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Typed Note Signed
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Typed Note Signed

By GATES, Artemus L. (1895-1976)

This versatile powerhouse American businessman (he was at various times in charge of behemoths as diverse as Boeing, Time, Abercombie & Fitch, New York Trust Company, Union Pacific and others) parlayed his World War One service as naval aviator into the influential position of Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air and oversaw naval aviation during World War Two, then serving briefly as Undersecretary of the Navy in 1945. TNS, 1p, 7" X 9 3/4", New York, NY, 10 November 1939. Addressed to Arnold F. Gates (1914-93, future noted Lincoln/Civil War scholar), whether related or not unknown. Near fine. On imprinted letterhead, this Gates thanks the other Gates "for your nice letter... and the wishes contained therein." Large, bold full signature. Unusual.

$75.00

Typed Note Signed / Commemorative Medallion
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Typed Note Signed / Commemorative Medallion

By COYNE, Marshall B. (1911-2000)

The "total hotelier," also nicknamed the "dean of the hospitality industry in Washington," was this businessman who upgraded D.C.'s standards when he opened the ultra- luxurious Madison Hotel in 1963, which became the accommodation of choice for the rich and famous, kings, presidents, prime ministers. TNS, stiff 5" X 3½" imprinted correspondence card, n.p., n.y. [postal cancellation Washington, DC, 1 November 1986. Addressed to Ralph G. Newman (1912-98). Fine. "Wishing you many, many happy returns -- I promise not to count if you don't!" At upper left, in black fineline, he pens "Ralph" and at lower right signs off "L & K / M." With original mailing envelope. The noted Lincoln/Civil War specialist and founder of Chicago's famed Abraham Lincoln Book Shop helped Coyne form a celebrated collection of historical documents -- his cryptic message likely refers to a spendy acquisition Newman just made on his behalf. Accompanying this is a delightful Madison Hotel keepsake: A thick, heavy 3" diameter bronze medallion in original "Compliments of / Marshall B. Coyne / Proprietor" presentation box. Both fine. Recto depicts heads-and-shoulders of the hotel's namesakes in deep relief, with caption "James Madison Dolley Madison" below. Verso contains, within a U.S. flag, scroll and laurel wreath border, the entire 1984 calendar. Rim at bottom notes manufacturer's name (Maco) and at top notes "Made Especially for Marshall B. Coyne." He had a modest quantity of medallions thus stamped for personal distribution to friends, associates and favored guests. Scarce.

$175.00

Document Signed
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Document Signed

By PEABODY, George (1795-1869)

The guy who put the "p" in philanthropy, considered the "father of modern philanthropy," was this American merchant and financier; after success in dry goods in Baltimore, he moved to London in 1837 and became a high-level banker and broker; a large number of educational and other causes bear his name today both in England and the U.S. DS, 1p, 3¼" X 3½", London, England, 6 September 1868. Very good. Lightly edgeworn and age toned, with a few small expert archival mends on verso. Pale green printed admission ticket for "Royal Botanic Society's Gardens" in Regents Park, with the "Admit" line blank and the F.R.B.S. line beneath that authorizing the ticket signed boldly by Peabody in brown ink. Attractive and interesting, signed about one year before his death at age 74.

$125.00

Collection of 7 Typed Letters Signed
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Collection of 7 Typed Letters Signed

By (EQUITABLE LIFE ASSURANCE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES). WILSON, George T. (1859-1933)

