Monday, April 29, 2013

1898 Revenue Exhibits at ARIPEX all Garner Gold Awards and Another Phoenix Check

1898 Revenue exhibits did well at ARIPEX!  All four of the 1898 revenue exhibits garnered Gold Medals! 

Additionally, Hermann Ivester's single frame exhibit, The Saint Louis Provisionals 1898, won the show's Single Frame GRAND AWARD, the ARA's award for the best revenue single frame exhibit, and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitor's special award for the exhibit having the Best Title Page. 

Winning the ARIPEX single frame grand award, automatically qualifies Hermann's exhibit for the national single frame "Champion of Champions" competition at Ameristamp Expo in Little Rock Arkansas in February 2014!  Congratulations Hermann!! 

The ARIPEX multi-frame RESERVE GRAND award went to Frank Sente's 10 frame exhibit, Spanish American War Fiscal History: The US Documentary Taxes 1898-1902.  Sente's exhibit also was awarded the American Revenue Association Grand Award as the best overall revenue exhibit.       

Standing in front of Len McMaster's exhibit from left to right are:
Frank Sente, Len McMaster, Hermann Ivester, and Bob Hohertz
1898Revenue blog readers can enjoy much of the material in these four exhibits vicariously. 
Len McMaster's, "I. R." Overprinted 1898 1cent Franklin Postage Stamps, exhibit is available online here at 1898Revenues.
Many of the 1898 Saint Louis Provisional Issues in Hermann Ivester's exhibit and much more information about them can be found here on 1898Revenues.  And now that Hermann's wonderful material is in exhibit format, we'll be asking him to scan those 16 pages to put up on 1898Revenues.  
It was a thrill for me to view Hermann's exhibit as all I've ever been able to do is read about these stamps. Previous owners of the material never exhibited it, Hermann being the first ever to do so! 
Bob Hohertz  has blogged extensively about the revenue stamp paper of the 1898 tax era on 1898Revenues. Much of the material in his exhibit, Revenue Stamped Paper of the Spanish American War Tax Era, may be found in his blogs.
And finally, individual blogs about some of the items from my exhibit, Spanish American War Fiscal History: The Documentary Taxes 1898-1902, can be found among the On Document Uses blogs on 1898Revenues.    
Shows aren't just about exhibits and awards however; more importantly they provide a venue where collectors, exhibitors and dealers can meet, trade information, and discuss mutual interests.  The camaraderie and good fellowship developed from face to face meetings with others having similar interests far outweighs awards. 
I finally got to meet 1898 revenue contributor Sean Roberts.  Len McMaster and I discussed a joint article about bisect stamp usages from the 1898 tax era, and I attended the meetings of the American Revenue Association.  And I would be remiss if I didn't provide a link to the American Revenue Association website; it's their annual meeting that I'm attending at ARIPEX prompting these Phoenix-related blogs.
Here's an interesting bank check.  Other than being datelined Phoenix, Arizona, it's a generic printed form; essentially it could have been used at any bank!
Bank of Arizona check on generic check form
January 27, 1899
Drawn by John Lawler against the Bank of Arizona, Prescot, Aziz. (Note mis-spelling of Prescott) it was made payable to "Valley Bank" or bearer.  The pair of one-cent large I. R. overprint stamps paying the 2cent check tax apparently were applied at the bank as they bear a double ring cancel reading: "The Valley Bank"/ "Phoenix, Arizona"
John Lawler was a prominent Prescott businessman who had extensive cattle and mining interests.  His papers are available at the University of Arizona.  Perhaps he was on business in Phoenix and picked up this form check at the Valley Bank to secure $200 cash. 
As I now live in Prescott, Arizona it's a treasured item in my 1898 collection.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our Crowd: Hallgarten & Company, Albert Loeb & Company

New York.

