Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Thomas W. Thorne & Company


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Thomas W. Thorne, Member, New York Stock Exchange

Mr. Thorne nearly died in a horse and buggy accident in 1905.  Apparently his survival was in part due to a rather amazing and loyal coachman.  The New York Times reported in its Christmas Eve edition of 1905:


He and His Brother Have Narrow Escape--Coachman May Die.
Special to The New York Times.

NEW ROCHELLE,  Dec. 23.--Thomas W. Thorne, the broker, and his brother, Newberry Thorne, the yachtsman, were thrown from a carriage in a runaway accident here this afternoon and barely escaped death.  The coachman, Michael Cudahy, who clung to the reins in an effort to save his employer, was thrown against a stone wall and is dying of a fractured skull in the New Rochelle Hospital.

Cudahy has been in the employ of the Thorne family for thirty years, and said to be the richest coachman along the sound.  He owns half a dozen houses in New Rochelle, and is a stockholder in several corporations.  The Thorne family had so much confidence in him that they would never permit anyone else to drive for them.  If Cudahy was off duty they would leave the horses in the stable and walk to the railroad station.

The runaway occurred this afternoon as they were leaving their country place at Davenport Neck.  Cudahy was just drawing out of the stable when one of the large doors, blown by the wind, struck the rear wheels of the wagon.  This caused the horses to take fright, and as they were running away, Thorne and his brother jumped.  They escaped with a few bruises.  The coachman held onto the reins until the carriage struck the stone gateway and was wrecked.  His head struck the wall, and received a fracture on the right side of the head.  He was removed to the hospital, where an operation was performed as soon as possible, but he had not gained consciousness at a later hour tonight.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: H. B. Hollins & Company

Classified advertisement
New York Evening Post, February 9, 1889

N. Y.

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Harry B. Hollins having his shoes tended to in 1903.  His daughter Marion is holding the dog.  This photo came from Marion's scrapbook.

H. B. Hollins was a good friend and frequent business associate of J. P. Morgan.  Their offices faced each other across Wall and Broad Streets.

Other members of Mr. Hollins' firm included Frederick Arden and James Harriman. 

A copy of R175 cancelled by H. B. Hollins & Company was posted on this site in October 2011.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Harry I. Nicholas & Company

Classified advert, New York Evening Post, February 9, 1889

H. I. N. & Co.
AUG  14   1899

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New York Stock Brokers: Edward L. Oppenheim & Company

E.  L.  O.  & Co.
NOV    16    1900

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The New York Times, January 1, 1886:


Among the prominent banking and brokerage firms of New York that of E. L. Oppenheim & Co. has always been looked upon as one of the very strongest.  It was established in 1862, and has always promptly met each and every one of its engagements.  The offices of E. L. Oppenheim & Co. are at Nos. 51 and 53 New street and No. 42 Broadway, with a branch at No. 91 Leonard Street.  They transact a general banking and brokerage business in stocks of all kinds, bonds, petroleum, cotton, grain, provsions, etc.  They are members of the Cotton and Stock Exchanges of New York, and also of the Chicago Board of Trade, the latter place being connected with their New York office by private wire.  The members of the firm are Edward L. Oppenheim and Walter Del Mar.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Harris Hutton & Company


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The New York Times, November 17, 1900


Polish His Shoes with Ink, Shave Him with a Shingle, and Write on Him.

James S. Harris of Harris, Hutton & Company, who bought the Stock Exchange seat of F. D. Bangs of Boston was duly "initiated" yesterday on the floor of the Exchange.  As he had made no preparations to neutralize the work of initiation, the proceedings were very simple as compared with the "pajama seance" to which H. Archibald Pell was treated recently.

