Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Thomas L. Manson & Company

Column Advert, The Sun, April 21, 1904

Sale memo for 100 shares of Southern Railway 

This memo, like all those posted in the past week, comes from the Eames and Moore pile that David Thompson shared with me a few weeks back.  I've been looking over some of my previously posted memos and I'm finding many memos written to Eames and Moore.  I can't help but think that some stamp dealer on Nassau Street, located very near the Stock Exchange, knew someone in the Eames and Moore firm when they were getting rid of old files and documents since there are so many of these out there.  I also figure they pulled out the good ones with the high dollar values, easily parting with the $1 and $2 taxed memos.  

T. L. M. & CO.
MAR  29  1901
New  York 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Kelley, Miller & Company


Mssrs Albert Kelley and Charles Miller, Brokers and Bankers

Memo of sale for 100 shares of Steel @ 43 1/8
Most likely Steel was US Steel, only recently created through the merger of Carnegie, Federal, and many other companies.

NOV   11   1901

Additional 3 star die cut cancels

Kelley, Miller used wax seals on their most sensitive mail. This seal was used on an envelope in late 1902, and includes the same address as on the sale memo:

Sunday, March 28, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Frederick W. Perry


Column advert from The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, May 6, 1899

Stock memo of sale for 100 shares of Republic Steel common stock to Eames and Moore for 19 1/8 per share

F.  W.  P.

Mr. Perry from "The Stock Exchange in Caricature" from 1904.  The upper right cartoon depicts a scene for which society is finally starting to render proper judgment over racist representations.  Which brings to mind the whole subject of cancel culture.  On this site we pride ourselves in the advancement of cancel culture, specializing in railroad cancels, printed cancels of all sorts, and stock broker cancels, among others.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Welles, Herrick & Hicks


Advert from The Evening Post, January 18, 1900

Memorandum of Sale for 200 shares of Pressed Steel Corporation from Welles, Herrick & Hicks to Eames & Moore for $40.25 per share.  Pressed Steel Corp was based in Pittsburg and built railroad cars and equipment.

WELLES, H. & H. 

Mssrs Welles, Herrick and Hicks

Friday, March 26, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Edmund & Charles Randolph

 Advert, Moody's Manual of Railroad and Corporation Securities, 1909

Advert, Times Dispatch, 1911

1899 and 1901 Stock sale memos; each for the sale of railroad stock, including the Southern and Union Pacific.  Note the two different handstamp cancels but similar die-cut reverse R cancels.  Edmund & Charles Randolph's company would be active for many more years.  One of their 1922 stock sale memos can be found here.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: Wilson, Watson & Herbert

Rand McNally International Bankers Directory, 1905


Wilson & Watson memorandum of sale for 100 shares of Southern Pacific to Eames & Moore.  The firm was simply Wilson & Watson earlier in the tax period before William Herbert joined them.  Herbert moved over from the firm Macy Brothers & Herbert, indicated by his 1897 photo in King's:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: W. T. Hatch & Sons

Advert in the Columbia Spectator from January 22, 1904

Mr. Hatch's sons

100 shares of the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad sold to Eames and Moore.
$2 in taxes paid

W. T. H. & Sons,

MAY   9 1901

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

New York Stock Brokers: W. E. Tunis & Company


W.  E.  TUNIS & CO.
MAY  24  1900

William Tunis' entry as caricature; with accompanying "quatrain":

This ball and pins, this shirt sleeved travesty

And angler old, as nothing seem to me;

For there are cheerier balls and angling too,

King Pin of which this Phantom seems to be.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Margin Curiosities: Speculative Follow-up

Two weeks ago, I posted a series of battleship margin pieces with mysterious numbers added.  While I've learned nothing definitive, there has been some back-and-forth speculation worth noting.  Dave Thompson found that the Durland catalog references additional numbers that were added to the plates for the Pan American issue.  These were almost certainly added to reduce confusion and error during the bicolor printing process, so they may or may not be related to the added numbers on the battleship plates.