David Thompson scan

N. Y.

Langlois scan

Monday, April 22, 2013

Our Crowd: Lehman Brothers

Mayer Lehman

Emanuel Lehman

NOV  16 1899

N.  Y.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Our Crowd: J. & W. Seligman & Company

The firm of J. & W. Seligman, headed by Joseph Seligman, had its origins in 1837 in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, when Joseph arrived as a young immigrant from Germany.  Joseph would progress from foot peddler to one of the greatest financiers in the history of United States.  By 1865 the Seligman firm alone would sell $60 million of a single United States bond issue.  By 1898, Joseph would be dead, but the firm would still be doing big business.  While the Seligman name has since faded from high finance, the firm was the second great Jewish New York financial firm to emerge in the 1800s, after that of August Belmont and his Rothschild connections. 


Stephen Birmingham recounts the story of the Seligman family, and Joseph Seligman's efforts to unite his brothers into a worldwide financial empire.  Though the beginnings were in Mauch Chunk, the route for the Seligman family to New York would pass through the deep south, like the path of the Lehman brothers.  

NOV   29   1901
J. & W. S. & CO.

Joseph Seligman

William Seligman

Saturday, April 20, 2013

1898 Revenues Bibliography -- Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York

Stephen Birmingham's 1967 non-fiction book "Our Crowd" The Great Jewish Families of New York (find at Amazon here) is a must for collectors of 1898 revenues, especially the dollar commerce values.  While the dust jacket is out-dated with its victorian lace and tiffany style lamp, Birmingham's family-business tree and family histories provide a simplified but useful map of the relationships between some of the most significant families and enterprises in New York and consequently some of the greatest users of revenue stamps during the 1898-1902 tax period.

The 400 page book documents the stories of wealth creation of the great Jewish families of New York  through the 19th and 20th centuries, including the Seligmans, Lehmans, Kahns & Schiffs.  It is not only an interesting history but a good read. 

Above is the inside cover, illustrating the family-business tree.

Over the next week this site will feature some of these families and individuals through their firm's appearances on stamps and documents used during the 1898 tax period. For my collection, the book has helped to provide a kind of puzzle guide.  Many cancels can be fit into the boxes of the family tree above, for example.  Better, though are the prospects for future collecting.  Most collectors find their satisfaction in filling the spaces in pre-printed albums.  The compulsion to collect and complete is fundamental to most of us in the hobby.  The collector of revenue cancels has in most cases eschewed the printed albums for space-filling, and we need find our guides that might indicate completion some other way.

For example, the lists of members of the New York Stock Exhange or the Chicago Board of Trade from 1898-1902 are an important part of my collecting library, especially as computer searchable documents.  Each list provides an exhaustable set of firms and indiividuals that might have used revenue stamps from their respective trading associations.  Similarly, the book Our Crowd provides a similar exhaustive set of possible users of 1898 revenue stamps, just organized along family lines and showing the interconnectedness of family and community.

In the coming days the site will feature the following families/firms and their cancels which feature Mr. Birmingham's book:

J. & W. Seligman & Company
Lehman Brothers
Goldman, Sachs
J. S. Bache & Company
Hallgarten & Company
Albert Loeb & Company

For the collector of 1898s, how does one organize their collection of stamps like those below?  Their are many ways; the history of families as told in the book Our Crowd is one way. 




Friday, April 19, 2013

ARA Meeting at ARIPEX 2013 and an Interesting Phoenix National Bank Check

The American Revenue Association is holding its annual meeting at ARIPEX 2013 this weekend in Mesa, Arizona.  The show runs from Friday April 19 through Sunday April 21 at the Mesa Convention Center

The show is open to the public at no charge and features 226 frames of philatelic exhibits and more than 40 participating dealers.  Although not all of them are exhibiting 1898 revenue material, six contributors to the 1898REVENUES blog have  exhibits at the show: Bob Hohertz, Frank Sente, Len McMaster, Ron Lesher (Court of Honor), Hermann Ivester, and Mike Mahler.  A seventh contributor, Sean Roberts, has a dealer booth. 