In the case of Mr. Harris, the brokers polished his shoes with ink, shaved him with a shingle, and inscribed the autographs on his collar and shirt front.  If they had planned to do anything more they forgot it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Halle & Stieglitz

Advertisement, NY Evening Post, January 7, 1898


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Advertisement, NY Evening Post, January 4, 1904

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: William Morris Imbrie & Company


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William Morris Imbrie, member NYSE

Monday, January 23, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Hopkins Brothers


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The Hopkins Brothers embroiled themselves in the middle of an election wagering escapade in 1897 the same year the pictures above were taken.  The following article concerns the 1897 race for Mayor of New York and the three contenders for the job: Mr. Low, Colonel Tracy, and Robert Van Wyck.  Mr. Van Wyck would win as a part of the Tammany Hall ticket.  As The New York Times reported on October 21 1897:


Col. Swords Goes There Ready to Wager from $1000 to $5000 on Tracey.


He Puts Up a Few Minor Wagers and Through a Friend Agrees to Take the Larger Sum, but Fails to Reappear.

Wall Street brokers who bet--and who when they bet like to see the money put up--were in anxious mood yesterday.  It was all on account of the amicable Colonel Swords whose province it is whenever an election is pending to drop down on New York and offer to bet large bundles of money on whoever his party's candidate may be.

On Tuesday Col. Swords descended into the depths of Wall Street.  He had heard discouraging tales from the Stock Exchange district.  What especially had stirred up the brave man was that somebody could be found in Wall Street willing to bet that General Tracy would not poll more votes than Mr. Low.  Col. Swords had figured out that General Tracy is to receive about 100,000 majority over all the other candidates combined and the suggestion that any one candidate was going to come anywhere near approaching Gen. Tracy fired the heroic soul tremendously.

Down in Wall Street, Col. Swords came across a cheery friend in Franklin W. Hopkins of the Stock Exchange house of Hopkins Brothers, and through Mr. Hopkins he learned that it was too true that cynical brokers were ready to bet, and bet heavily, against what Swords was pleased to call Gen. Tracy's walkover.  It was even true, so Mr. Hopkins blandly revealed that it would be easy to get big bets that Mr. Tracy would not outrun Mr. Low.

"Do you suppose they'd bet $1,000 even?" was the anxious inquiry.

Mr. Hopkins thought they would.

Col. Swords put some hundred-dollar bills into his friend Hopkins's possession, and Mr. Hopkins went into the Stock Exchange crowd to return a little later with a report that all the money had been taken.

"And do you think you could persuade them to take as much as $5,000?" Col. Swords seemed still exceedingly anxiously to get quickly into a "good thing."

Would Like More Than $5,000

Mr. Hopkins made another tour in among the brokerage bretheren.  In the space of one minute and a half he had obtained enough information to satiate every bit of curiosity in the Swords outfit.

"You can get your full $5,000."  This was the information provided for Col. Swords.

"And did you take the whole amount?"  Such the eager tone of Col. Swords.

"Did you give me the whole amount?" This the bland voice of Broker Hopkins, business man, not politician.

The Colonel looked pained.  But the Colonel was a soldier still.  And with heroic front said he this:

"Go back into the Stock Exchange, young man, and tell those soulless wretches there that though I don't happen to have brought the rest of this money today I'll be here tomorrow morning early, and the funds will be here too.  Don't let them get away.  Hold them to their promise to let me meet them tomorrow; don't let them realize too quickly the dreadful risk they are taking in betting with Col. Swords, THE Col. Swords."  Then up town the brave man hurried taking with him a memorandum list of about a score of New York Stock Exchange brokers, each of whom was yesterday in quest of a gallant Colonel lost, strayed, or stolen, for through all the long day one Swords came not, neither Swords nor the cash of him.

Luckily for Franklin W. Hopkins, (business man, not politician) he underwrote none of the uncovered bets.  Mr. Hopkins personally feels confident, he says that Col. Swords, after all, will finally appear, and that equipped with ample funds.  This cheerful opinion was not at the end of business yesterday, however, quite universal under the eaves of the Stock Exchange.

Betting on Van Wyck.

There was a little "bluff" betting in Wall Street yesterday.  The quotations on Low beating Tracy were 2 to 1.  E. B. Talcott, of Bell & Co., who are said to do the Tammany wagering, offered $2,800 to $4,000 that Van Wyck will get more votes than Tracy and Low together.  Davis Johnson of the Stock Exchange booked a bet of $5,000 to $2,0000 on Van Wyck "against the field."