Bob Mustacich offered other possibilities.  I'll turn it over to him:

Of the various speculations regarding these extra printed features in the margins, I do favor those built around 2 ideas: (a) these stamps were produced in great haste [while the BEP had started some work in anticipation of the War Revenue Law of 1898, they still only had 17 days to produce and distribute stamps. This was responsible for the familiar shortages and overprinting other other stamps.] and (b) the acceptable production quality may have been lowered for expediency. This situation happened in the production of revenues called for during the Civil War, and errors and quality problems abound. So one speculation is that plates with markings on the edges or abandoned experiments with plate numbering/labeling may have deemed "good enough" under the circumstances. And the same for paper -- paper that had some inconsequential printing in the margin perhaps passed unnoticed in the rush, or maybe this was another short-lived experiment in labeling/marking/number that was abandoned for expediency. The 1/2c documentary pair is identified as plate # 7971, the first plate listed in Durland, so this likely was an early production plate. The items are also rouletted which places them earlier in the production of battleships.

David Thompson sent to me some material from the Durland catalog regarding markings on the plates for the Pan Am 2-color engravings to make sure that the plate combinations and orientations were correct for this more complicated production. I don't know why any of this should end up on the single color engraving plates for the battleships unless they decided to ignore plates that they had pre-marked on the edges for 2-color printings and decided to use these instead for the battleship plates. If they were otherwise good plates, why not? They may not have cared about some inconsequential extra markings on the plate margins.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Chicago Board of Trade Members: Bartlett, Frazier & Company

Back in 2012 I was looking for confirmation of a cancel involving a likely Chicago Board of Trade firm with the initials BF&Co.  Turns out there were two major firms during the 1898 period with those initials: Barrett, Farnum & Co., and Bartlett, Frazier & Co.  The 2012 post shows a standard issue Barrett, Farnum cancel with the firm's name spelled out.  Also displayed was a fancier BF & Co initial cancel, which I couldn't confirm was linked to Barrett, Farnum.

David Thompson has a found a Bartlett Frazier sale memo showing that the fancy initials belong to that company.  Problem solved!

Unlike many futures traders today, Bartlett Frazier was a real grain company, with extensive elevator  and milling capabilities.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Cancel for March 17: Tradesmen's National Bank

In 2009, when this site first began, and into 2012, I regularly posted a "cancel of the day".  A stamp was posted with a cancel for that day (except for the year, of course), and a bit of history was often given about the company or individual that applied the cancel.  That hasn't been done in years, partially because I haven't posted in so long, but also because I just stopped organizing posts around the dates of the cancels.

Today's stamp is a rather random stamp that fell out of a packet that has been in storage for over a decade.  The cancel is so clean that I figured I needed to feature it here, but it took me a couple of days before I realized that the cancel's date, March 17, was soon approaching and that I could run the first cancel of the day post in at least 7 years.  

MAR 17 1902

The stamp is on an incomplete document fragment.

I was getting ready to write about Tradesmens National Bank when I took a second look at the copy of R184 above and wondered about the color of this series of stamps.  Is this the color gray as Scott tells us it is?  I don't even see a gray undertone.  More like a light, yellow khaki or tan.  As a young collector I was confused by this color designation, and I still am today.  Whatever the case, this series of dollar documentary stamps, due to their color and size, are perfect backgrounds for cancels, partially explaining why so many stamps from this series are highlighted on this site.

Back to the point of today's March 17 cancel.  Tradesmens National no longer exists as a bank.  But it never closed;  it became part of a series of mergers that has led to the creation of PNC, the seventh largest bank in the United States, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  In 1958, Tradesmens and Provident Trust merged to form Provident Tradesmens National Bank, thereafter through further mergers becoming today's PNC.  

In a post from 2010, Provident Life and Trust Company was highlighted.  The focus of the post was on the dating style of the cancels they used, which employed Quaker style dating that did not used the romanized pagan names of the months, and instead used numbered months.  The stamp below was included in the post and is a good example of Quaker dating:


11 Mo



Tuesday, March 16, 2021

E. E. Hamilton Possibilities

This post has been updated during the day on March 16 to take into account a late contribution by Malcolm Goldstein.

Readers have come up with two possibilities for the identity of E. E. Hamilton.  

David Thompson found Mr. Edward Elwood Hamilton, of the Baltimore, Ohio and Southeastern Railroad.  There is a write up on him in the Baltimore and Ohio employees magazine upon his promotion to head up analysis and statistics for the railroad.  It is possible, but it seems a bit strange that his position would have him canceling many 2 cent stamps, so I'm not sure.  However, we do have this picture, with the appropriate initials and name:

Meanwhile, Malcolm Goldstein found that an E. E. Hamilton was the Secretary and Treasurer of the New Castle [PA] Traction Co.  I can't find much more on this lead, but it would seem that this E. E. Hamilton (and maybe they are the same person) would have used more 2 cent documentaries.  A little more digging is at hand.

