Saturday, June 30, 2012

On Beyond Holcombe: Daggett & Ramsdell

Editor's Note: Malcolm Goldstein is a contributing blogger for 1898 Revenues. This post is part of a continuing column on the companies that used proprietary battleships.

Daggett & Ramsdell, a skin care products provider, can be reached on the Internet, and maintains a website ready to sell its beauty products. Today, it offers a variety of creams and fillers to shade, plump and tone the skin, but the company’s history began with a revolution in the manufacture of cold cream. Volney Chapin Daggett and Clifford Ramsdell were both born 1859 and both graduated from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Ramsdell in 1882 and Daggett in 1885. They opened a retail drug store in New York City as partners in 1890. At that time, pharmacists were trained to compound themselves many of the decoctions and elixirs they sold, including cold cream for women. Daggett and Ramsdell found that women’s cold cream, then made with a vegetable oil base, soon went rancid on their store shelves. In fashion industry lore, Daggett is acclaimed as the man who produced the first stable and long-lasting cold cream by substituting mineral oils for vegetable oils. The rest, as they say, is history.

D&R handstamped 1 1/4 cent proprietary

When the company later trademarked its mineral oil based cold cream under the retail brand name “Perfect,” it claimed it first had used that name in 1893. For a period of years beginning in 1897, Ramsdell pursued his own interests, starting with an extended tour of Europe, and later worked in Newark and Chicago, ending with his formation of the Ramsdell Drug Co. During the Spanish-American War, Daggett was operating a drugstore on lower Fifth Avenue. In January,1902, the company expanded its product line to include “Perfect Cold Cream Soap,” and by 1907, had transitioned entirely from the drugstore business to the cosmetics business. Ramsdell later rejoined Daggett & Ramsdell, but died in 1911.

Daggett continued to lead the company from success to success, adding face powders as a product line beginning in 1913. Apparently just before the stock market crash in 1929, Daggett shrewdly sold the company to Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, who marketed Daggett & Ramsdell products through its subsidiary, Stanco Distributors, Inc. Daggett himself, who remained only a director of the company after the sale, outlived both his wife and only child, dying at age 84 in 1943. The company, under new management as a subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey, apparently gained ground during the Depression by successfully acting as American manufacturer for a new line of perfume and cosmetics designed by the French couturier Elsa Schiaparelli which was marketed as well by Stanco Distributors, Inc. It even commissioned an ad for its products from Dr. Suess in 1940. Since the end of World War II, ownership of the company has changed hands a number of times and today the products are distributed by Fiske Industries, Inc.

Friday, June 29, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Latham, Alexander & Company

N.  Y.

Langlois scan

The New York Times, August 19, 1909:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

American Express Chicopee Falls

XXX XX 1900

Langlois scans

In 1900, American Express was both a financial services company with products like money orders, and a shipping company.  In 1900, shipping and forwarding represented the majority of its business.  Stations in towns like Chicopee Falls received consignments for shipping out of Chicopee and shipments arriving in Chicopee from other AMEX stations.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DuBlois & Eldridge

DEC  14  1898

David Thompson scan

Advertisement, NY Evening Post, February 16, 1916

DeBlois & Eldridge was a real estate and insurance firm with offices in Rhode Island and New York City

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where is Kuhn, Loeb?

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, one of the largest and most significant New York banking houses was Kuhn, Loeb & Company.  While J. Pierpont Morgan with his self-named firm was certainly preeminent, Jacob Schiff with the firm Kuhn, Loeb emerged as a major player and frequent competitor to Mr. Morgan.

Mr. Schiff and his partners in Kuhn, Loeb did a huge volume of business through private deals and European exchanges, but their home exchange was the New York Stock Exchange.  Schiff and Kuhn, Loeb became the banker and backer of E. H. "Ned" Harriman, the railroader, through a partnership to take over and reorganize the Union Pacific Railroad, part of a process that would make Harriman one of the greatest railroad men in the United States.  This UP takeover was completed in late 1897, before the 1898 war taxes were imposed. 

J. P. Morgan was allied with the great Minnesota-based railroader James J. Hill, the builder of the Great Northern Railway and acquirer of the Northern Pacific.   Hill became a buyer of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR stock in early 1901, in an aim to acquire the property for his Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads.  It turned out that Harriman was also interested in the CB&Q.  When Schiff informed Harriman that Hill was acquiring the CB&Q, Harriman vowed revenge.

