a contemporaneous history of Chicago noted the company’s main plant was a massive, five story building along the banks of the Chicago River served by a railroad spur that connected it to every railroad in Chicago, and its boiler house, containing a “battery of boilers, the largest in Illinois” was vented by a chimney 20 feet in diameter and 282 feet high, a “distinctive feature in the vicinity.” The company’s operating divisions were laundry soap, toilet soap, perfumes, colognes and toilet waters and glycerine. Three-quarters of the factory’s output shipped by rail and made its way not only throughout the United States, but also to “Europe, New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia” and South America. The boxes that the goods shipped in were shaped at the company’s lumber mill located in Rhinelander, WI, and then assembled and stenciled at the Chicago factory. Counting the lumber mill staff, the company employed 750 workers and, by 1900, produced over 100 million pounds of soap per year.

The stock certificate issued in 1900, featured in the earlier post on this site, was actually retired in 1906 when the company was reincorporated in Illinois. The corporation paid handsomely in the first decades of the Twentieth Century, and its dividends rose from 4% in 1907 to a whopping 28% in 1921. However, by the end of the Twenties, it was locked in a battle with the Federal Trade Commission over the use of the term “Castile soap,” which the Commission contended, strictly speaking, could only be used in connection with a soap made entirely from olive oil as the originators of Castile soap in Spain had done. Perhaps the litigation with the government and the pressure to realize gain on the strategic factory real estate in the center of downtown Chicago, drove the family to extract its funds from the company in the form of the high dividends. In 1929, the soap works was demolished, and the following year, the company was sold to Proctor & Gamble (another potential subject for this column in due course). It was not until 1932, that the federal courts finally overturned the Federal Trade Commission’s ban on Kirk’s use of the term “Castile soap.” By then the brand had passed to Proctor & Gamble.

In terms of society page tidbits, aside from a certain tendency toward multiple wives shown by some of the sons, the Kirks of the second generation appear in the pages of the “who’s who” compilations of the times to have been sober Republican businessmen, who persevered in their father’s hardworking tradition. However, because such merchant princes were scrutinized by the press of that day the way today’s rock stars are, when the second wife (of at least three wives) of Milton W. Kirk, by then a past president of the Company, responded in a divorce action in Chicago that she had been “treated more ... as a housekeeper or governess than a man would treat his wife,” no less a paper than the New York Times carried the story. A hundred years later, it still resides entombed in that paper’s digitalized morgue to be exhumed by prurient voyeurs In the third generation, John A Kirk’s son, Alexander Comstock Kirk (1888-1979), compiled a distinguished record as a U.S. diplomat, and, as U.S. ambassador to Egypt during World War II, entertained Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-Shek during the Cairo Conference at the end of 1943, wealth again transformed into public service.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Provident Savings Life Assurance Society Cancels

In the pursuit of cancels that might qualify as "printed" on the 1898 documentaries, the cancels of Provident Savings Life have come to light.  There has been some presentation and discussion of these cancels, particularly in this post.

The 80 cent stamp below displays a cancel that appears printed and applied by a device other than a hand.  This cancel is found on more than one 1898 value (I know of two examples on commerce dollar values) and in both black and red.  However, Provident also used something that looks more like a handstamp device in the same style as this printed cancel.  An example can be found below...

Handstamp cancel (?), larger than that on the 80c stamp above but of the same style and with the same positioning dot at the bottom.

Provident Savings Life, as an issuer of often high premium life insurance policies in New York, used quantities of high value 1898 revenue stamps.  Apparently the firm was in a leadership position in the US insurance industry, with its early adoption of term-insurance and with Sheppard Homans, the first president of the Actuarial Society of America, as its president.

Bob H., I'm crossing into your professional area here.  Any comments?


The New York Times, January 1, 1886, and its story on Provident's term-insurance policies:


  Life insurance has been generally purchased by level, or uniform premiums, extending over the whole duration of life, or for a stated number of years, which necessitates payments for mere accumulation, in order to create necessary reserves.  In other words, such policies involve payments for investment as well as for indemnity.  Recently the Provident Savings Life Assurance Society, of which Mr. Sheppard Homans is President and Actuary, has issued insurances where the investment element is eliminated, and the premiums required are for indemnity only.  This society has met with phenomenal success, having written over $25,000,000 in the last three years on the lives of prominent merchants and professional men, at a cost of less than one-third the usual level premium rates.  The Provident Savings Company offers renewable term insurance upon payments of $3 per anum on each $1000 insurance for expense, and mortuary premiums, equitably adjusted for each age, to meet the current death claims as experienced.

