Saturday, February 25, 2012

R155 SOTNs: The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway

David Thompson sent this scan of a railroad cancel bullseye on a R155 type 2:

C. H. & D. Ry

The Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railway was originally featured on this site in November 2009.  David now complements that post with this stamp and cancel.

The CH&D's mainlines ran from Cincinnati into Hamilton, and from Hamilton both west to Indianapolis and north to Dayton and on to Toledo.  The CH&D ran through Sidney, Ohio, the home of Linn's and the current home of Scott Publishing and the Scott Catalog.

The 1901 Poor's Manual provides this data on the state of the CH&D Railway in 1900:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: St. Louis Southwestern Railway

Adams Express bill of lading with St. Louis Southwestern Railway printed cancel

printed cancel:



The St. L. S. W. Ry was known as The Cotton Belt Route

Companies like Adams Express and American Express received, shipped and delivered freight and packages using a mix of contracted transport, especially railroads. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad

Bill of Lading on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
for a shipment to W. J. Bostwick

C. B. & Q. R. R. Co. Printed Cancel


C. B. & Q. R. R. Co.
AUG  22  1900

Reverse side of the Bill of Lading:  Full C. B. & Q. R. R. system map.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: Chicago & Northwestern Railway

It appears that Mr. E.S. Randall, a one time Mayor of Calamus, Iowa, was sending a load of empty beer barrels and bottles back to a Val Blatz Brewing depot in Ceder Rapids.  By my read, the shipment included:

23 Half Barrels
17 Quarter Barrels
17 Eighth Barrels
9 Cases of Bottles

Blatz was brewed and headquartered in Milwaukee. 

C. & N - W. Ry.
Sept 20

Val Blatz Brewing Company branded arch at the former Blatz building in Milwaukee.  The building has been converted to residential apartments.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad

Waybill for freight from the firm E. E. Bruce & Company transported on the Freemont, Elkhorn & Missori Valley Railroad.  The waybill includes a one cent documentary tax stamp with a printed cancel from the FE&MVRR.

The E. E. Bruce Company made its founder, Edward Bruce, a very wealthy man.  His prosperity as a businessman in Omaha, Nebraska, gave him a position of leadership in the community.  One of the most famous events commemorated in American philately, that honoring the Trans-Mississippi exhibition held in Omaha from June to November 1898, was in part managed by Mr. Bruce.  Bruce was the exhibits manager for the 4,062 exhibits, for a fair that covered 108 city blocks.

Country Club Bourbon
sold by E. E. Bruce of Omaha, Nebraska

While by title a druggist, Mr. Bruce made most of his fortune through the distribution and sale of alcohol.  E. E. Bruce sold wine, whiskey, and brandy, among other spirits, and had a substantial sale network that spread west all the way to the Pacific.  Bruce sourced his whiskey in likely places like Kentucky, then packaged and shipped it west.

Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad printed cancel with 1900 year date.
The Fremont Elkhorn was a part of the Chicago & Northwestern system.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway

One of the most common printed cancels on the 1c documentary is that of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.  And one of the most common 1898 bills of lading available to collectors today are those of Hirsch Brothers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  These bills show up in single lots and on occasion in bulk on Ebay on a fairly regular basis.  Two are illustrated below and both are from May 1902.

Note that the cancels identify the CMStP as "Railway" while the bill has "RR" printed at the top.

Hirsch Brothers was an agricultural implements company based in Milwaukee.  John and Charles Hirsch were the brothers that founded and ran the firm. 

While the firm supplied standard agricultural implements, it also built specialty machines, like the corn sheller in the photo below:


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bills of Lading with Printed Cancels: Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska

Waybill for transport of goods on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska by Walter G. Clark Company.  The documentary tax was paid by a 1 cent battleship with a B&MRRR printed cancel.  See the closeup below.

Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska cancels have been featured before in posts on this site.  The B&MRRR in Nebraska was a component of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincey Railroad.



B. & M. R. R. R. 



B. & M. R. R. R. In Neb.
Received on
JUL   2   1900

The bill of lading was printed specifically for the firm of Walter G. Clark Company of Omaha, which meant the firm had repeated need for these bills and must have conducted a large share of its business via rail.  The firm traded in sporting goods, and did business in fire arms and ammunition.  The specific purpose of this bill was to document the shipment of "1 box Ld shells" and 1 Box empty shells".  What were the shells?  Ammunition of some sort perhaps, or something far more benign?  A little searching came up with this great shot of a an old Walter G. Clark baseball bat, confirming the firm's broader trade in sporting products, including their manufacture.

