Monday, April 30, 2012

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company

B.  F.  R.  S.  Co.
JUN  XX  1899

Thompson scan & highlight

Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company has a significant place in sneaker history.  A man named Marquis Converse worked at the Boston office of the Beacon Falls Rubber Shoe Company before he left to form the Converse Rubber Shoe Company.  Converse created the Chuck Taylor basketball shoe and hired the former NBA player to promote the shoes.  The rest is history.  Are you wearing Chuck Taylors right now?

Friday, April 27, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: James D. Smith

Mr. Smith was President of the New York Stock Exchange from 1886 - 1887

J. D. S. & CO.
SEP     8    1899

Dave Thompson scan

Advertisement, New York Tribune, January 30, 1897

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charles Taylor Guilty on 11 Counts at The Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague

This post has nothing to do with 1898 revenues or stamps in general.  But it has much to do with my life and the life of my family.  I've spent 10 years in the West African states of Liberia and Sierra Leone, 8 of them with Taylor in ascendence and creating hell for all that lived in both countries.

Today is a great day, partially for reasons of justice, but mostly because Taylor will now be unable to gain his freedom and return to the West Africa region to destabilize it once more.  Taylor was found guility today at a court in The Hague in The Netherlands of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity on 11 counts. 

I lost many friends to Mr. Taylor and his men.  I also spent years of life working to buffer the cruel effects of his rule and warlordism.  While neither Liberia or Sierra Leone will shake off the effects of years of coups and wars, in part led by Charles Taylor, they can now definitively be on the way to putting this terrible history behind them.

Taylor's sentencing process starts today.  You can access the Court's website by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Goldsmith, Wolf & Company


Dave Thompson scan

This brokerage firm was located at 72 Broadway.  The named partners were Frederick T. Goldsmith and Theodor Wolf.  The firm and its partners were not named in the 1897 King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange.

Frederick T. Goldsmith
obituary photo
New York Daily Tribune
April 19, 1905

Monday, April 23, 2012

The April American Philatelist: Guam Island Mail

In a month where 1898 Revenues broke the story on the 1898 betel nut tax,  The American Philatelist magazine has run a story on occupation Guam Island Mail!  Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Join the APS to receive a subscription to the The American Philatelist and articles like the one above.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: S. F. Johnson & Company

Senior partner S. Fisher Johnson

Stock memorandum of sale for 200 shares of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad  from S. F. Johnson & Co., brokers, to Sidenberg & Krauss, brokers.

S.  F.  J.  &  CO.
MAY   15   1900

Langlois scans

Mr. Miller and Mr. Graham were partners of Mr. Johsnon.  Where do you suppose Mr. Miller was looking when this picture was taken, and what about Mr. Graham? 

New York Stock Brokers: Norton & Tunstall

advert, NY Evening Post, January 25, 1899

The firm of Norton & Tunstall was dissolved circa 1899, in the year of this advert and the cancel below.  Mr. Tunstall began his career on Wall Street and worked his way up from office boy at the firm Haven & Stout.  Tunstall would leave and go to the firm of Macy & Pendleton, where E. Hope Norton was a client.  From their days at Macy & Pendleton, Henry Tunstall would start a partnership with E. Hope Norton.  It is reported that Norton purchased Mr. Tunstall's seat on the exchange.  Their partnership was shortlived. 

I am intereseted in other cancels by the Norton & Tunstall firm or from Tunstall's independent firm after he broke up his patnership with Norton.  Please write to


Langlois scan

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: E. C. Benedict & Company

Elias Cornelius Benedict was a New York banker and broker specializing in gas and rubber securities.  He was also famous as a yachtsman and as a close friend of U. S. President Grover Cleveland. 

JAN  17  1899

David Thompson scan and enhancement

Benedict on his yacht Oneida c. 1913

Friday, April 20, 2012

Auctions: Ebay 5c Proprietary Multiple with Plate Block

RB31p margin block of 20 with plate block

A seller with the handle rmtconsulting and a history of only 10 sales has listed this block on Ebay with a starting bid of $1200 and a buy-it-now price of $1320.