Sheppard Homans

Mr. Sheppard Homans was an actuary, mathematician, author, astronomer and innovator. His accomplishments during the 19th century had far-reaching results and deserve a prominent place in the annals of life insurance.

He is best known for developing the American Experience Table, the first life insurance mortality table based on insured lives in America. Constructed in 1868 on the statistical data of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, it became almost universally used for eighty years to determine premiums and reserves.

Mr. Homans’ skill was also instrumental in the development of the widely accepted Contribution Method for calculating surplus and dividend distribution. He pioneered the use of surrender values to avoid the harshness of policy lapsation.

His business leadership continued long after retirement as an actuary. He became the first president of the Actuarial Society of America and president of the Provident Savings Life Assurance Society for 20 years.

The results of Mr. Homans’ active and agile mind can truly be said to have transcended companies, institutions and time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Imprint Plus Adhesive - Footnote to Part 2

I had forgotten that I have a second example of the Merchants National Bank draft that I used in Part 2 of this saga. When I ran across it I hoped that it would shed some light on the use of an extra adhesive, as it has one as well.

This draft was written on October 19, 1898, paying Julia W. Smith twenty-five dollars from the Merchants National account in the Fourth National Bank of New York. Ms Smith endorsed the check over to Rosie E. Robotham, and a battleship stamp was applied to tax this third-party order to pay.

But it doesn't look like that is the correct sequence of events.

It looks like Ms Smith took the draft to the Northampton National Bank and cashed it. The ink of her signature appears to be on top of the handstamp ink, though that might be deceptive. If so, How did Ms Robotham get into the picture at all?

The other problem is that the added battleship was canceled by the Merchants National Bank on October 19, the day the draft was written. Did Ms Smith pick the draft up at the bank and sign it over to Ms Robotham then and there? If so, how did the Northampton National Bank get into the scene? Why wouldn't Ms Smith just cash it at the Merchant's National and hand the money to Ms Robotham, obviating the need for a second stamp?

Let's say that Ms Robotham was not at the bank when the draft was delivered, and Ms Smith didn't want to carry around cash, so she signed it over to Ms Robotham later, who cashed it at the Northampton National (which just happened to put their handstamp above Ms Smith's signature and its ink didn't "take" over the ink of that signature.) Then why did the Merchants National add the battleship on the day it was written? Just in case Ms Smith would later sign it over to someone rather than simply cash it?

Or was the draft mailed to Ms Smith? If so, the extra stamp is even more puzzling, as the bank would have had no idea what Ms Smith was going to do.

The Merchants National Bank drafts have the designation of "ORIGINAL" on the face, and just possibly could have been taxed as inland bills of exchange, but even if they were (and it isn't likely, as they weren't "accepted" by the Fourth National as would have been necessary for a bill of exchange) the tax on an inland bill of exchange payable on sight or demand was the same as for a check or draft so payable.

It isn't likely that banks were tossing around two cents here and two cents there in 1898, so there must be some logic to the presence of these extra stamps on the Merchants National drafts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cancel for May 21: Willard H. Jones & Company

MAY  21  1902

Willard H Jones memorandum of sale for ??
Looks like somebody bought a stock begining with an I for 17 3/4.  Taxes paid were 20 cents for this $177.50 trade.

While I can't report much on the work of Willard H. Jones & Company, the man Willard H. Jones did like to enjoy himself.  From The New York Times of July 26, 1888:


  Montreal, July 25.--Three American brokers, Walter Power and Willard H. Jones of New York and Stephen H. Bacon of Brooklyn, arrived here tonight in their steam yacht Elia, on which they are spending their vacation.  They left New York on July 3 and went up to the Thousand Islands by the Erie Canal route, and down by the St. Lawrence, running all the rapids.  They intend to spend a day or two here and return to New York by way of Lake Champlain.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Battleship Listing Changes in the 2012 Scott Volume 1 and US Specialized Catalogs

In the April 18, 2011 edition of Linn's Stamp News, James Kloetzel, the editor of the Scott Catalog, announced listing changes for several parts of the 2012 catalog, including those for the first issue and battleship documentary and battleship proprietary revenues.  Mr. Kloetzel is only specific about changes to the first issue revenues, but it can be inferred that similar changes to the first issue will be made to the battleships.  For years we've had to read across columns to discern the differences between rouletted and slot perfed stamps.  That will now change to the format present in the front section of the catalog.  Presumably the HH listings will be placed below the rouletted listings for each value, and there will now be only two columns for unused and used values.

