BUSINESS HINTS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
By A. R. CALHOUN
CHAPTER I COMMON SENSE FARMING 1. Wealth, Land and Labor. 2. Money. 3. Sources of Wealth. 4. The Farmer, a Producer, and Seller. 5. Business Methods Essential.
CHAPTER II DOCUMENTS YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND 1. Deeds. 2. Abstracts of Title. 3. Parties to a deed. 4. Different deeds. 5. Making a deed. 6. Recording deeds.
CHAPTER III FORMS OF DEEDS AND MORTGAGES 1. Trust deeds. 2. As to mortgages. 3. Mortgage forms. 4. Payments. 5. Assignments. 6. Redemption of mortgages. 7. Equity of redemption.
CHAPTER IV WILLS 1. Two kinds. 2. Limitations of wills. 3. How to make a will. 4. On executive duties. 5. Administrators. 6. Debts. 7. Final settlement.
CHAPTER V LETTER WRITING 1. Business letters. 2. The heading. 3. Forms. 4. The greeting. 5. Body of letter. 6. Ending a letter. 7. Materials. 8. Letters of introduction, etc.
CHAPTER VI BILLS, RECEIPTS AND ACCOUNTS 1. Bills for goods. 2. Bills for labor. 3. Discounting bills. 4. Forms of receipts. 5. What is an order?
CHAPTER VII WHO SHOULD KEEP ACCOUNTS? 1. An account with crops. 2. Workingman's account. 3. Other records. 4. Copies.
CHAPTER VIII AS TO BANKS 1. National banks. 2. Banks as lenders. 3. Interest on deposits. 4. Check and deposit banks. 5. How to draw a check. 6. Certificates of deposit. 7. Use of checks.
CHAPTER IX SAVINGS BANKS 1. How business is conducted. 2. How to deposit. 3. How account grows. 4. Limit of deposit. 5. How to draw money. 6. Savings bank revenues.
CHAPTER X NOTES—DRAFTS 1. Definition and illustration. 2. Days of grace. 3. Indorsing notes. 4. Negotiable notes. 5. Joint notes. 6. Discounting notes. 7. Interest on notes. 8. Protests. 9. Notices. 10. Accommodations. 11. Lost notes. 12. Notes about notes.
CHAPTER XI A DRAFT 1. To make a draft. 2. Forms. 3. For collection. 4. Dishonor. 5. Protests. 6. Buying drafts. 7. A good plan. 8. Good as cash.
CHAPTER XII JUST MONEY 1. What is money? 2. United States money. 3. Metal money. 4. Paper money. 5. Bank notes. 6. "Greenbacks." 7. Treasury certificates. 8. Worn-out notes.
CHAPTER XIII OUR POSTAL BUSINESS 1. The department. 2. Rural free delivery. 3. Classified mail matter. 4. Postal rules. 5. Foreign rates. 6. Stamps. 7. Postal cards. 8. Registering letters. 9. Special delivery. 10. Money orders. 11. Cashing P.O. orders. 12. Advice.
CHAPTER XIV TELEGRAMS—THE TELEPHONE 1. Description. 2. Directions. 3. Charges. 4. Telegraphing money. 5. The method. 6. The telephone.
CHAPTER XV BUSINESS BY EXPRESS 1. Two kinds. 2. Instructions. 3. The company's duty. 4. Collections by express. 5. C. 0. D. by express. 6. Money by express. 7. Money orders.
CHAPTER XVI ABOUT RAILROADS 1. Bills of lading. 2. Express bills. 3. A bill and a draft. 4. Some forms.
CHAPTER XVII TAXES 1. Definition. 2. Kinds of taxes. 3. Customs duty. 4. Internal revenue. 5. Stamps. 6. State taxes. 7. Exempt from taxes. 8. Insufficient taxes. 9. Personal property. 10. Town taxes. 11. Payments. 12. Corporation taxes. 13. Taxes in general. 13. The returns.
CHAPTER XVIII CONTRACTS—LEASES—GUARANTEES 1. Requisites to a contract. 2. The consideration. 3. Written and verbal contracts. 4. Forms of contract. 5. Kinds of contract. 6. A lease. 7. As to repairs. 8. Sub-letting. 9. What is a guaranty? 10. A bill of sale 11. Obligations.