This American businessman was born to immigrant Scottish parents and worked his way up at the powerhouse Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (still one of the largest life insurance companies in the U.S.), starting in 1875 as a $3-per-week office boy and ending as president of the company -- a man of wealth, prestige and social standing. Group of seven (7) Typed Letters Signed, each 1p (but for one 2pp), 6" X 7¼" (lettersheet), New York NY, dates ranging from 28 April 1915 to 19 May 1915. Six addressed to Cornelius Vanderbilt (Cornelius Vanderbilt III, 1873-1942), one addressed to Commander H.L. Sawyer. Very good. All mildly age toned, with single corner chip to one letter. Wilson served as chairman of the Dinner Committee on the Mayor's Committee for the Entertainment of the United States Atlantic Fleet, of which Vanderbilt served as chairman, and in these half dozen letters he chats about personnel, meetings and plans. Someone, likely Vanderbilt himself, pencils an "X" on some of them, underlines a couple words, adds "no" alongside a suggestion. In one letter of 12 May 1915 to a Commander H.L. Sawyer -- presumably an Atlantic Fleet commander -- Wilson "accept[s] the invitation of the Secretary of the Navy [Josephus Daniels] to the Executive Committee of the Mayor's Committee to witness the review of the Fleet from the Dolphin...." All letters boldly signed in full. An intriguing batch.

$195.00

Typed Letter Signed
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Typed Letter Signed

By KNOX, Frank (1877-1944)

The publisher of the "Chicago Daily News" (from 1931) showed his versatility when he became a Republican presidential candidate briefly in 1936 and accepted FDR's appointment as Secretary of the Navy in 1940. TLS, 1p, 8" X 10½", Washington, DC, 1943 March 14. Addressed to Rose Bigman. Very good. Faintly age toned, with inoffensive staple hole at upper left. On "Department of the Navy" letterhead, Knox tells the secretary to then-household-name popular syndicated columnist and radio journalist Walter Winchell that "Receipt is acknowledged of... the check of Mr. Walter Winchell in the sum of $440.50 constituting the amount spent on Mr. Winchell's recent tour of duty which he is returning to the United States Navy....." and goes on to explain these funds will "be deposited to the credit of the appropriation 'Pay, Subsistence, and Transportation, Navy, 1943'...." Large and handsome signature in black ink. Winchell was a lieutenant commander in the naval reserve, and in February 1943 Knox told a house naval affairs committee that Winchell was considered inactive and would not be called to duty. Winchell was an outspoken critic of isolationists, and his broadcasts attacking public figures had caused controversy and criticism.Apparently he had returned to duty briefly and received some compensation before Knox retired him and he chose to return the pay he had received. Intriguing!

$125.00

Autograph Letter Signed
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Autograph Letter Signed

By McCORMICK, Edith Rockefeller (1872-1932)

This famed Chicago socialite and opera patron was the fourth child of Standard oil magnate John D. Rockefeller and married the son of reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick; she was the original promoter of civic opera in Chicago and donated the land on which Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Zoological Gardens now stand; she founded the John McCormick Institution of Infectious Diseases in Chicago to help eradicate the scarlet fever that killed the youngest of her four children. ALS, 2pp (lettersheet), 4 3/4" X 5½", Chicago, IL, 27 December 1908. Addressed to John Barrett. Near fine. On pale pink stationery imprinted with her toney Gold Coast Address, McCormick sends thanks for "The wonderful flowers which you so kindly sent me [which] have been admired and enjoyed by us all...." Handsomely penned in black ink in her interesting script. Uncommon.

$75.00

Signature and Salutation
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Signature and Salutation

By LIPTON, Thomas J. (1848-1931)

This Scottish merchant expended his Glasgow grocery into a chain of stores throughout Scotland and then Britain before changing the face of the tea-drinking world in 1890 and making cheap good tea available to the poor working classes; he bypassed well-established wholesale tea buying practices, bought entire tea plantations in Ceylon and employed American-style marketing techniques, and soon Lipton Tea proliferated throughout Europe and America; later a noted yachtsman and serious America's Cup challenger many times. Large and bold "Yrs faithfully / Thomas J Lipton" in brown ink on a heavy stock 5" X 3" card, n.p., n.y. Very good. Mounting traces on verso (not affecting recto). Near bottom margin is a typed "Sir Thomas Lipton. English Merchant and / Yachtman. March, 1923." A sharp example.

$100.00

Autograph Letter Signed
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Autograph Letter Signed

By (SOAP / BATHING). WATSON, David S. (?-?)