This past year I did not buy a catalog.  2012 would be a year to buy; the changes will make it a more interesting proposition to receive the new catalog.

The stated reason for this change in the listing style was done due to the requirements of a new database. 

Cancel for May 20: German American Bank


I don't have much to offer regarding the German American Bank in this post, however, Manitowoc, on the shore of Lake Michigan, did experience this interesting moment:

On September 5, 1962, a 20-pound piece of the 7-ton Sputnik 4 crashed on North 8th Street in Manitowoc. Sputnik 4 was a Russian satellite, and part of a test-flight of the Vostok spacecraft that would be used for Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight. The satellite was originally launched on May 15, 1960.  A bug in the guidance system caused the satellite to move into a higher orbit resulting in a delayed reentry and its non-intended landing in Manitowoc.  Nobody was hurt in the crash.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

De'Coppet & Doremus Initial Punch Cancels

A few days ago I posted a stock memorandum of sale from Rolston & Bass.  The cancels were remarkable in that the stamps were punch cancelled with the initials R & B.  In the title portion of this website I've posted the 40 cent stamp with the De'Coppet and Doremus punched initials.  In the meantime I've acquired a couple of other fine D'C&D punch cancels.   All three stamps are below.  I remain in search of these type of cancels by Wall Street brokers.  To date I've seen them used by De'Coppet & Doremus, Rolston & Bass, and Wasserman Brothers.  Any more out there?

I guess that the initial punch cancel devices were hand made.  The letters are irregular, and the type above is distinctly different than the punch cancel used on the two stamps below.  The two bottom stamps were cancelled by the same device.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mobile & Ohio Railroad Stock Memoranda of Sale from February 1, 1901

Several days ago I published a stack of these documents, all detailing the sale of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad over a period of more than 2 years.  Until today I didn't notice the sale price differential on the final date of these memoranda on February 1, 1901.  If you look closely you will see that I&S Wormser booked a trade of 100 shares for $69 each, while W. S. Lawson book a trade of 100 shares for $70.50 each. 

100 M&O $6900

100  Mobile & Ohio @ 70 1/2  $7050

Unfortunately, the documents don't tell us the time of day of these trades.  We do know that there was volatility in the price, but we don't know whether the difference in price was due to changes in price over the day or due to different pricing activity by I & S Wormser and W. S. Lawson.  However, we do know that the Southern Railway made its offer for the M&O on January 31, 1901, and that these trades occured the next day.  There was likely quite a bit of action in this security, causing large price changes throughout the trading day on February 1, 1901.

Cancel for May 18: Phoenix Insurance Company of London


Monday, May 16, 2011

Yet Another R155 SOTN

H. F ' s, S,

The stamp on the left, dated August 3, appeared on this site back in January.  The initials are distinctive, with the apostrophe attached ot the second letter.  Then another R155 turned up with a similar cancel, this time applied in late August.  What does H. F's, S. stand for?  I'm looking for help.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Precancel News: The Fullerton List Makes News (or not?)

Frank Cunliffe deserves the credit for sending this scan of an article by Richard Fullerton in the January, 1953 edition of The Precancel News.  Frank hypothesizes that Mr. Fullerton, while never confirmed as a member of the American Revenue Association, may have been instead a dedicated precancel collector and a member of a one of the large precancel societies. 