Aspirants in the 1897 race for Mayor of New York:
Robert Van Wyck, General Tracy, and Seth Low
The Tammany Hall candidate, Mr. Van Wyck, won in a landslide.

Colonel Swords lost his money on these bets; I suppose Franklin Hopkins became something of a hero to his fellow brokers on the Exchange who made so much easy money off Colonel Swords.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Walker Brothers


R171p block of 4
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John Yates Gholson Walker and his brother Norman Stewart Walker organized the Walker Brothers brokerage firm in 1895.  They were the sons of Maj. Norman Stewart Walker of Richmond, Va., the purchasing agent for the Confederate Army in Bermuda, who left the United States to engage in business in England after the Civil War.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Charles M. Schott Jr.

cancel by:
New York

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Scott R170p -- 40 cent documentary with hyphen hole perforations

Charles M. Schott Jr. joined the NYSE in 1869 and was one of its most senior members by the 1898 tax-period.  Note the clean shaven face, uncommon in the late 1890s when waxed moustaches and beards were in vogue.

Charles M. Schott Jr's New York-Philadelphia business partnership in the 1880s suffered distress as reported by The New York Times of August 22, 1883:



Schott & Knight, brokers, at No. 6 Wall Street, who also have an office Philadelphia, sent a notice to the Stock Exchange yesterday, in which they said:  "Owing to complications growing out of our transactions between New York and Philadelphia, we find it necessary to announce our suspension."  The firm is composed of Charles M. Schott Jr., who has been a member of the Stock Exchange for 15 years, and Thomas C. Knight, of Philadelphia.  He was in New York yesterday and said the house traded on the market between the two cities.  Some customers failed to put up margins and embarrassed the firm.  All contract were, however, carried out.  Everything was all right in Philadelphia, and not a dollar was owed there.  The trouble was here, but the obligations were not large, and the house expected to resume in a short time.  The complications spoke of were in the accounts between the two cities, and it was thought best to suspend until the firm could find out how it stood.  In the Street it was said the New York house was long of the market and Philadelphia house was short.  The liabilities were supposed to be only about $25,000...

Friday, January 20, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Alfred L. Norris????

Dave Thompson Scan

The Norris part of the name is obscured, but the best guess for this cancel is from Mr. Alfred Norris, pictured below.  Does anyone have a verifying cancel?  If so, write 1898revenues@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Rudolph Keppler & Company

Rudolph Keppler
President, New York Stock Exchange, 1898-1903


In April 1903, President of the New York Stock Exchange Rudolph Keppler inaugurated a new stock exchange building and floor.  This building remains the NYSE's home today.  The New York Times of April 24, 1903, reported on the first day of trading in the new exchange:


Struggle to Make First Transaction on Stock Exchange.

Opening Day in the Marble Building Not Strong for Securities--Medals for Committeemen and Gavel for President Keppler.

The members of the New York Stock Exchange settled down to business yesterday in their new quarters.  The flowers and decorations of the day before had all been removed, and the big board room wore a strictly businesslike aspect, except for a big twenty-four-foot wreath of flowers sent by the Produce Exchange.  President Rudolph himself presided at the opening of the day's business, and there was a large attendance of brokers on the floor.

When the gavel fell many brokers vied with each other for the honor of making the first transaction.  Of course, where business is begun all over the room at one and the same time, it is a difficult matter to determine such a 'first transaction,"  but the ticker reported it as 100 shares of Mexican Central at 27.   The sale was made by Charles Gregory to Zimmermann & Forshay.  The next recorded transaction was in Chicago Great Western, while succeeding transaction, in their order, were Colorado Southern, Pennsylvania, Rock Island, and St. Louis and San Francisco...