What Harriman decided to do, with Schiff backing, was to try to seize the Northern Pacific out from under Hill and Morgan.  The result was a market bubble and crash built on Northern Pacific stock which saw NP shares rocket over 1000%, climaxing due to a stock corner by Rockefeller backed interests.  100s of thousands of shares changed hands on both sides of the Atlantic.

Never mind normal activity of the firm Kuhn, Loeb, but with an event as large as the accumulation of enough NP shares to attempt a takeover for Harriman from Hill, an enormous volume of revenue stamps had to be used by the firm.  Yet as far as I can tell, despite more than 100 cancels featured on this site by NYSE-based stock brokers, none has appeared by Kuhn, Loeb, and that is because neither David Thompson or I have one to post. 

I have dozens of J. P. Morgan & Co. cancel examples, and many from the large and active traders on Wall Street.  But not a one from Kuhn, Loeb.  So, if you have an example of a Kuhn, Loeb cancel of any type, please scan and send the file, or simply write to

Schiff partner in Kuhn, Loeb, Abraham Wolff, held a seat on the NYSE.  Schiff did not have his own seat.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Porto Rico Overprint Specimen Set: Regency Superior Sale 93, June 9 & 10

Puero Rico RS9 $50 Excise Tax Stamp
"Specimen" handstamped

This stamp is part of the Puerto Rico revenue excise issue RS1-9.  The set is possibly unique as each stamp displays a "Specimen" handstamp.   The lot was listed by Regency Superior at a value of $1500 but was reported to have sold for $1050.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On Beyond Holcombe: Eimer & Amend

Editor's Note: Malcolm Goldstein is a contributing blogger for 1898 Revenues. this post is part of a continuing column on the companies that used proprietary battleships.

Eimer & Amend handstamp cancel on a 1/4 cent proprietary stamp

The partnership of Eimer and Amend grew out of the friendship between two Germans from Darmstadt, Germany who emigrated to the United States. Bernhard Amend was born in 1821 and studied chemistry. While serving as an assistant to the famous German professor, Baron Leibig, Amend met the American chemist Eben Norton Horsford who suggested that Amend work for him in the United States. Leibig and Horsford, leading personalities in 19th Century science, whose stories intersect this series from time to time, are likely to appear again in other columns, but for now, it is enough that Horsford propelled Amend to journey to the United States. Amend came in 1847, but the position with Horsford did not materialize, so he found employment as a chemist in the pharmacy of William Milner at the corner of 18th Street and 3rd Avenue in New York. When Milner retired in 1851, Amend purchased the business from him.

Carl Eimer was born in 1823, met Amend while he was at college and became a naturalized American citizen in 1860. Within a few years, he had renewed his acquaintanceship with Amend and joined his business. They quickly established themselves as the leading U. S. importer of European chemical and drugs. In 1873, Eimer’s nephew August joined the business and soon cemented his position in the firm by marrying Amend’s daughter, Mary. The enterprise kept expanding, and in 1874, Eimer and Amend also began to import laboratory equipment as well as adding their own glassblowing works. Carl Eimer retired in 1882 and died in 1888. Amend built a building for the burgeoning business in 1886 at the same location in New York City where the pharmacy had stood and in 1897 the partnership incorporated. Among Eimer & Amend’s notable customers were Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and E. R. Squibb. Amend, who retired in favor of his sons about 1900, lived on until 1911. He served as a Vice-President of the German Exchange Bank, was among the founders of the American Chemical Society, and was also a member of various social and charitable organizations including the American Museum of Natural History.

In the second generation, August Eimer emerged as a notable chemist and inventor. He remained with the company and eventually became its president from 1915 to 1926. August also was involved with the organization of the Willson Aluminum Works, which developed a ferro-chrome compound that was utilized in producing new, lighter and stronger armor plating for Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet. August Eimer also held the patent for a “Bandit Proof Bag.” When jarred, this bag released a chemical spray that blanketed the attacker and turned to smoke upon contact with air, making the bandit conspicuously easy to follow since he was, literally, smoking.