Fullerton's formally published list of documentary printed cancels was issued July 1, 1952.  In a peculiar turn, the article below postdates the list but does not mention the existence of the list, though the list was apparently produced 6 months prior to the below article's publication.  All of the illustrations in the article are the same as those that appear in the list.  The article below does complement the list somewhat in the Mr. Fullerton maintains something of a chatty narrative even if he does not provide much additional information compared to the list.  The Charles Metz column posted a few days ago on this site does a better job of that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cancel for May 15: Rolston & Bass

R & B punch out cancels with Rolston & Bass handstamp cancels
May 15, 1900

William H. Rolston, Walter A. Bass, and Edwin S. Hooley were the partners in the firm Rolston & Bass.  The partnership was reported as dissolved less than a year after these stamps were cancelled in a February 1, 1901 report by the New York Times.  In that same column announcing the news of the dissolution of the R&B firm was a report on the takeover of the Mobile & Ohio by the Southern Railway.  The memorandum sale below is for 100 shares of the Mobile & Ohio.  By 1901 the railroad would sell for $30 above the selling price in the memorandum.

Rolston & Bass were the New York-based "private wire" correspondents of the Boston brokerage Hornblower & Weeks.

Cancel for May 15: S. F. Johnson & Company

S. F. J. & CO.
MAY   15   1900

S. F. Johnson memorandum of sale for 200 shares of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad

S. F. Johnson's partners included S. Fisher Johnson, Charles W. Miller, and James Lorimer Graham. 

While I have yet to find much interesting or noteworthy to report about this firm, a small New York Times announcement about the wedding of one of the partner's sons tells a small story about New York society and wealth at the time:

From the NYT, February 18, 1916:

"...Among the guests at the cathedral were Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., Mrs. C. B. Alexander, Mrs. Frank K. Sturges, Mrs. Frederick Neilson, Mr. and Mrs Ashton de Peyster, Mr. Lewis Gouverneur Morris, Mrs. Grenville Kane, Mrs J. Gordon Douglas, Mrs. Karrick Riggs,...and Mrs. Albert Gallatin.

This is a who's who of New York women at the time, including Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr, who needs little elaboration.  Frank K. Sturges was the President of the New York Stock Exchange at the time.  Mrs. Albert Gallatin?  I don't know, but I would assume she was a direct relation of the 4th US Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, who served from 1801 to 1814.  Lewis Gouverneur Morris was a descendant of Lewis Morris who signed the Declaration of Independence as a representative to the Continental Congress from New York. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Chambers Stamp Journal, November 1951: Railroad Printed Cancels

Big thanks go out to Frank Cunliffe for sending the scans of an article from Chambers Stamp Journal from 1951 on 1898 printed cancels.  The scans are included below.  The article provides some insight into some of the work that was done to organize and account for known railroad printed cancels prior to the publication of Richard Fullerton's list.

Charles Metz wrote a 4 column piece on railroad printed cancels, offering a list of the known types and values and quoting the collector Mr. D. S. Turney and his pursuit of the cancels.  This article provides information unavailable in Richard Fullerton's cancel list, particularly with regard to one of the rarest of the cancels, that made by the Chicago, Fort Madison, & Des Moines Railroad. 

I will hand it over to Mr. Metz:

"...Mr. D. S. Turney gives us a very interesting story about an unlisted printed railroad cancel, and for the benefit of Chambers readers we are reproducing it here.

"I have corresponded quite a bit with several of the better known collectors of these issues such as Chappell, Harold Field, Don Lighton, etc., regarding these issues, and have one item which I have never seen listed; nor have any of the above men heard of it.  This is the printed precancel on the 1c blue documentary battleship of the C. F. M. & D. M. R. R. (Chicago, Fort Madison and Des Moines Railroad).  The copy I have is on an original bill of lading of the C. B. & Q. R. R. used in January 1901.  Since this is "right in my own backyard", a little investigation locally, plus the kindness of the C. B. & Q. R. R. in Chicago brought out interesting facts that this was a short line that in its prime extended from Fort Madison, Iowa, northwestward to a junction with the C. B. & Q. R. R. near Batavia, Iowa (12 miles west of my home).

Richard Friedberg scan

"The short line was originally 3-foot gauge, what was standardized about 1890, and on January 1, 1900 the entire road, 71 miles long, was leased to the C. B. & Q..  Exactly a year later, the C. B. & Q. bought complete ownership of the road thru purchase of its securities, and its identity as the C. F. M. & D. M. ceased to exist.  My conclusion is that the C. B. & Q., which was fairly prolific in its use of printed precancels on the 1c blue on its leased and subsidiary lines, also caused precancels to be made for the short line after it assumed the lease in January 1900.  Probably these precancels were used during 1900 and the remainders used in 1901 after the C. B. & Q. became owner of the road. 