CHAPTER XIX LIFE INSURANCE 1. A definition. 2. How it is done. 3. As an investment. 4. Forms of life insurance. 5. Mutual insurance. 6. Amount of policies. 7. Policies as security. 8. Lapses. 9. Proprietary companies.
CHAPTER XX INSURANCE—FIRE—ACCIDENT 1. Like a gambling risk. 2. What is fire insurance? 3. Premiums. 4. Collecting. 5. Insurable property. 6. Mutual companies. 7. Stock companies. 8. Accident insurance.
CHAPTER XXI PARTNERSHIPS 1. Defined. 2. Prepare and sign. 3. Silent partners. 4. Nominal partners. 5. Liability. 6. How to dissolve. 7. Notice necessary. 8. A form.
CHAPTER XXII INVESTMENTS 1. What is an investment? 2. Savings. 3. Capitalists. 4. Stockholders. 5. Kinds of stocks.
CHAPTER XXIII BONDS AS INVESTMENTS 1. As to bonds. 2. Sorts of bonds. 3. Railroad bonds. 4. Buying bonds. 5. Requisite in a bond.
CHAPTER XXIV THINGS TO REMEMBER 1. Don't deceive yourself. 2. Be sure you are not losing. 3. Weeding out old stock. 4. Dropping worthless accounts. 5. Let your wife know. 6. Children and business. 7. Farmers' sons.
CHAPTER XXV WORTH KNOWING 1. How title is acquired. 2. Over-generosity. 3. Care of wills. 4. Care of all papers. 5. Checks and stubs. 6. Sending away money. 7. Lost in mails. 8. More about notes.
CHAPTER XXVI LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP 1. As to receipts. 2. Notes in bank. 3. Well to know. 4. Discharging liens. 5. Prompt but not too prompt. 6. Be in no haste to invest. 7. Meet dues promptly. 8. Counting money. 9. Ready money. 10. In traveling.
CHAPTER XXVII CONTRACTIONS AND SIGNS 1. An alphabetical arrangement.
CHAPTER XXVIII WORDS AND PHRASES USED 1. Defined and alphabetically arranged.
What is a good business man? "The rich man," you may answer. No, the good business man is the man who knows business.
Are you a good business man?
"Up to the average," you say.
Well, what do you know of business laws and rules, outside your present circle of routine work?
Now, this handy little volume is a condensation of the rules and the laws which every man, from the day laborer to the banker, should be familiar with.
We have not put in everything about business, for that would require a library, instead of a book that can be read in a short day, and be consulted for its special information at any time.
It isn't a question of the price of the book to you, or of the profit to the publisher. Is it good?
Many a man has failed because he did not know the rules and laws herein given.
Never a man has won honestly who did not carry out these rules and laws.
COMMON SENSE FARMING
The three things essential to all wealth production are land, labor, and capital.
"The dry land" was created before there appeared the man, the laborer, to work it. With his bare hands the worker could have done nothing with the land either as a grazer, a farmer or a miner. From the very first he needed capital, that is, the tools to work the land.
The first tool may have been a pole, one end hardened in the fire, or a combined hoe and axe, made by fastening with wythes, a suitable stone to the end of a stick; but no matter the kind of tool, or the means of producing it, it represented capital, and the man who owned this tool was a capitalist as compared with the man without any such appliance.
From the land, with the aid of labor and capital, comes wealth, which in a broad way may be defined as something having an exchangeable value.
Before the appearance of money all wealth changed hands through barter. The wealth in the world to-day is immeasurably greater than all the money in it. The business of the world, particularly between nations, is still carried on through exchange, the balances being settled by money.
Money is a medium of exchange, and should not be confounded with wealth or capital; the latter is that form of wealth which is used with labor in all production.
Broadly speaking, wealth is of two kinds, dormant and active. The former awaits the development of labor and capital, the latter is the product of both.
Labor is human effort, in any form, used for the production of wealth. It is of two kinds—skilled and unskilled. The former may be wholly mental, the latter may be wholly manual.
The successful farmer must be a skilled laborer, no matter the amount of his manual work. The unskilled farmer can never succeed largely, no matter how hard he works.
Trained hands with trained brains are irresistible.
Too many farmers live in the ruts cut by their great-great- grandfathers. They still balance the corn in the sack with a stone.