Most of the stamps are badly off center and it appears as if there is a substantial crease running through the perfs on what would be the upper third of the plate block of six.  Scott places a value of $1500 on the plate block.

The auction closes on April 27.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: George H. Holt & Company

xx  Wall St., N. Y.

Langlois scan

George H. Holt had been a member of the firm Taintor & Holt when the partnership dissolved during the 1898 tax period and he formed his self-titled brokerage.

New York Daily Tribune
January 6, 1889

Monday, April 16, 2012

Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska Lincolon Cancel on an R154

B. & M. R. R. R. IN NEB.
AUG  16  1898

R154 with a small period after the I

David Thompson scan

David sends this scan of this very nice R154 with a B&MRRR cancel.  The stamp contains a small period after the I, which happens four times on every pane of 100 of R154 and R155.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Collector of Internal Revenue Seventh District of Indiana

APR  22  1899
D. W. Henry
Collector Int. Rev. Seventh Dist. of Indiana

Bart Rosenberg scan

D. W. Henry became a Judge and a community leader in Terre Haute, Indiana.

As today is the day your US Federal Income Taxes are due, it seemed appropriate to use this scan of a block of 4 sent by reader Bart Rosenberg.  In the normal course of Mr. Henry's professional duties as Collector of Interneral Revenue, you would think that he would have been exempt from taxes.  Perhaps this block was cancelled and used for a personal transaction.  Unfortunately, we can't know unless we can find an on document example from Mr. Henry that contains a similar block and cancel.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Specimen Stamps: A New Web Site

In the March 1-2, 2012 Robert Siegel sale, a battleship stamp with a "SPECIMEN" overprint was sold.  You can view that lot at Stamp Auction Network by clicking here.  Until this lot showed up I had never considered that the battleships might have had specimen overprints, even though the time period of their issue was consistent with specimen overprints on other US stamps.  Subsequently I have done nothing to follow up on this new vein of collecting possibility in battleships.  However, along has come a new resource on the web published by a specialist in specimen overprints that might help shed some light on these peculiar overprints.

R163 1c Documentary with Type G Specimen Overprint
Robert Siegel sale #1019, Lot #1023
This lot went to an unknown bidder

David Schwarz publishes a website/blog entitled "US Specimen Stamps" that you can find by clicking here.  David began publishing in August last year and to date has focused exclusively on US specimens.  I urge you to visit this site and take a look; the stamp images are fabulous and the content is informative and fascinating. 

What I particularly appreciate about this relatively new site is the attempt by David to use the web, and especially the interactive and conveniently iterative blog format, to feature and encourage the sharing of information and the accumulation of knowledge about his field of specialty.  This is the same thing we are trying to do here at 1898 Revenues.

And with the the recent sale of the R163 specimen shown above, there is now an intersection of interest between our two websites beyond intent.  While there is more work to be done, I look forward to collaboration to learn more about revenue specimens, especially those on the 1898 series. 

Do Your Taxes!

It is only fitting that this site would post a short reminder that your US Federal Income Taxes are due tomorrow.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: William L. Stow & Company

W. L. STOW & CO.
OCT    4    1900

David Thompson scan

Mr. Stow was apparently a gracious and well-liked gentleman among the members of the New York Stock Exchange.  See the New York Times story below.

The New York Times, July 4, 1886:



A company of Wall-street men were down at the pier to see one of the European steamers sail out of port yesterday.  Gallant Howell Osborn was one of the number.  His partner, William L. Stow, was saying goodbye to New York for a year or two to enjoy a trip around the world.  Mr. Stow is one of the really popular young men in Wall-street.  He was an office boy not so very many years ago; swept out an office and ran errands for something like a dollar and a half a week.  Now, after having been a member of the Stock Exchange for 8 or 10 years, he finds a fortune of over a quarter of a million dollars to his credit, and, with practical sense that does not often come to relieve the Wall-street fever, he quits buying and selling stocks and proceeds to map out a programme for enjoyment.