By 1917, Eimer & Amend had branch offices in Pittsburgh and Ottawa. It continued in business as a separate entity until it was purchased in 1940 by the Fisher Scientific Company. Fisher, whose products were used in the Manhattan Project, in turn, became a division of Allied Corporation between 1981 and 1991 before re-emerging as a separate company in 1998. Today Fisher Scientific operates independently, and mentions Eimer & Amend on its website as its “predecessor.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Boston Stock Brokers: Lawson, Arnold & Company

New York Daily Tribune, November 21, 1900

JUL  12  1901

Langlois scan

Thomas Lawson in his photo as a member of the New York Stock Exchange firm Lawson, Weidenfeld & Company

The Boston Evening Transcript, December 27, 1899:


By the Formation of a New Firm the Copper Leader Realizes His Ambition

The announcement that the governing board of the Boston Exchange, at a meeting yesterday, voted not to interpose objections to the admission of Thomas W. Lawson to the brokerage firm of Allen Arnold & Co., marks the climax of the ambition of the copper magnate in certain local directions and greatly interests the street, coming as it does at a time when Mr. Lawson is reported as having been of material assistance to several brokerage houses in enabling them to tide themselves over the threatening situation which the financial community was called upon to face a week or more ago.  Until recently there had been reason to believe that the influence of some of the most powerful houses in the street would be actively exerted towards strict enforcement of the Stock Exchange rule, that new partners in brokerage houses must be satisfactory to the governing committee, but Mr. Arnold appeared before the committee yesterday and made statements of such a nature that the opponents of Mr. Lawson could not see their way clear to raise objections to his admission to the firm.

Mr. Lawson has never before been represented in the Boston Stock Exchange, although he has figured in the New York exchange through Camille Weidenfeld of Lawson, Weidenfeld & Co., which has a branch office in State Street, Boston.  This firm will now, it is stated, go into liquidation after January 1, Mr. Weidenfeld retiring, and the new Boston firm will be known as Lawson & Arnold, of which the stock exchange member is Allen Arnold.  This firm will occupy the quarters of Lawson, Weidenfeld & Co., in State Street, and its own quarters in the Sears Building will be taken by the Winthrop National Bank, whose quarters in the Ames Building will, in turn, be occupied by the Old Colony Trust Company, which wants more room.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Portland Steamship Company

DEC   1   1898
Portland, Maine.

From the Historical Dictionary of the US Maritime Industry by Kenneth J. Blume:

PORTLAND STEAMSHIIP CO.  A steamship line operating between Boston and points on the coast of Maine.  The line operated in the late 19th century and the first years of the 20th century and ran on a regular schedule between Boston and Portland, Maine.  It also operated service to Maine seacoast resorts and special Sunday excursions: to the islands of Casco Bay, Maine.  In 1901, Portland Steamship was one of a number of smaller lines that were consolidated into Eastern Steamship Co.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Y. M. C. A.
DEC  11  1899

Langlois scan

What can be said?  Google YMCA today and you get a slew of hits for The Village People.  With or without The Village People, the Young Men's Christian Assocation is one of the best known organizations in the world.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Boston Stock Brokers: John Pickering & Moseley


Langlois scan

From Boston:  Its Commerce, Finance and Literature, 1892, The A. F. Parson Publishing Company:

JOHN PICKERING & MOSELEY, Bankers and Brokers, No. 40 State Street.— One of the oldest and most reliable of the Boston houses engaged in the banking and stock brokerage business, is that of John Pickering & Moseley, whose well-equipped offices are at No. 40 State Street. This time-honored concern was originally founded in 1849 by Mr. John Pickering, of Salem, and conducted by him alone up to 1869, when Mr. C. W. Moseley was admitted to partnership, the present firm title being adopted. In 1882 Mr. Pickering's death occurred, and in him the city of Salem lost a public-spirited citizen, and the Boston Stock Exchange one of its oldest and most respected members. Mr. Moseley has since remained sole proprietor, but has retained the original firm name. He was elected a member of the New York Stock Exchange in 1880, and has been an active member of the Boston Stock Exchange since March, 1888, and is popularly known by his colleagues of those institutions. He employs four experienced assistants, and is a general broker in stocks and bonds, buying and selling on commission, and making advances on securities. His ample means enable him to meet the requirements of his patrons upon the most satisfactory basis. The New York correspondents are Messrs. A. M. Kidder & Co., and Dominick & Dickerman. All market news is received by private wires, and transactions are conducted in a manner conducing to the best interests of patrons. Mr. Moseley resides at his birthplace, Newburyport, Mass., during the summer mouths, and he enjoys a patronage extending to all parts of New England. Both in financial, commercial and social circles he bears an unsullied reputation, and commands the confidence of all with whom he has come in contact.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway Company

Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway Company check with 2c revenue imprint

Langlois scan

The Duluth and South Shore ran from Duluth, Minnesota to Sault St. Marie in Michigan's upper peninsula.  In 1961 the D,SS&A was folded into the larger Soo Line Railroad, part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

The check was written to the Marquette County Savings Bank.  The city of Marquette, Michigan is the biggest city in the upper peninsula.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

On Beyond Holcombe: B. H. Bacon Company

Editor's Note: Malcolm A. Goldstein is a contributing blogger for 1898 Revenues.  This post is part of a continuing column on the companies that used proprietary battleships.