Farming is the world's greatest industry. All the ships might be docked, all the factory wheels stopped, and all the railroads turned to streaks of rust, and still the race would survive, but let the plow lie idle for a year and man would perish as when the deluge swept the mountain tops.
The next census will show considerably over 6,000,000 farms in the United States. Farming is the greatest of all industries, as it is the most essential. Our Government has wisely made the head of the Department of Agriculture a cabinet officer, and the effect on our farming interest is shown in improved methods and a larger output of better quality.
The hap-hazard, unskilled methods of the past are disappearing. Science is lending her aid to the tiller of the soil, and the wise ones are reaching out their hands in welcome.
BUSINESS METHODS NEEDED
As farming is our principal business, it follows that those who conduct this vast and varied enterprise should be business men.
The farmer is a producer of goods, and so might be regarded as a manufacturer,—the original meaning of the word is one who makes things by hand. He is also a seller of his own products, and a purchaser of the products of others, so that, to some extent, he may also be regarded as a trader or merchant.
Enterprise and business skill are the requisites of the manufacturer and merchant. Can the farmer succeed without them?
No business can prosper without method, economy, and industry intelligently applied.
No man works harder the year round than does the American farmer, yet too many are going back instead of advancing. In such cases it will be found that there is enough hard work for better results, and that the cause of failure is that the industry has not been properly applied, and that economy has had no consideration.
Economy does not mean niggardliness, or a determination to get along without tools that your neighbor has purchased. A neglect to secure the best tool needed might be classed as an extravagance, a waste, if the tool in question could have added to the quality and quantity of the output, without the expenditure of more labor.
Business common-sense is taking the place of old-fashioned conservatism and scientific methods are no longer sneered at as "book-farming."
DOCUMENTS EVERY FARMER SHOULD UNDERSTAND
All property implies an owner. Property is of two kinds, real and personal. The former is permanent and fixed, the latter can be moved.
Every occupant of realty holds it through a deed, which carries with it sole ownership, or through a lease which carries with it the right to occupation and use in accordance with the conditions as to time and the amount to be paid, set forth in the written instrument.
A deed carries with it sole ownership, a lease covers the right of use for a fixed period.
AS TO DEEDS
The purchaser of real estate, say a farm, should receive, from the person selling the property, a written instrument, or conveyance known as a deed.
The deed must show clearly that the title to or interest in the property has been transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Before the deed is signed and delivered, the buyer should know that he is getting a clear title to the property described in the conveyance.
In order to insure the accuracy of the title and thus avoid subsequent complications and perhaps lawsuits, the paper should be submitted to some good lawyer, or other person acquainted with real estate law and the methods by which titles are traced from the first owner to the present possessor.
In all the great business centers of the United States there are Title Guarantee Companies, who for a consideration—to be paid by the seller—furnish an abstract of title, and insure its validity.
In smaller places the local lawyers know how to make up an abstract and one should be employed. Never trust the search of the inexperienced.
An abstract of title is a memorandum taken from the records of the office where deeds are recorded, and showing the history of the title from the Government up to the present time.
The seller should furnish the buyer with a certificate from the proper county officer, showing whether or not all taxes have been paid up to the last assessment.
In addition to this, before the money is paid and the deed accepted, the purchaser should be satisfied that there are no mortgages, liens, attachments or other claims against the property.
If such claims exist and are known to the buyer, he may assume them as a condition of the sale.
PARTIES TO A DEED
The person selling the land and making the deed is known in law as the Grantor. The person buying the property is known as the Grantee.
A deed is a form of contract, and in order to have its terms and statements binding on the maker, he must be twenty-one years of age, or over, and he must be of sound mind.
The grantee need not be twenty-one, nor of sound mind in order to make the terms of the deed binding on the grantor.
In some states, if the grantor be a married man, his wife must sign the deed with him. This should be seen to, for without the wife's signature the grantee will not have a clear title, for the woman could still claim an interest in the property equal to her dower right.
Also, if the grantor is a woman, her husband, for the reasons given, should join with her in the execution of the deed.
The preparation of a deed should not be left to the unskilled.
There are three kinds of deeds, viz.: General warranty deeds, special warranty deeds, and quit-claim deeds.
The general warranty deed, if it can be had, is the one every purchaser should get.