The bat is currently on sale at this webite.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: E. F. Raynor & Company

E. F. Raynor & Co.

Thompson scans and highlight

Edwin Fitch Raynor
Member, New York Stock Exchange

Monday, February 13, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: I & S. Wormser

FEB  1   1901

Langlois scans

I & S Wormser memorandum of sale for 100 shares of Mobile & Ohio Railroad to Asiel & Company.


no date

Langlois scans

FEB  12  1901

AUG  10  1899

Thompson scan

From the Brooklyn Standard Union, June 22, 1907:

Isidor WORMSER, of the banking firm of I.& S. WORMSER, died in his home 836 Fifth avenue, Manhattan, last night.  Mr. WORMSER was born in Landau, Germany. He came to this country when only18 years old with his brother Simon.  At that time the rush to the California gold fields had begun and the young men seized their opportunity. They sailed around the Horn, carrying with them as much merchandise
as their means would permit them to purchase, and entered into business in Sacramento.From the outset they prospered, and in 1870 the two brothers came to this city and established here a banking business, which is now known throughout the world. Mr. WORMSER was a Democratic Presidential Elector in 1892. He was a member of the Stock Exchange, one of the trustees of the Brooklyn Bridge and a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was also a member of the Coney Island Jockey Club, the Criterion and Manhattan clubs.  He leaves a widow, a son, Isidor WORMSER, and a daughter, Mrs. Jefferson SELIGMAN.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bob Hohertz on Stamped Paper: The RN X Sample Books Revisited

I just received another two pairs of RN X imprints on unsuitable papers, the one-cent member of one of them being pictured above. It deepened my perplexity concerning the manufacture and purpose of these "samples."

The sample books were discussed by Ernest Wilkins in the Essay-Proof Journal No. 129. He said that there were 194 pages, each of which contained an orange impression of both the one-cent and two-cent designs. He also commented on the recurring plate flaws in the copy he had at his disposal at the time. For the one-cent he listed damage to the top of the design and a spot of color in the large numeral at right. I already posted the image below, taken from another sample item on rather plain paper and showing both flaws.

In June of 2011 when I discussed these items I included the following one-cent version. It exhibits both of the flaws noted by Wilkins. It also exhibits the same wallpaper design as the one on the example at the top of this article.

The problem is that the imprint shown at top does not have the spot of color in the right numeral. None of the one-cent sample items I have acquired in the last year have it. Yet they all have the same flaw at the top of the imprint. Or is it? I've learned from close examination of several Civil War imprints that apparently identical plate flaws often are not, but products of some sort of weakness in the dies that produced flaws in the same general area.

The two-cent imprints show a similar anomaly. All of the recently acquired ones show a missing design portion at bottom, to the left of "INTERNAL." Wilkins illustrated the two-cent imprint on a sample page which he described as "floral underprint is pale green on cream color paper." This is exactly what I now have, with the damaged imprint. However, his illustration clearly shows no such damage.

The Wilkins illustration.

Damage not shown on the Wilkins illustration.

To sum up what we have so far is, first, what I will call Wilkins Samples: one-cent with frame damage and dot, two cent with no apparent damage. I have examples of these. And, second, new samples: one-cent with frame damage, no dot, two-cent with frame damage. I have five examples of these.

A deceptively simple solution is that there were at least two sample books which have been cut apart. I believe this. But - why? And what happened to the dot?

If the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or anyone else, decided to produce these books, why only use two dies? If the printer was running several copies at a time, to be cut apart later, there were two, three, four dies being used at once. If the frame damage on the one-cent samples is not the same on the ones with and without the dot in the numeral, this is the explanation. If I could see an example where the paper is pretty clearly from a sample book but there was no frame damage on the one-cent, that would erase all doubt in my mind.

None of this addresses the other question: who produced these samples?

They are not salesman's samples. The only people who were selling the design was the Bureau, who presumably had to get approval for their design from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Can you imagine presenting him with a thick book of samples on things like wallpaper and foil, printed with flawed plates? I can't.

Who else could have printed them? The plates were maintained under supervision of an IRS Agent at all times, and should have been returned to the Commissioner at the termination of the contract, or when damaged or worn. It is not likely that they were abandoned at the end of the tax period, if for no other reason than that they could have been used to place imprints on checks that then could have been turned in for refund. Admittedly, after 1904 no refunds were given, so the IRS may have lost interest in the plates and some enterprising soul could have gotten hold of a set of them to run off some curiosities. The plates available at that time could have been a mix of damaged and undamaged ones, whatever was still around. This would answer all the questions except Why Bother…

I'd love to find a smoking gun, but I don't know where to look for it.

You can access a previous post on these "samples" and sample books below:

What is in the Sample Books? June 18, 2011

Auctions: Stamped Paper RN X Sample Book Material

A current eBay auction for the item above has a starting bid price of $675.  Bob Hohertz discussed these rather bizarre samples of 1898 printed cancel material in this post from June last year.  He will provide an update to this information in a post on this site tomorrow.  Check this site on Sunday for more.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Henry Clews & Company

Classified Advertisement, June 2, 1901 New York Times

New York.

Dave Thompson scan

Henry Clews wrote the book 28 Years in Wall Street, a late 19th century account of business in New York's financial district.  He also wrote a section in King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. Clews was a powerful force in New York society and business and played a significant role in organizing civil society to take down William Tweed, the "Boss" of Tammany Hall.

Lunch at the Clews' residence.  Nicola Tesla is seated at right with head propped on his right hand.