B. H. Bacon printed cancels from the collection of the late Henry Tolman.  Tolman noted that the second and fourth stamps were "unlisted", meaning that the type was not listed in the Chappell/Joyce listing of proprietary printed cancels published in the 1950s.


B. H. Bacon spent his working career in up-state New York..  He began his manufacture of patent medicines in 1885 in Le Roy, N.Y., an Erie Canal town between Rochester and Buffalo in Western New York.  His two most prominent products were Otto’s Cure and Celery King.  An 1895 announcement in one of the pharmaceutical trade magazines stated: “B. H. Bacon & Co., manufacturers of Otto’s Cure, have decided that Rochester is the Garden of Eden and have located there ...”.  This rosy picture may have glossed over a dispute between the various patent medicine manufacturers of Le Roy and its postmaster, who ruled that sample packages the manufacturers wished to mail pursuant to fourth class postal rates were too thick to qualify under those regulations.  Apparently, the postmaster in Rochester, N.Y. was already accommodating the Warner Safe Cure mailings of similar kinds of samples and Bacon decided that business would be easier to transact there.  

By 1901, Bacon himself had died, and the company incorporated.  Otto’s Cure was advertised as late as 1906 as “the cure for coughs, colds, the grippe, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis and incipient consumption.” Celery King was a nerve tonic meant to sooth everything from sleeplessness and nervous prostration and was advertised as a “positive cure” cure for an encyclopedia of ills ranging from constipation to heart disease.

In 1907, another patent medicine company, S.  H. Wells & Co., itself located in Le Roy, N.Y., purchased the B. H. Bacon Co., and removed the manufacturing facilities back to Le Roy, N.Y.  While its important brand names continued, the Bacon company itself probably determined that it was not worth it to comply with the new Pure Food and Drug Act, passed in 1906.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Daniel O'Dell & Company


Langlois scan

A clerk's attempt to steal from Daniel O'Dell & Company was recounted in The Morning Call of San Francisco of November 11, 1891:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Edison Illuminating Company

JUL  10  1900

Langlois scan

The Edison Illuminating Company was established by Thomas Edison in 1880.  The company constructed and ran electrical generating stations, initially in New York City.  The first station, Pearl Street Station in Manhattan, was opened in 1882. 

Henry Ford was an engineer with Edison Illuminating in the 1890s.  the company was purchased by the Consolidated Gas company during the 1898 tax period.  In the 1930s the company changed its name to Consolidated Edison.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Advertisement for Valvoline from the 1916 Proceedings of the Annual Cotton Manufacturers Assocation showing "VALVOLINE OIL CO. successor to Leanard & Ellis"

David Thompson identified and sent in this copy of R155 with a neat bullseye by Leonard & Ellis:



One of the largest producers of motor oil in the United States, Valvoline was founded by Dr. John Ellis.  Ellis formulated a petroleum-based lubricant in 1866 and trademarked the Valvoline name in 1873 in Binghamton, NY.

Valvoline's modern logo:

Monday, June 11, 2012

New York Stock Brokers: Price, McCormick & Company

New York Evening Post, January 7, 1898

R173 rouletted with PM & Co. perfin cancel

David Thompson scan

R173 hyphen hole with PM & Co. perfin cancel

and handstamp cancel:


Langlois scan

Sunday, June 10, 2012

M.C.R.R.: Maine Central Railroad or Michigan Central Railroad?


Michigan Central Railroad or Maine Central Railroad?  The two stamps below come from a calendar of stamps that was once in the collection of Henry Tolman.  That calendar is replete with stamps from the midwestern properties of the Vanderbilts, in particular the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway.  There are numerous M. C. R. R. cancels from the Michigan Central, also a Vanderbilt property.  In both cases below the cancels are of a small font, both serif and sans serif.

The Maine Central, which also used M. C. R. R. cancels, used a much larger font, at least in the example of the bill of lading below.  I seek more examples of MCRR cancels if you have different types.  Please contact me or send scans to  Thanks!