Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Triply Taxed Bill of Exchange

As I reviewed documents in anticipation of resuming to blog after a two month hiatus, I discovered that I had not finished a series of blogs about foreign bills of exchange. We featured a number of interesting bills both incoming to, and outgoing from, the United States during the series. To review those prior blogs and the varied countries and territories included in the series, go here.

I had planned to conclude the series by blogging about two triply taxed bills of exchange, one from Bob Patetta's collection and one from mine. Trying to feature them both in a single blog became laboriously difficult. Realizing that it likewise would be laborious to read, at the last moment I decided instead to blog about them separately.
I featured Bob Patetta's triply taxed document here, and then moved on to another subject. Actually, I had delayed blogging about my triply taxed document hoping to receive comment regarding the questions raised about Bob's document, especially info about the then Swiss cantonal tax rates pertinent to my document as well. Enough background, time to look at the document at hand; and I'll again ask about the Swiss tax rates as my query remains unanswered.
The Western State Bank Of Chicago
Sight Draft of The Fred Knapp Company
March 27, 1902
Although reduced at left, enough of the sight draft remains intact to extrapolate the likely missing text using wording standard to similar drafts. Here's the full text, with the proposed missing wording in red:
At Sight ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Pay to the
Order of The Western State Bank of Chicago~~~~~~~
~~~One Hundred Forty-three and no/100~~~Dollars
Value Received and charge the same to account of ___
The draft was written personally by Fred H. Knapp, in his capacity as Secretary and Treasurer of The Fred H. Knapp Company. It's unclear however to whom the draft was addressed other than to say it was to a company in Fribourg, Switzerland whose name ends with the letter "p".
Today's Standard Knapp, Inc. traces it's roots back to the Fred H. Knapp Company and it's interesting to note the company's website mentions having manufacturing licences in Switerland as that provides a tantilizing hint that Knapp might have set up European operations in Fribourg by 1902 and this draft might have represented a payment to that operation. At least the name Knapp ends in the letter "p"!

Reverse of Knapp Draft
Showing US and Swiss Revenues
and most of the Transit Endorsements
That the draft was taxed 8c by the Western State Bank, whose cancel obliterates the four R164 battleship documentary issues, suggests the amount was $143 as the tax for outbound bills of exchange, as this draft was considered, was 4c per each hundred dollars in value or fraction thereof.

Apparently the Brits taxed transient Bills of Exchange passing through their banks a flat fee of one penny as both Bob Pattetta's draft fo $1,000+ and this one of $143 were taxed the same, one penny. The tax rate in the Swiss Canton of Fribourg however must have been a variable rate as Bob's $1,000+ draft was taxed 140 centimes and this $143 draft just 20 centimes.

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