In the general warranty deed the grantor agrees for himself, "his heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns," that at the time of making the deed he is lawfully in possession, "seized" is the legal term, of the estate described in the deed, that it is free from all incumbrance, and that he will warrant and defend the grantee and his heirs and assigns against all claims whatsoever.
In the quit-claim deed the grantor conveys to the purchaser his interest in or right to the property under consideration.
The quit-claim grantor does not guarantee the title to the property, nor warrant the grantee against any other claims. He simply, by the deed, quits his claim to the property.
The special warranty deed covenants and warrants only against the acts of the grantor and those claiming title under him.
MAKING A DEED
After a deed is properly drawn, it is ready to be signed, sealed, and delivered to the grantee.
If the wife of the grantor is to sign, her name should follow that of her husband.
If one or both cannot write, the signature can be made in this way:
His George X Jones. Mark.
In some states one or more witnesses are required to the signature of the grantor; in others, witnesses are not necessary, except where a "mark" is made.
An important part of a deed is the Acknowledgment. This is the act of acknowledging before a notary public, justice or other official properly qualified to administer an oath, that the signatures are genuine and made voluntarily.
The acknowledgment having been taken, the official stamps the paper with his seal and signs it.
In some states the law requires that a wax or paper seal be attached to the paper, while in others a circular scroll, made with the pen, with the letters "L.S." in the center answer the purpose.
When the foregoing essentials are complied with the deed must be delivered to the grantee. The delivery is essential, for without it the deed is of no value, even though every other requisite be complied with.
A deed may be made for land on which full payment has already been acknowledged, but if the grantor dies before the deed is delivered, then the deed has no legal value.
A deed obtained by fraud, deceit or compulsion is void.
As soon as possible after the grantee has received the deed, he should have it recorded.
In every county in the different states there is an officer, known as register or recorder, whose duty it is to enter in regular folios, or books, a copy of every deed or mortgage presented to him. The document then becomes a part of the county records.
The grantee must pay the recording fees.
Anyone, on paying the fee for copying and certifying, can obtain a copy of any document that has been recorded in a register's office.
If an original deed is lost, the certified copy of the register has all the legality of the original.
All deeds and other papers of value should be carefully kept, so that they may be available, if needed.
A small safe deposit box with a company that keeps such spaces for rent, is often a wise investment.
Keep all related papers in one package or envelope.
If there is one lawyer who attends to all your legal business, he will be a good custodian of all papers of record, for he usually has a fireproof safe.
OTHER FORMS OF DEEDS—MORTGAGES
There is one condition under which the grantor does not turn over or deliver the deed to the grantee after it is made. This is known as a Deed in Escrow.
A deed "delivered in escrow" is when the document is placed with a third party to be by him delivered to the grantee when a certain time has elapsed or certain conditions have been fulfilled.
When the conditions have been complied with, the deed is given by its custodian to the grantee, which is as legal as if it were given by the grantor in person.
A trust deed is the form used to convey property to some person who is entitled to its proceeds or profits.
This form of deed is often used to secure the payment of a debt. In some states they take the place of mortgages.
Where the trust deed is meant to take the place of a mortgage to secure a debt payment, the property is deeded to a third party known as a "trustee."
The trustee in this case is the agent for debtor and creditor, and he must act impartially.
The trust deed specifies the character of the debt to be secured. In case of failure to pay the debt as agreed on, the trustee may, if so warranted, sell the property, and pay the obligation from the proceeds.
The grantor in a trust deed, if not stipulated to the contrary, is entitled to all the rents and profits of the property; for it remains virtually his, until he has failed to fill his contract.
When the indebtedness secured by the trust deed has been paid, the trustee must at once execute a paper known to law as a Release Deed. When recorded this instrument discharges the lien.
AS TO MORTGAGES
Mortgages are of two kinds, real and chattel. The first is a lien on real estate, the second on personal property.
A mortgage may be defined as a conveyance of property, personal or real, as security for the payment of a debt, or it may be given as a guarantee for the performance of some particular duty.
When a mortgage is given as security for the payment of a debt, the rule is to give a note for the payment of the amount involved. The mortgage becomes in this case the security for the note's payment.
In the body of the note it must be stated that it is secured by mortgage.
The date of the note and mortgage should be the same.
The man who mortgages his property is the mortgagor.
The man to whom the mortgage is given is the mortgagee.