This Boston businessman was partner in the firm of Winslow, Rand & Co. Wholesale Grocers. ALS, 1p, 8" X 10½", Boston, MA, 23 December 1881. Addressed to "Friend Nutter." Very good. Original folds; single archivally closed (on verso) edge tear. On imprinted company letterhead listing the four principal officers, Watson comments interestingly on the use of soap: ""I shall see that you have the soap today. Some fellows are awfully particular, and think that they must wash once a week. Now annual baths, or monthly baths, are great institutions, but I know you are a 'stubborn cuss', and will stick to your old habits and customs, and I trust that the superior quality of the goods sent you, will satisfy the fastidious tastes of you revellers in luxury." Handsomely penned in black ink and signed in full at the close. Intriguing remarks about personal hygiene of the day -- sounds like recipient may have been, as the Brits say, a "right Nutter"!

$50.00

Typed Note Signed
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Typed Note Signed

By FARRAR, John (1896-1978)

In 1929 this young writer and editor, who'd already founded the famed Breadloaf Writers' Conference in 1926, joined forces with the two sons of bestselling novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart to found the publishing firm Farrar & Rinehart; after World War Two he then founded Farrar, Straus & Giroux. TNS, 1p, 5½" X 8½", New York, NY, 17 February 1941. Addressed to Arnold F. Gates (1914-93, noted Lincoln/Civil War scholar). Near fine. On "Farrar & Rinehart" letterhead, the publisher writes: "Many thanks for sending me a copy of your new booklet -- 'Song of the Leaves.' I know I shall read it with interest." Signed large and bold in black ink. "Song of the Leaves" was Gates' self-published poem/essay about John Chapman, better known as "Johnny Appleseed," and perhaps Gates was hoping that Farrar might be interested in publishing it.

$55.00

Signature
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Signature

By POTTER, Howard (1826-97)

This noted New York attorney and business tycoon gained great wealth as an investment banker and industrialist; as a philanthropist he was involved in a broad range of charities, and was also a founding member of both the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bold signature in brown ink on a 3" X 2" slip bearing a secretarial "I remain / Yours faithfully" above his signature and "Bishop of New York" below; on verso, same secretarial hand writes "and who bears the re / of being a trustworthy / as regards his gener / Mr. Weston now res." Very good. Minor mounting traces on verso. Handsome example, and uncommon.

$50.00

Signature
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Signature

By HYDE, Henry Baldwin (1834-99)

In 1859 this young New York businessman founded the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, which by the time of his death was the largest insurance company in the world -- making him the greatest insurance mogel ever. Enormous and bold "H.B. Clyde / Prest." in brown ink on a heavy stock 4 3/4" X 2" slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Small chip near center of top edge, affecting the top right of his gigantic "H." Clipped from a letter, for above his flamboyant signature is a tiny secretarial salutation "Very truly yours." Also present is a 4¼" X 2" slip from the printed letterhead, reading in italic typeface "The Equitable Life Assura / 120 Broadway, New Yor." Very uncommon signature.

$75.00

Signature and Salutation

By HAMERSLEY, William Livingston (?-1894)

This New York business tycoon -- great-grandson of William Livingston, last royal governor of New Jersey and U.S. Constitution signer -- amassed his considerable fortune through real estate and was a noted member of that city's Real Estate Exchange. Enormous and bold "Yours very truly" (7") and "W.L. Hamersley" (6½") in brown ink on a 7 3/4" X 2½" slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Lightly age toned; weakened center fold discreetly, archivally strengthened on verso. Verso also bears his huge initialed "WLH" signature. Unusual and uncommon.

$50.00

Signature and Salutation

By FISH, Stuyvesant (1851-1923)

The son of New York governor and senator Hamilton Fish was a notable figure of the Gilded Age, making his fortune as president of Illinois Central Railroad (1887-1906). "Yours very sincerely" and full bold signature n brown ink on a corner-clipped 3¼" X 1¼" slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Mounting traces on verso, else bright and attractive.