In addition to the ARA, other groups having meetings at the show are: the State Revenue Society, the US Possessions Philatelic Society, the American Society of Check Collectors, and the American Airmail Society.  A special court of honor exhibit featuring several Buffalo Balloon stamps, a unique proof of the stamp, and just one of 3 known covers to have survived the 1877 balloon flight that carried mail bearing these stamps will be on display. 

ARIPEX is a World Series of Philately qualifying exhibition and any collectors or readers of this blog in the Phoenix/Mesa environs would benefit from attending.  Four 1898 tax era exhibits will be on display.  For more information about the show, go here.

Our thanks to Bob Hohertz for providing an interesting revenue imprint check drawn on The Phoenix National Bank and payable to the Central Avenue Driving Association. 

  Phoenix National Bank Check
Bob Hohertz Scan
Central Avenue a major north south artery that runs through the heart of Phoenix. From the Phoenix Market Trends website we learn this interesting tidbit about the development of North Central Phoenix in the late 1900s and the role of the Central Avenue Driving Association.
north Central avenue "Development of the North Central Avenue area began in 1895 when William J. Murphy platted the Orangewood subdivision. This two-square mile area bounded by what are now Northern Avenue and Bethany Home Road, between 7th Avenue and 7th Street was promoted as the Orangewood Residential Village.
Murphy’s concept about Orangewood was to create a suburb of Phoenix “wherein might be established rural homes at an easy distance from the city.” He believed that the large lot size would attract upper income residents of Phoenix, wealthy outside investors and immigrants who would utilize the lots to build large estate homes surrounded by citrus groves. The subdivision was divided primarily into 20-acre size lots with Central Avenue extending through the property as the subdivision’s principal roadway.
Olive and ash trees were added along both sides of Central Avenue with citrus trees from Southern California planted on the interior portions to make the subdivision more attractive to new investors and homeowners. The exclusivity of Orangewood was evident in that at the turn of the 19th century, the Central Arizona Driving Association arranged to have Central Avenue deeded as a “driving street” for property owners to drive their horse-drawn buggies. There was even a separate path on the east side of Central Avenue for horses and riders only.

We hope we can provide a couple of blogs during the show and perhaps a photo or two as well. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shipping Companies: Compagnie Generale Transatlantique

Postcard for the S. S. France of the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique

SEP  25  1899

Langlois scan

MAY  14  1901
Cie. Gle. Tque.

Thompson scan

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New York Stock Brokers: Sharp & Bryan

Sharp & Bryan,
25 Broad St. N. Y.

David Thompson scan

Frank Sente wrote a post on a dramatic Sharp & Bryan memorandum of sale in 2011.  The gear-style cancel above differs from the ovals on Frank's memorandum.

Sharp & Bryan was organized in 1891 and for a number of years traded for the interests of J. P. Morgan.  In 1903, The New York Times reported the firm went into assignment, a form or required bankruptcy, after losses in the market in the stock of Virginia-Carolina Chemical Company.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New York Stock Brokers: Redmond, Kerr & Company

New York Daily Tribune, May 1, 1902

straight line handstamp cancel from MOS

Langlois scans

March 20, 1901 memorandum of sale for 100 shares of American Tobacco for an unknown buyer at a unknown price.  An even more inscrutable document is below, perhaps for the sale of 100 shares of the Metropolitan Railway.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New York Stock Brokers: Michel Charles Bouvier & Company

JUL  26  1901

Langlois scan

Michel Charles Bouvier was an uncle to John "Black Jack" Bouvier, the father of the future Jackie Bouvier Kennedy.  Unfortunately, I can find no photograph of Mr. Bouvier.  There is no picture in King's Views of the New York Stock Exchange nor any other online site that I can identify at this time.  If you can help, please write to

Monday, April 8, 2013

New York Stock Brokers: Fellowes Davis


Langlois scan

The Fellowes Davis firm was still busy in 1922 as this advert from the August 20 edition of the New York Tribune shows: