Sunday, September 4, 2011

New York Stock Brokers: The Wadsworths


Dave Thompson scan

On August 28 I ran a post with this stamp cancelled "SWORTH".  I called for help identifying the canceller or the user of the stamp.  With my new tool King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange, there is now an answer to this question, as there will be to many cancels on the dollar documentaries that I will post in the coming days. 

A basic premise in identifying the cancels on these 1898 commerce documentaries is that the majority were cancelled by stock brokers, especially those based in New York.  In going through my own collection of 150 or so of these stamps, most of the proper named firms, ie, those with the surnames of individuals attached, and not otherwise so identified, were cancelled by New York brokers.  The pattern will be made relatively clear over the coming weeks. 

As for this example, "SWORTH" was simple to run through a search engine that searched the King's guide for the partial name.  The search turned up two gentelemen, no doubt brothers, who were members of the New York Stock exchange in 1897-98, with the last name Wadsworth.  It is nearly certain that this cancel was made by the firm of or by one of these brothers themselves, for there are no others SWORTH names associated with the NYSE at the time of the use of these stamps.

Finding other information about these gentlemen has not be so simple.  There are far too many Wadsworths in history, yielding far too many google hits, and using delimiters hasn't helped me much.  I will keep looking.

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