"Will" Stow had ambitions to be a doctor once, and disgusted with his chances of ever getting ahead in wall-street he went into an uptown physician's office, reveled in text books for a year or so, and then spent another in one of the city's hospitals, but just as he was ready to take a diploma and obtain a license to peddle quinine he dropped into Wall-street again.  Charles J. Osborn, shrewd in his estimates of manly qualities, took a sudden fancy to the young fellow.  Stow had good principles, he had no loud tastes, neither woman nor wine were temptations to him; he was just such a young man as the elder Osborn wanted as a friend for the budding Howell.  There was a good-bye then to drugs and patients; young Mr. Stow as soon making money as he had never expedited to make it.  He didn't need much coaching; opportunity was all he asked; his own intelligence, push, and enterprise did the rest.  He and Howell Osborn saw Europe together, spending a year abroad, after their return forming the stock brokerage firm of W. L. Stow & Co.  The result is that now, but a little over 30 years of age, Mr. Stow has a fortune big enough to retire upon and live in a handsome style.  He will take things easily in the tour of the world that he began yesterday, and will remain at every notable place that especially interests him long enough to see more of it than is to be had in the usual guidebook surface glance.

Mr. Stow used to be a clerk in the brokerage firm of E. D. Stedman & Co., and the poet-banker tells a story much the successful young man's credit.  He was not very hopeful of riches in the old days when he was keeping books for Mr. Stedman, and nobody would have been likely to mark him then as the prospective possessor of hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own.  There was no forwardness about him; favors shown him were always fruitful of thankfulness.  When he left Mr. Stedman's employ--to go to the doctor's office, I think it was--Mr. Stedman bade him not only a kindly goodbye, but expressed the hope that if ever it were possible to for him to lend the young man assistance he would be gland to do his utmost to help the young clerk along.

Time went on.  Stow was getting up in the world, back in Wall-street again; misfortune fell upon Mr. Stedman.  Everybody, of course, remembers the unexpected failure of the poet's brokerage firm a couple of years or so ago.  But one man who learned the news found more interest in it than the ordinary citizen, and a messenger within an hour of the announcement of the financial trouble handed a note to Mr. Stedman, which ran something like this:

Dear Mr. Stedman:  I have $30,000 more than I want.  Will you please take it?  W. L. Stow.

Mr. Stedman fortunately was better off than at first supposed, and he declined the big-hearted offer, though not without the expression of a gratitude that had no lack of earnestness in it.           RALSTON.

New York Stock Brokers: Boody, McLellan & Company

New York Times advert, 1899


David Thompson scan

Yesterday Frank Sente posted a memorandum of sale from Austin Greer to Boody, McLellan, with the cancels of Mr. Greer.  Today I offer a cancel by Boody, McLellan & Company on a R173 submitted by David Thompson.

As Frank noted, Boody McLellan was an older and established brokerage house by 1898.  According to King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange, the older Mr. Boody no longer held a seat on the Exchange by 1898, while his son, Henry Boody, did.  Likely the partners Boody & McLellan entrusted the youngest to conduct the business on the floor while the older partners minded the office and the business lunches.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Austin M. Greer


 detail of Greer's double-ring oval cancel

Austin Greer doesn't appear in King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange 1897-1898, the resource guide we've been using to help identify the brokers whose cancels appear on various 1898 revenues.  Happily his cancel is readily identifiable, an attractive double-ring oval, oddly punctuated with a comma after his name and period after New York.  The 20-cents in tax stamps used for the transaction properly pays the 2-cent per hundred dollar rate for the resale of 10 shares of stock whose original value was $100 per share.   

Perhaps Greer, at this time, simply was dealing under the auspices of  Charles M. Schott, Jr. who became a member of the NYSE in 1869 and whose name appears on the Greer memo.  Schott himself though apparently was still independently active as John previously blogged about a CHAS. M. SCHOTT, JR. & CO. cancel on a 40-cent battleship issue.  Perhaps someone more knowledgeable about NYSE transactions can explain the purpose of the "Account of C. M. SCHOTT, Jr." endorsement on the Greer sales memo or what relationship might have existed between Greer and Schott.  