And Malcolm kindly did so, and came to this conclusion:

A further Google search makes me think that Dave Thompson and I have found the same person.  In 1898, Hamilton was in New Castle PA, north of Pittsburgh, connected with a traction company.  As you are undoubtedly aware, a traction company was a streetcar, or possibly an interurban railway, company. The new search, coupling Hamilton's name directly with the B&O Railroad, shows he resigned that position in 1902, and in 1903, an EE Hamilton is an incorporator of a small railroad in Castle Shannon, PA, which is a small town south of Pittsburgh. That small railroad was, in turn, a feeder line to the B & O Railroad, and by 1904 an E E Hamilton was a "freight inspector" for the Wheeling W VA division of the B&O Railroad. He seems to have moved up through the ranks at the B&O at least until 1919, and then, in a 1934 Report to Congress from the Chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission, his name reemerges as the "executive assistant" to the President of the M[Missouri]-K[Kansas]-T[exas] RR, who served on some federal advisory panel to prepare a technical questionnaire to collect shipping data needed to assess the need for further federal regulation of railroads.  Sounds to me like the same guy all the way through.

Thanks to Malcolm and Dave.  My guess is that we are almost certain to have a set of 2 cent documentaries on checks issued by his urban railway employer.  It would be great if somewhere there were some of those checks still in existence.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Ebay Sales: An R173 with an R190 Inverted Surcharge

The dealer buystamps currently has for sale on Ebay what appears to be a copy of an R190 with an inverted surcharge:

Listed for sale at $299.99, its a pricey rarity unlisted by Scott.  It is, very likely, quite rare.  The question is whether it should be so pricey.  A quick look at the face of the stamp provides a few cues to what we might be looking at.  First, the surcharge is a sloppy one with ink smeared across the stamp at the upper right of the surcharge, something I have not seen with Bureau surcharging.  Second, the stamp's color is not the color of an R190, but that of an R173.  Third, the stamp is rouletted,  but all R190s were hyphen perforated.

Buy Stamps tells us the following in the Ebay listing:

Now we're getting somewhere.   Mr. Henry Stolow was an infamous stamp dealer with a history of fakes, forgeries and made up stamps.  An examination of the back reveals the extensive thinning.  But we can also see the J&H Stolow brand at the bottom right:

If this is in fact a real Stolow piece of fakery, the stamp would be an interesting curiosity to have in an 1898 revenues collection.  Just don't put it into an album spot marked R190a! Also, don't pay $299.99 for it.  Maybe $5.00?

Thanks to David Thompson for calling my attention to this item.


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Who was E. E. Hamilton?

Happy daylight savings time!  To celebrate, today we have a Sunday puzzle.  I first posted these stamps on this site all the way back in 2009, and I received no help!  Maybe, 11 years later, someone can tell me who or what was E. E. Hamilton?


Saturday, March 13, 2021

Railroad Printed Cancels: A Milwaukee Road Receipt Book


Long gone but once common on the sides of box cars, locomotives and other railroad equipment, The Milwaukee Road logo was the brand of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.  Today is highlighted a receipt book from the C. M. & St. P. Ry. station in Monona, Iowa.  

The item is a complete receipt book that first saw use in 1901, The first receipt in the book is dated March 5, 1901, and the last receipt is dated March 26, 1903.  The first 67 receipts, dated from March 5, 1901 to June 26, 1902, all have one cent documentary stamps with C. M. & St. P. Ry. printed cancels.  There are completed receipts from July 3, 1902 to March 24, 1903 without stamps.

Above is a typical receipt from the book for a consignment of 12 cases of eggs going to Chicago.  Many of the receipts are for eggs, from the same consignor to the same receiver, but there are several other agricultural and food related shipments that I can identify.  There is a receipt for 26 empty oil barrels from the usual egg consignor, being sent to Standard Oil in Dubuque.  And there are multiple receipts for empty cracker cans going to Chicago.  Every receipt except for one is for freight headed east.  That receipt is for a consignment to an indecipherable town in South Dakota.

Here is a quick look at the book:

The station periodically acquired stamps over the lifetime of the book and did not rely on a single sheet of stamps for the tax.  The location of the imprint of the printed cancels changes over time; in the middle months there is a series of cancels that are blurry and appear to be from well worn plates.

I'll study the book a bit more intensely in the coming weeks and I'll see if there is more to post.

Lastly, Monona, Iowa is due west of Milwaukee, but the railroad had no bridge over the Mississippi for a direct link: