Sunday, April 30, 2023

American Sanitary Drug Company: The Tolman Collection

This post is part of a continuing series documenting the Henry Tolman collection of 1898 proprietary printed cancels. 

Or is it American Syndicate Drug Company?  A search using contemporary technology doesn't turn up much, if anything, for the firm American Sanitary Drug.  It may be that the firm never existed.  Henry Tolman, in his collection, suggested on his page for these cancels that the firm's actual name was or might have been American Syndicate Drug Company.  But his suggestion creates a very different problem than searching and finding nothing.  Combining the words drug and syndicate and doing a general search produces zillions of results, mostly having to do with narco-trafficantes.

Joyce lists one type for this cancel on three values, so Mr. Tolman's collection of this company appears complete.  But given that the actual name of the firm is uncertain, I'm also not sure if we really know how many types this firm might have actually issued.  Whatever the case, additional information is needed to confirm the name of this company.  

A check of the BDR2 shows the 2 1/2c stamp attributed to American Sanitary Drug, and a few handstamps with the same initials without attribution.  There is a line with a small advert and no stamp for the "Aldo Summer Drug Co."  It appears there remains sleuthing to be done here!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Baily & Montgomery, Commission Merchants



from the Commercial and Financial Chronicle, March 5, 1898:

from Savannah Naval Stores Review, February 13, 1904:

Sunday, April 23, 2023

More C. H. Arnold & Company: Look to the Expanding BDR2


Frank Sente reminded me a couple of days ago to always check the relatively new, and constantly improving, BDR2 to see what cancels have emerged since Joyce's addendum to the Chappell list of 1898 proprietary printed cancels.  Thanks to Bob Mustacich and a dedicated team (including many contributors over the years to this site), BDR2 has become a much more useful and interesting reference tool for proprietary printed and handstamp collectors.  And because the team is thorough, they have identified, listed, and provided images and branding materials for the companies in the Joyce/Chappell list and then some.  And in today's case, the then some includes C. H. Arnold, which featured here a few days ago as a component of Henry Tolman's collection.  

Frank Sente sent me the examples of the stamps above, which add to the single cancel listed in the legacy list.  At the BDR2 site, if you search for CH Arnold, you'll find images of Arnold handstamps in addition to the printed cancels.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Death and Taxes

Happy April 18!  Celebrate this special day with three 1898 death and taxes combinations: taxes paid by an embalming fluid company, a casket company, and on a transfer deed for a cemetery plot.  Also included, a special added bonus from James D. Gill, the Collector of Internal Revenue in 1898, clarifying just what sort of death certificates require a tax stamp.


Crate that once held Durfee Embalming Fluid

JUL 8   1899

National Casket Company Factory, Oneida, New York

APR 28 1899
The Evergreen Cemetery

The Red Badge of Courage novelist Stephen Crane is buried near Evergreen Cemetery's main gate.

Still in use in 2023.

Deed for cemetary plot at the Evergreen Cemetery:

From The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, November 3, 1898, now the New England Journal of Medicine.  Apparently, official death certificates for use of the state did not require tax stamps.  Those for personal use did require a stamp:

Tax Collector Pays the Tax?

Farmers & Mechanics National Bank of Georgetown $131.00 check to E. G. Davis, the Washington, D. C. Collector of Taxes.  The tax collector canceled the stamp.


It can't be confirmed that the tax collector paid the 2 cent tax on the check, but we do know that the tax collector canceled the 2 cent federal tax stamp.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

C. H. Arnold & Company: The Henry Tolman Collection

This post is part of a continuing series documenting the Henry Tolman collection of 1898 proprietary printed cancels. 

C. H. Arnold & Co.

Joyce lists only one type on one stamp denomination with only one year date for this company.  So this stamp appears to be all there is for C. H. Arnold.  C. H. Arnold & Company was in the wine business, and is reported to have sold at auction major stocks of Madeira in 1900.  