$50.00

Pair of Signatures
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Pair of Signatures

By DUFF, John (?-1880) and DUFF, John R. (1844-91)

Duff senior was one of the builders of the Union Pacific Railroad and other railroad ventures such as the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad served as the UP's sixth president (1873-74), leaving an estate estimated at a whopping four million dollars; his eldest son John R. was likewise a railroad executive, then became a successful Wall Street speculator before losing it all near the end of his life. Large and bold "Respectfully Yours / John Duff" in brown ink on an irregular-shaped 5½" X 1½" heavy stock slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Also, a boldly penned "Yours very truly, / John R. Duff" in brown ink on an irregular-shaped 4¼" X 1½" slip, n.p., n.y. Very good. Mild age toning. A number of words in John's hand also visible on verso beneath heavy mounting traces. An interesting and most unusual father-son pair -- quite uncommon.

$100.00

Signature
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Signature

By ROUSS, Charles Broadway (1836-1902)

This Virginian served in the Confederate cavalry during the Civil War and lost everything, but in New York survived debtor's prison and other setbacks before becoming a millionaire with his department stores; he so loved Broadway that he changed his middle name from Baltzell to Broadway; in later years he went blind, earning the nickname "The Blind Millionaire." Huge bold signature in brown ink on a 3½" X 3 3/4" slip below a partial "Yrs truly" penned in another hand, n.p., n.y. Near fine. Minor mounting traces on verso. At the bottom of this slip is penned "Charles Broadway Rouss / The blind millionaire" in another hand. An incredibly stylized and bizarre signature which, once deciphered, appears to read "C B Rouss" -- one of the most unusual signatures ever, not to mention quite scarce.

$100.00

Typed Letter Signed
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Typed Letter Signed

By ABBOTT, William Rufus (1870-1950)

This famed Chicago utility company executive began with the Chicago Telephone Company around the turn of the century, and by 1922 when this had morphed into Illinois Bell Telephone Company he served as its president until 1930 and then as chairman of the Board (1930-34); in 1930 he became president of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. TLS, 1p, 8" X 11", Chicago, IL, 26 September 1929. Addressed to Waldemar Kaempffert, Director of the Rosenwald Industrial Museum in Chicago. Very good. Lightly age toned and mildly edgeworn, with original folds visible and slight mounting trace (not affecting text) at upper left. On "Illinois Bell Telephone Company" letterhead listing him as president, Abbott writes to the just-named first director of this museum founded and funded by Sears, Roebuck Company president and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, which the following year would be renamed the Museum of Science and Industry and would have a new director. Abbott goes into great detail about "the New York Telephone rate case" of 1921 which involved "the estimated savings effected in New York City by the use of the Pupin loading coil" and other technicalities; he closes by offering Kaempffert "The following pamphlets, giving information as to Bell System activities...." and spells out their titles. Boldly signed "W.R. Abbott" in black ink at lower right. Whether this business somehow involved the museum is unclear though likely -- and fascinating in any case.

$150.00

Typed Letter Signed
seller photo

Typed Letter Signed

By WILSON, Edward Foss (1905-89)

When Chicago meat packing magnate Thomas E. Wilson of Wilson & Company entered the sporting goods field on a lark in the 1920s, little did he imagine that his son, who became one of the youngest top executives in the country in 1934 when he stepped into the presidency at age 29, would transform both into influential giants in their fields; in 1953 Edward became chairman of the board and soon after left the business to become (of all things) Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Eisenhower. TLS, 1p, 8½" X 11", Chicago, IL, 29 November 1937. Addressed to Lars Maurseth of the Museum of Science and Industry. Very good. Faint edgewear, with inoffensive staple hole at upper left. A mimeographed form letter (with date and recipient's name/address craftily typed in) on letterhead of the Young Men's Christian Association, reading in part: "The Boys' Work Committee of the Hyde Park YMCA is attempting to develop a policy and program in its work with older boys' groups and clubs, based on community needs.... we need information asked for on the enclosed questionnaire...." Boldly signed in full by Wilson in blue fountain pen as "Chairman, Boys' Work Committee." Interesting and unusual bit of YMCA history and Wilson & Company history.