"The cancel is set up in block caps with serifs, all in one line and in black.  I became interested in these precancels, especially the R. R. issues, thru the acquisition of a large quantity of the bills of lading of the period 1898 to 1902, which were mostly from the midwestern railroads.  Among them were numerous copies of the C. B. & Q. and subsidiary lines, Chicago & Northwestern; Mo. Pacific; St. L. I. M. & So.; St. L. & S. W., and others.  It has made a fine collection, all being on the original instruments.

Friday the 13th and Blogger Has Gone Down!

This is a short post to test the system, which has apparently returned to nomal after more than 12 hours off line.  The vaunted Google corporation is not perfect!  Here was a message they had posted on their "Status" page earlier today:

Friday, May 13, 2011

To get Blogger back to normal, all posts since 7:37am PDT on Weds, 5/11 have been temporarily removed. We expect everything to be back to normal soon. Sorry for the delay.

Looks like we may now be back to normal.  For 12 hours I couldn't even access the editor.  I'm using it to write you this message, so something is better that it was a few hours ago...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More R155 SOTNs

M.  V.  T.  Co.
SEP   7  1898

O. C. R. R.
OCT  1  1898

Old Colony Railroad


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mobile & Ohio Railroad Stock Memoranda of Sale

Below are memoranda of sale for the stock of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad cancelled by six different brokers.  The 1898 tax period was an interesting one for the stock of the Mobile & Ohio.  In late 1898 the stock was trading in the low 30s, by mid 99 and into 1900 the low 40s, but then by early 1901 the shares rocketed to around $70 per share.  The memoranda below are in chronological order starting in 1898 and then running through early 1901. 

The history of the M&O indicates why the railroad's stock might have experienced a price spike by February 1901.  According to a history of The Mobile and Ohio Railroad in a book by James Lemly::

...the board of directors of the M&O recommended that stockholders and bondholders of the M&O accept a security exchange plan which was offered by the Southern Railway on January 31, 1901. The Southern wanted the north-south line of the M&O and was in a position to provide financial assistance which the M&O needed to remain in competition with its richer rivals. Under its plan, the Southern acquired control of the M&O when the holders of 48,748 shares out of 53,206 shares outstanding exchanged their stock for 4 per cent Southern stock trust certificates. At the same time the holders of a majority of the M&O general mortgage bonds exchanged their securities for Southern collateral trust gold bonds for the same amount, principal and interest, payable on the same dates and secured by the M&O general mortgage bonds.

100 shares @ $31 7/8
December 30, 1898
Ladenburg Thalman

$2 in tax stamps

300 shares @ $42
April 10, 1899
Harris & Fuller

$6 in tax stamps

100 shares @ $40 1/2
May 15, 1990
Rolston & Bass

$2 dollars in tax stamps

200 shares @ $40 1/4
May 15, 1990
S. F. Johnson

$2 dollars in stamps on front, and an additional $2 on back

100 shares @ $69
February 1, 1901
I. S. Wormser

$2 in tax stamps

100 shares @ $70 1/2
February 1, 1901
W. S. Lawson & Co.

$2 in tax stamps


Back to the story of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad.  James Lemly's book says this about the Mobile & Ohio's origins:

The Mobile Road, as it was often called in its early days, was planned by the people of Mobile to serve the city, in the same manner that the Mississippi River had served New Orleans. The railroad was expected to bring the trade of the upper Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Ohio River basins to Mobile. The project was named the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, because it was to connect that city with the great river systems which converged near Cairo, Illinois, and thus the port of Mobile was to assume a much greater role in commercial affairs at the expense of New Orleans.

The Mobile & Ohio ran south-north in a corridor dominated by two other major railroads, the Illinois Central and Louisville & Nashville.  Eventually it would shake loose from its relationship with the Southern Railway, reported at the top of this post.  The M&O would then join up with the Gulf, Mobile & Northern and form the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, with lines running from the Gulf of Mexico to Chicago.  The GM&O would be known as "The Rebel Route."  By 1972 the line was merged with the Illinois Central and ceased to exist.

1902 Mobile & Ohio route map