The form of the mortgage is the same as that of a deed, except that it contains a clause called the Defeasance, which states that when the obligation has been met the document shall be void.
MORTGAGES MUST BE RECORDED
The forms for "signing, sealing and delivering" a mortgage, are the same as with a deed.
A mortgage must be recorded the same as a deed, the mortgagee paying the fees.
Chattel mortgages are filed and recorded in the same way, except that it is not usual to make copies of the instrument. They are described in books prepared for the purpose.
A wife need not join her husband in making the note secured by a mortgage, but if she agrees to the transaction it is necessary for her to sign the mortgage; however, some states do not require this.
Often a life insurance policy is used as security for the payment of a mortgage.
The mortgagee, if there be buildings on the property, should see that the buildings are insured and that the policy or policies are made out in his name.
If the insurance policy is in the mortgagor's name he may collect and keep the insurance money.
The mortgagor must meet, as stipulated, every payment of the principal and interest.
Failure to meet one payment can result in a legal foreclosure.
When a payment is made, the date and the amount must be entered on the back of the note. This should be done in the presence of the mortgagor.
If possible always pay the obligation by check.
If a payment is accepted on a mortgage and the amount is not sufficient to meet the sum required, the interest is first settled in full, the rest is credited to the principal.
When the full amount, with interest, is paid in, it becomes the duty of the mortgagee to have the mortgage "discharged."
A complete settlement is when, all payments being made, the mortgagee surrenders the note and its security, and causes to be written by the register, on the margin of the copy in his books, the words, "discharged," or "satisfied," affixing thereto his official signature and the date.
A mortgage is regarded in law as personal property.
A mortgage need not remain in the hands of the mortgagee in order to be valid. It can be sold like bonds, stocks or other property, and there are men who deal only in that form of security.
In order to sell a mortgage, the owner must make, to the purchaser, what is known as an "assignment of mortgage."
The assignment should be recorded in the same way as the original mortgage, the assignee paying the fee.
REDEMPTION OF MORTGAGES
While the rule as to the redemption of mortgages remains the same in some localities that it formerly was, the law in most places is now more lenient.
Now the mortgagor who has failed is usually given by law an extension of time in which to make good the payment of principal and interest.
Lenders, when the interest is met, are content to let the mortgage run on as an investment, though it will often be found, in such cases, that it is better to make a new mortgage.
EQUITY OF REDEMPTION
Where the payments on a mortgage have not been met and the instrument has not been foreclosed, the mortgagor has still what is known as an "equity of redemption."
In some states after the foreclosure of the mortgage and the sale of the property there is still a period of redemption of from sixty days to six years.
The mode of foreclosure differs in some states. The usual method is to foreclose on an order from the court, and to have the sale conducted by a court officer.
The proceeds from the sale are used to pay the principal, interests and costs. If there is money left over it is paid to the mortgagor, whose interests in the property are then at an end.
Many people, not familiar with business methods, are inclined to regard a mortgage as something of a disgrace, when, as a matter of fact it is a most usual and honorable means of raising money for the securing of a home or the conducting of a business.
Nearly all of the great railroads of the country have been built by the sale of the mortgage bonds, which are usually renewed when due, and are sought out as a safe and sane form of investment.
The fact that a mortgage payment has to be met on a farm is often in itself the strongest inducement to industry and economy.
Whether farmer, manufacturer, merchant or professional man, and whether in youth, mid-age or declining years, every owner of personal or real property, or both, should make a will.
If you have not made a will, get over the foolish notion that it is a premonition of death, and do so at once.
A will is a written and signed declaration of the disposition one wishes to have made of his property in the event of his death.
The maker of a valid will must be of sound mind and not less than twenty-one years of age.
Women, whether married or single, if of proper age, are competent to make a will.
OF TWO KINDS
A will may be written or unwritten.
Unwritten wills are known as "nun-cupative." Nun-cupative wills are employed only when through accident, or sudden seizure by a fatal disease, the time necessary to write and sign a will cannot be had.
The unwritten will must be authenticated by reliable and unprejudiced witnesses, and generally it can dispose of personal property only.
In the written will no precise form is necessary, though when drawn by a lawyer it usually begins with some such form as: "I, George Brown, being of sound mind and good understanding, do make and declare this to be my last will and testament", etc.
A will is not necessarily permanent. It may be cancelled or changed in any way by the maker before his death, or a new will can be made.