Malcolm Goldstein, would this be a good subject for exploration?  The Madeira story among southern planters in the US is told in this academic piece, where C. H. Arnold is mentioned:  

American Nineteenth Century History, Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2005, pp. 173–188

Liquid Assets: Madeira Wine and Cultural Capital among Lowcountry Planters, 1735-1900

James H. Tuten

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Insurance Agents: E. A. Van Trump of Wilmington, Delaware


E. A. Van Trump was a general insurance agent in Wilmington for fire, marine, life & accident insurance.  His office was located at the corner of 6th & Market Streets. The above stamp was likely used to pay the tax on insurance.  Mr. Van Trump was also Secretary for the Wilmington Board of Trade. 

The Delaware connection served the Van Trump family well, as Mr. Van Trump's son, E. A. Van Trump Jr., moved himself out west and became an agent for a rare and expensive car built by du Pont motors in Wilmington, Delaware.  

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Abraham & Straus (not Allen & Sharp): The Henry Tolman Collection

This post is part of a continuing series documenting the Henry Tolman collection of 1898 proprietary printed cancels. 

The "A&S" printed cancels in the Joyce/Chapell list are credited to the firm Allen & Sharp Co.  Henry Tolman was unsure that the A&S stood for Allen & Sharp, and handwrote a note on his album page that the firm might be "Abraham & Straus".  With the help of Google and Wikipedia, it was easy to establish that Mr. Tolman was correct, especially because he included a Joyce unlisted variety with a "MACY" handstamp.  

A short history of A&S tells us this:  Abraham & Straus, commonly shortened to A&S, was a major New York City department store.  The store was founded in 1865 in Brooklyn, New York, as Wechsler & Abraham by Joseph Wechsler and Abraham Abraham. In 1893, the Straus family (including Isidor Straus and Nathan Straus), who acquired a general partnership with Macy's department stores in 1888, bought out Joseph Wechsler's interest in Wechsler & Abraham and changed the store's name to Abraham & Straus. 

We know that Abraham & Straus department store was affiliated with Macy's.  Our Rosetta Stone is the bottom and unlisted stamp that Tolman included in his collection.

Collectors of proprietary printed cancels that use the Joyce list as their primary reference should change the identity of the A&S cancels from Allen & Sharp to Abraham & Straus.

"MACY" handstamp over A. & S. 1900 printed cancel

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Bill of Exchange Fragments: Grain Merchants -- Hammond & Snyder of Baltimore

 Bill of Exchange fragment for the firm of Hammond & Snyder:


Hammond & Snyder were grain exporters and receivers.  William R. Hammond and John W. Snyder were the partners.

Available in wikimedia commons, The American Elevator and Grain Trade, with its fabulous title art, is a great resource for sorting through the grain firms of the 1898 tax period.  Hammond & Snyder don't show up much, but they do, and just enough to confirm the nature of their business.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Allen-Pfeiffer Chemical Company: The Henry Tolman Collection

As I wrote about on this site years ago, I have the main body of Henry Tolman's (ARA member #4) 1898 proprietary printed cancel collection.  The auctioneers of his collection pulled some of the more valuable companies for separate sale, notably the J. Elwood Lee cancels.  However, Tolman's binders remain rich with interesting material.  I have made several attempts at starting to show, review, or update this material on this website, but I've usually given up in the interest of returning to documentary stamps, which are just more compelling to me.  

I've come to realize that I am not likely to ever methodically collect or study these cancels the way Chappelle, Joyce, or Tolman did.  But in reviewing Tolman's material, it seems useful to simply share scans of some, if not all, of the companies.  Individual stamps cancelled by many of the companies in Tolman's collection come up for sale on Ebay; on occasion, more advanced collections show up at Stamp Auction Network.  But nowhere are there good reference materials that actually show the significant depth and breadth of the proprietary printed cancels.  

This post marks the beginning of an effort to simply display much of Tolman's material, perhaps with a few editorial remarks and additions.  Allen-Pfeiffer Chemical Company kicks off the process.  Just what Allen-Pfeiffer made more broadly is uncertain to me.  BDR2 lists them as manufacturing chemists with a perfume business, while another online resource suggests they made rat poison.  Perhaps the same chemical had a dual use?

Joyce-Chappelle lists 3 printed cancel types for this firm; Tolman shows an additional type 4.  The handwriting on each page is that of Henry Tolman.