The buyer, Boody, McLellan & Co.,  to whom Greer sold these 10 shares of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad stock, was a recognized NYSE member firm, adding further credence to Greer's acceptance "on the street" even if he was not then an NYSE member.        

Greer seems to have been in the brokerage business at least since the late 1880s, as a 1903 New York Times article refers to a fifteen year employee as embezzling funds from the firm.  Small wonder, as Greer reportedly often was absent from the firm's office for weeks at a time, leaving his employee to run the operation. The article makes no mention of Mr. Schott, so whatever relationship Greer had with him in 1898 may have been dissolved by 1903. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: James M. Leopold & Company

New York Tribune classified, 1897

Above and below:


handstamp cancels on R185 and R186
David Thompson scans

Sunday, April 8, 2012

American Express Cancel on a R175 $5 Documentary

MAR  22  1900

David Thompson sends in this scan of an R175 with an American Express cancel.  AMEX cancels are common as printed or handstamped cancels on the 1 cent documentary; an AMEX cancel on a dollar value is seldom seen.

What business did AMEX have in using a $5 documentary stamp?  I can't imagine its use to pay for 500 entries in a shipping ledger.  If you have an answer, and especially if you have seen a dollar value documentary stamp on an AMEX document, please write to

New York Stock Brokers: Joshua W. Davis & Company

J.  W.  D.  &  Co.
MAY  25  1899

Langlois scan

Joshua W. Davis started his self-named firm in 1885 and remained head of the company until his death in February 1900.  Davis was banker and broker for the Vanderbilts, and was on the New York Stock Exchange's Governing Committee for 16 years.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: James H. Oliphant

The prominent Wall Street broker James H. Oliphant began 1898 as a member of the firm Lathrop, Smith & Oliphant.  Before the end of 1898 and by the time of the cancel below he was running a firm in his own name.  Mr Oliphant was shot in his office in 1907 by a client, who in turn turned his revolver on himself and commited suicide.  Mr. Oliphant died soon after in the hospital of his wounds.  See more below in the excerpts from a 1907 New York Times article.

N. Y.

David Thompson scan

The New York Times, December 21, 1907:


Then Shoots Himself in the Brokerage Office of His Victim, Who Dies at 2 AM To-day.


Dr. C. A. Gieger, a Southerner, in Firm's Debt, but Wanted Chance to Retrieve His Losses

James H. Oliphant, senior member of the Stock Exchange firm of James H. Oliphant & Co., and one of the best known brokers in this city, was shot, and mortally wounded in his office at 20 Broad Street yesterday afternoon by Dr. Charles a. Geiger of Beaufort, S. C., a ruined speculator, who for two years or more had been a customer of the Oliphant firm.  Dr. Geiger then turned the revolver on himself and sent the bullet into his brain, dying instantly.

Mr. Oliphant died in Hudson Street Hospital at 2:03 o'clock this morning...

The full 1907 New York Times story is a detailed and interesting tale of speculation and loss.  If at all interested in the story be sure to read it at the link provided.  Also in 1907, NYSE member William S. Alley committed suicide at the Larchmont Yacht Club due to trading losses.  A William S. Alley cancel and the story can be found in a blog post by clicking here.

New York Stock Brokers: Prince & Whitely

Advertisement, 1901 Poor's Manual

Prince & Whitely was an established NYSE firm by the time of the Spanish-American War.  It was the first NYSE firm to establish a private telegraph wire and office in Washington, and was noted for having given its own traders and customers several minutes advantage before the market shock following the assassination of President Garfiled in 1881.

New York.

Langlois scan

James Whitely, senior partner of Prince & Whitely

Maynard Eyre, Thomas Bolmer, and H. Cruger Oakley
photos are from 1897-8