The last will cancels all preceding wills.
An addition to an existing will is known as a "codicil."
A man making a will is called a testator.
A woman making a will is called a testatrix.
LIMITATIONS OF WILLS
A man has a right to dispose of his property by will or gift as he chooses, but if he is married the law compels him to consider the rights of another.
The husband cannot, by will or otherwise, deprive his wife of her "right of dower" in his real estate and appurtenances.
Unless she chooses to accept, the wife need not accept other property that is bequeathed her in lieu of dower.
The wife's dower interest in her husband's estate is a life interest only. On her death it goes to the husband's heirs, as if there had been no widow.
In some states there is no right of dower.
HOW TO MAKE A WILL
The will not only shows the purpose of the testator, but it serves as a bar to litigation among the natural heirs.
Any man or woman can write out his or her will, but unless quite familiar with such work it is better to employ a lawyer for the purpose.
The person named in the will to carry out the purpose of the testator is known as the "executor".
No person, not twenty-one at the time the will is proved can act as an executor.
Neither a convict, an imbecile, nor one known to be a drug fiend or an habitual drunkard, is eligible for the post of an executor. If an executor be appointed against his will, the law does not compel him to serve.
There must be at least two witnesses to a will, some states require three.
The witnesses need not know the contents of the will, but they must understand before signing that it is a will, and they must see it signed by the testator.
Under the common law the will is void if the witnesses are beneficiaries.
In some states a will so witnessed is valid, except that the witnesses cannot receive their legacies.
All the witnesses should sign at the same time and add their addresses.
If an heir at law, say a child, is not mentioned in the will, the law assumes that he was forgotten by the testator and generally gives the share the heir would be entitled to if there were no will.
At the end of the will the testator, in the presence of the witnesses, should write his name in full.
AN EXECUTOR'S DUTIES
An executor is the legal representative of the testator. It is his duty to see that the provisions of the will are carried out.
No man is qualified to act as executor who is not competent to make a will. Executors, unless relieved by the provisions of the will, are required to file bonds, proportioned to the value of the estate, for the faithful performance of their duties.
Should there be no executor named in the will, or if the person so named refuses to act, or if he dies or resigns, the court will appoint a person to act in his place.
The executor appointed by the court is known or called an "administrator with the will annexed."
In some states the court having jurisdiction of wills and estates of deceased is known as "the probate," in others it is called the "Surrogate's Court," and in still others, "The Orphan's."
ADMINISTRATORS AND THEIR DUTIES
If a man, owning property, dies without making a will, the judge of the proper court will appoint an administrator to settle the estate.
This is the method of procedure:
1. A person, interested in getting the estate settled, goes before the proper judge and asks him to appoint an administrator. 2. The administrator must give the same bond as an executor. Their duties are the same. 3. In settling the estate the administrator is governed by the law, and by the special directions of the officer having jurisdiction in such matters. 4. He must make a careful list of all the property belonging to the estate. The value of the personal property is estimated by men specially appointed by the court for the purpose and known as "appraisers". 5. The administrator must account for every item of property that comes into his possession. 6. All debts of deceased must be first paid, including funeral expenses. If the proceeds of the personal property are not sufficient for this purpose, the administrator may, if there be real estate, sell the whole or part of it, on an order from the court.
Debts must be paid in an order prescribed by law. The following is the usual order:
1. Funeral expenses and expenses of last illness. 2. The widow's allowance or award. 3. Debts due the state or municipality. 4. Claims of other creditors.
Whatever property is left, after paying these obligatory sums, is divided among the rightful heirs under the direction of the court, and in the manner provided by law.
The administrator must advertise, in one or more county papers the fact that he has been appointed to settle the estate of the deceased, whose name is given, and he must ask that all claims be presented within a given period, usually fixed at six months.
When the estate is settled to the satisfaction of the court, the same authority releases the administrator and his bondsmen.
All the fees connected with the settlement are regarded as debts and must be paid from the proceeds of the estate before closing.
THE FINAL SETTLEMENT
When the debts are paid and the residue divided among the heirs, the administrator files his account. If it is allowed the case ends.
The parties of interest in an estate may agree to settle it out of court. This saves expense, but it is not the safest way.
What has been said about deeds and mortgages applies not only to the farmer, but also to every owner of a building lot. The same may be said of wills. They have a business interest for the town as well as for the country dweller.