After the close of business the Governors of the Exchange held their first meeting in the new building.  Besides the routine matters, the meeting transacted some special business.  This was the presentation of certain marks of appreciation to the members of the Building Committee.  This committee consisted of Ransom H. Thomas, Chairman, Rudolph Keppler, J. T. Aterbury, R. P. Doremus, H. G. S. Noble, and Ernest Groesbeck.

To each one of these members was presented a gold medal five inches in diameter, of pure gold, value of over $500, and a set of resolutions.  The gold medals were framed in a case of leather, which was so arranged that when opened it showed both sides of the medal.  They were designed and made by Tiffany & Co.  On one side was an embossed picture showing every detail of the Broad Street facade of the new Stock Exchange, and on the other was the following inscription: "The New York Stock Exchange to ____ (here the name of the committeeman was inserted) in grateful recognition of services rendered during the construction of the Stock Exchange Building.  MDCCCCIII." ...

The ivory and gold gavel which was given to the Exchange on Christmas, 1900, for the purpose of closing the old century, opening the new, and closing the old building and opening the new, was presented to President Keppler, who has presided over the Exchange for nearly five years, longer than any of his predecessors.

Scott 2630c, NYSE commemorative invert from 1992 sold in 2010 Siegel rarities of the world sale.  The stamp features an inverted facade of the Broad Street front of the Exchange.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Eames & Moore

New York.

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Classified advertisement in the New York Tribune of January 1, 1903, announcing the dissolution of the firm of Eames & Moore.


Francis Eames was a member of the NYSE and its President from 1894-98 and was a member of the firm of Eames & Moore from 1869 to 1903.  He organized the clearing system of the NYSE in 1892 to be able to handle expanding trade volumes, making his reputation through this work and paving the way to his Presidency of the New York Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Site Changes

Pardon the interuption in daily postings.  I've been doing a bit of minor reengineering to the site lately and the work is using up all of my time for the site.

The new bar under the header with links to "Home", "About", etc., is a work in progress but should provide casual visitors and regulars alike the ability to understand and use the site better.

Normal postings will resume in the next few days.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

California Banks: The Bank of California



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The Bank of California was opened in San Francisco in 1864 by William Ralston.  Darius Ogden Mills, builder and owner of the Mills Building in Manhattan that housed many Wall Street brokerage firms, was the bank's first President.  Much of the bank's early profits were generated from the mines of the Comstock Lode in Nevada.

William Chapman Ralston
Founder of the Bank of California

D. O. Mills was the first President of the Bank of California.

As in the photo above of Mills from King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange, his title was "Capitalist"

Friday, January 13, 2012

Foreign Banks: Bank of Montreal

1901 Poor's Manual Advertisement

At the bottom of the advert is a list of the Bank of Montreal's correspondent banks in the United States, including the Bank of New York, N. B. A.


Caveat Emptor Redux

Labeled by Katz as imperf; clear roulettes are shown on the sides of the block

Back in August Stuart Katz also posted this block on eBay, at that time for $450.  His starting price now is $340.  I ran a post at that time on this block that you can find here.  As before the block is mislisted.  This part-rouletted block, worth less than $20, is stil being labeled by Mr. Katz as imperforate, which it is not.  If it was in fact imperf, or more accurately with no roulettes, its value would be +$1000. 

Caveat Emptor!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New York Bankers, Banks & Trusts: John Munroe & Company

Classified Advertisement, New York Evening Post


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Tim Kohler scan.  This document first appeared on this site on November 20, 2010, in a Frank Sente post, "Maurice Grau Heads for Paris."

John Munroe & Company was a banking house with offices in New York and Paris.  It seems that the firm was a prodigious receiver and forwarder of mail from the United States and to and from its office in Paris.  You can find one such cover at the Philamercury site here. Many of the Munroe covers are highly collectable.  The following two covers have been for sale at recent auctions:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New York Bankers, Banks & Trusts: New York Security and Trust Company

1901 Poor's Manual advertisement

While I have not checked all the names listed above for this company's Board of Trustees, I can identify   James J. Hill of St. Paul, Minnesota, President of the Great Northern Railway.


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