Title: Nineteenth-Century Scrapbook About Insurance...
Publisher: 1850s-1930s, mostly, New York and California
Publication Date: 1850
Book Condition: Very Good
Contemporary half black cloth and marbled paper, gilt-ruled spine, with remnants of a typed paper spine label; 4to (300x235mm); approx. pp. 150, with newspaper articles, typed memos, printed reports and bulletins (example, "Report of the Fire Underwriters' Inspection Bureau" and "The Coast Review, a Monthly Journal Devoted to Fire, Marine, Life and Accident Insurance," "Interest on Debt 'Pure Usury,' [John Maynard] Keynes Holds"), quarterly reports, notices of gathering and meetings held, calendars, poems clipped from a variety of sources, handwritten notes, obits, original caricatures in pencil and/or ink, and other ephemera, tipped to the recto and verso of nearly every page. The expected, moderate wear -- some age-toning or staining from the adhesive; the occasional dusty finger-smudge; a few items loose or a bit chipped. Nicely preserved overall -- sturdy and legible, and certainly unique. Our compiler is likely Courtlandt P. Hull, Jr., an insurance lawyer working in New York City, who, over the course of the scrapbook, becomes president of the Lincoln Assurance Co. of America. His career milestones are captured in artifacts, kept with little or no caption or comment, referencing various committees and events in San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago, Washington D. C., and more. (Another frequent name is Clement D. Albrecht, likely a colleague.) This volume opens with a handwritten note on the outside of a (mounted) envelope: "Started in business -- Sept. 13, 1879, as office boy in NY office of Phoenix HSSCE Co. of London, 54 William St., NY, 'Union Building.' The enclosed commutation ticket expired Sept. 13, 1937, 58th Anniversary." Though focused primarily on insurance, the idiosyncracies of our compiler and the trappings of his daily life also appear -- such as a letter from D. A. Cushman Realty (rent is going up); a souvenir booklet from the America's Cup International [Yacht] Race; an article or two about pelicans; a newspaper clipping honoring Charles Green, a little person, and well-known Wall Street brokers' messenger for 40 years; a receipt for $1 donation to the Republican Party; and more than 20 little portraits or caricatures in pencil or ink. A few examples of the headlines that captured Hull's attention: "Exposing Wildcat Companies," "How Insurers are Cheated," "Stricken from the List of Brokers: Summary Action of the Fire Underwriters on a Violation of Pledge," Business Men Squeezed While Insurance Officials Enjoy Big Salaries." Some highlights: Articles and letters, including typed letter on Continental Insurance Co. letterhead, referencing the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire; a typed "Diagram Showing that the Habit of Saving Must be Formed and Exercised Early in Life" (if you know anything about typewriters, this was a once a pain-in-the-butt to make, it breaks down stages of a man's fiscal life into "Age of Wild Oats," "Now or Never" and "Danger Line"); a postcard with a Japanese scene, made entirely from delicately cut postage stamps. Bookseller Inventory # JC12590
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