The purpose of this book being "strictly business," no attempt will be made to instruct the reader in anything not connected with the subject under consideration.
Social, friendly, and such letters are matters for individual time and taste, and no rule can be laid down for their writing, but the business letter is a different matter, and one which deserves special consideration from every man or woman who receives an order by mail, or who sends one.
To write a good business letter is no mean accomplishment, and although a gift with some, it can be acquired by all.
A letter is, in a way, a testimonial of the character and ability of the writer.
The purpose of a business letter is to express just what you want and no more.
Any man with a good common school education, and a little patient practice, can soon learn to write as good a business letter as the college graduate.
Correct spelling may not be general, but it is certainly desirable.
Letter writing, as in the preparation of other papers, has its own well-recognized forms, and these may be easily learned.
Every properly constructed business letter should consist of the following parts:
1. Where written from. 2. When written. 3. To whom written. 4. Address. 5. Salutation. 6. Introduction. 7. Purpose of letter. 8. Complimentary ending. 9. Signature.
The letter should begin by giving the address of the writer, followed by the date on which it was written. This will enable the recipient to direct his reply.
If from a city, the street and number should be given.
If many letters are written it will be convenient to have the permanent address of the writer printed.
The writing should be plain, and there should be no doubt in the mind of the reader as to the proper spelling of the address and signature.
Avoid the hieroglyphics which some vain men adopt in signing their names. It may be fanciful, but it does not imply consideration for the time and patience of strangers.
The following forms will serve to illustrate the type of heading used in ordinary business letters:
124 Smith St., Brownsville, Mass. September 4, 1910. Mr. John Smith, Doylestown, Penna. Dear Sir:
Leroy, Mass., September 5, 1910. Messrs. Brown and Jones, Denver, Col. Gentlemen:
4 Seminole St., Fort Smith, Ark. September 6, 1910. Mrs. Mary J. Robinson, Lansing, Cal. Dear Madam:
The "Mr.," "Mrs.," "Madam," and "Miss" are titles of courtesy and should not be omitted. The abbreviation "Esq." for Esquire is sometimes used; but the two titles Mr. and Esq. should never be used with one name, as "Mr. John Smith, Esq."
If a man is known by a military or other title, always use it, but never precede it with "Mr." nor follow it with "Esq."
Clergymen should always be addressed as "Rev.," the abbreviation for Reverend. If he is a doctor of divinity, add D.D. to the name, as "Rev. John Smith, D.D."
Medical doctors may be addressed as "Dr. John Smith," or "John Smith, M.D."
The greeting or salutation is a term of courtesy or esteem used in addressing the one to whom the letter is sent.
"Sir" is the formal greeting, and is used in addressing officials, or any strange male person. "Sirs," or "Gentlemen" may be used in the plural. "Dear Sir," or "My Dear Sir," is the usual form of greeting when a business letter is addressed to an individual.
Where the writer is acquainted with the person addressed, the usual form of greeting is "Dear Mr. Smith."
THE LETTER ITSELF
If writing in response to a letter received, the writer should begin in some such way as this:
Mr. Thomas Brown, Newburg, N. Y. My Dear Sir:
Your favor of the second inst. is just to hand. In reply permit me to state, etc., etc.
This should be followed by the necessary statement, set forth in clear, simple words.
Be sure of yourself.
The secret of good writing is clear thinking.
ENDING THE LETTER
There is much in the proper ending of a letter. In the ordinary business letter the usual ending may be, "Yours truly," "Yours very truly," or "Yours respectfully." Other endings used in writing to business acquaintances are, "Yours sincerely," or "Very sincerely yours," or you may substitute the words "Cordially" or "Heartily" for "sincerely."
SIGNING THE LETTER
The name of the writer should be so clear and distinct as to leave no doubt as to the spelling.
The name should always be written in the same way.
If your name is George W. Brown, do not write it at one time as here given, and again as G. Washington Brown, or G. W. Brown.
Adopt one form and stick to it.
If you are writing for a firm or for another as clerk or secretary, always sign the firm name, and below it your own name preceded by the word "per," meaning "by" or "through."
Never use scraps of paper or soiled paper to write on if better can be had. The materials of a letter affect the receiver, particularly if a stranger, just as one is affected by the garb of a stranger before he speaks.