$75.00

Document signed
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Document signed

By HUNDLEY, Elisha Estes (1800-79)

In 1854 this thriving Virginia plantation owner and businessman became an early Chicago real estate mogul when he and partner James Rees built one of that city's first permanent structures, the then-massive three-story Lakeview House Hotel on Lake Shore Drive, to lure more investors into the area. DS, 1p (lettersheet), 7½" X 9 3/4", n.p., 30 October 1845. Very good. Original folds visible but not weakened. Hundley and two others "being duly Sworn" have "seen and Examined the Estray Hog taken up by Jas. Marshall and... do appraise the said Estray Hog at the Sum of Two Dollars & fifty cents. The said Hog is a harrow, white colour about two years old, no brand, marked with an under keel in the left and overkeel in the Right Ear. We were informed that when the said Hog appeared on the plantation about 12 months ago was a boar and that he has been altered since -- & that he has ranged on this plantation & in the neighbourhood for 12 months past...." Neatl penned in deep blue ink and signed at the conclusion by Hundley and two others (Charles Huthison, George I. Roberts). Below this justice of the peace Roberts testifies and signs again, then below this another figure (partly legible, but presumably county clerk) testfies "Sworn to by G I Roberts before me...." "Estray is simply legalese for a domesticated animal found lost or wandering, and the purpose of this "Notice of Estray" may have been to authorize the sheriff to impound and sell the animnal to recover upkeep costs. Interesting and unusual.

$125.00

Typed Note Signed

By KROCH, Carl A. (1915-99)

The legendary "Baron of Books" bought out a failing bookshop named Brentano's in Chicago during the Depression, merged it into Kroch's & Brentano's and created a midwest bookselling empire that ruled the new bookselling world for decades and modernized its practices. TNS, 1p, 8½" X 11", Chicago, IL, 10 September 1987. Addressed to Aaron Cohodes. Very good. Staple holes at upper left. On "Kroch's & Brentano's letterhead, the bookselling baron asks this publisher Chicago's small Bonus Books for review copies of three of his better-selling sports books ("Parcells," "Ditka" and "On Sports"). Usual small but bold full signature in black ballpoint. Cohodes types a brief response at the foot of this letter. Kroch's thumb's up at his stores could make a title a bestseller, so a review copy request from him would be sure to fall on happy ears.

$45.00

Autograph Letter Signed
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Autograph Letter Signed

By SLOANE, Emily Vanderbilt (1874-1970)

This author and socialite made up for the accident of her ultra-privileged birth through religion, philanthropy and advocacy of many social causes. ALS, 2pp (lettersheet), 4" X 6", Lenox, MA, 31 October n.y. Addressed to Mr. Riis (likely Jacob A. Riis, 1849-1914, pioneering Danish-American muckraking journalist and social reformer).Very good. Intriguing content concerning Sloane's do-goodism: "I have decided to act upon your suggestion and entrust the monthly delivery of the aged couple's Rent to a member of the A.B.C. I doubt if I will be able to go myself, but I am sure one of the men will be very happy to visit the old people in their home.... I agree with you in thinking that it is more blessed to give than to receive...." Boldly penned on "Elm Court / Lenox" letterhead, the famous shingle-style home her parents had built around 1885. One of Riis' well-known tenement photographs depicts two elderly sisters seated in their New York apartment, the caption usually noting that in 1895 Riis persuaded Emily Vanderbilt Sloane to pension these two elderly sisters named Gribbon. This outstanding letter is without doubt written to Jacob Riis -- and chances are strong it pertains to this same or some similar charitable act that he convinced Sloane to underwrite.

$550.00

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