Use a good pen and black ink.
Fold your paper so that it will fit the envelope.
Avoid blots and erasures; they indicate carelessness or unbecoming haste.
Address your letter distinctly.
Here is a good form:
Mr. George W. White, Boston, 1101 Sioux St. Mass.
LETTERS OF INTRODUCTION
At some time or another one has to write a letter of introduction, and sometimes he has had to pay for it.
If you should give such a letter to a man to introduce him to another with whom you trade, the law has held that the introducer is responsible for any reasonable bills the introduced may contract with the receiver of the letter.
Never give a letter of introduction to a man you are not sure of.
In addressing a letter of introduction which is to be handed in person, do it in this way:
Mr. George W. Brown, Washington, D. C. Introducing Mr. Henry Wilson.
This shows on its face the nature of the communication.
Here is a good form:
111 Payne Ave., Montrose, Ill. September 27, 1910. Mr. Norman R. Lloyd, Chicago, Ill. Dear Mr. Lloyd:
This will introduce my esteemed friend Mr. Thomas T. Fletcher, of this town. Mr. Fletcher contemplates opening a drug store in Chicago. Should he do so he will prove an acquisition to your City. Any favor you can render him will be much appreciated by, Yours faithfully, George W. Brown.
Every man of standing and every employer of labor is at times called on to certify to the character, or to give a testimonial to some esteemed employee who is about to seek his fortune in another place.
If you are about to hire a stranger, it adds to your confidence and to his chances if he have a testimonial as to character and fitness from his last employer, or from some man whose word you value.
The letter of recommendation is usually of a general character and not addressed to any particular. It should open in this way:
"To whom it may concern."
Follow this with your testimonial and sign it.
The President of the United States is addressed as: "His Excellency," William H. Taft, Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C.
Cabinet officers, Senators, Congressmen, members of the Legislature, and Mayors of cities are usually addressed as "Hon.," the abbreviation of honorable.
The title "Hon." like "Esq." is often misused. After all titles of courtesy are not obligatory, unless we regard the unwritten law of custom in such matters as binding.
The very best kind of a letter, and perhaps the hardest to write, is that in which the writer appears to be talking to us face to face.
BILLS, RECEIPTS AND ACCOUNTS
Try to understand clearly the meaning of all the business terms you have to use.
The terms "bill" and "invoice" usually mean the same thing, that is, a "bill of sale." This applies to goods sold, or services rendered.
The merchant sends you an itemized invoice of the goods you ordered and he has shipped.
The carpenter sends you an itemized bill of the work done by your order.
Such a document should be regarded not as a "dun," but rather as a record of the contract or transaction.
In the foregoing case the merchant and the carpenter are the creditors, the recipient of the goods or work is the debtor.
BILLS FOR GOODS
In writing out a bill the date is the first thing to be considered. This should be the same in form as a business letter.
This form will serve as an illustration:
Glenwood, N. J. October 1, 1910. Robert Brown To George L. White, Dr. Sept 2. For 25 lbs. sugar, at .06 . . .$1.50 " 6. " 30 lbs. ham, at .20 . . . . 6.00 " 14. " 100 lbs. flour, at .03-1/2 . 3.50 —— Received payment, $11.00
SIGNATURE ON PAYMENT
Wholesale houses send such bills as soon as the goods are shipped or delivered, though the payment, as per agreement, is not to be made for thirty, sixty or ninety days.
Where there is a running account, that is, frequent orders, with total payments never completed, it is customary for the seller, at the beginning of a calendar month to send to the creditor a "statement." This statement does not repeat the items of the bills rendered, its purpose being to show the balance due to date.
BILLS FOR LABOR
Where a mechanic or laborer is employed by the day at a fixed wage, the length of time and dates should be given.
Richmond, Va. November 3, 1910. Charles M. Pratt, To John Smith, Dr. To 4 days, from Oct. 1st to 4th inclusive, at $2.00..........$8.00 To 2 1/2 days, Oct. 10th, 11th and 12th.................... 5.00 To 3 days, Oct. 17th, 18th and 19th ....................... 6.00 ——— Received payment, $19.00 Signature.
This bill is just as transferable as a mortgage. If for any reason Mr. Smith should decide to sell it, say to Robert Brown, he should make the following endorsement across the back:
"In consideration of ——— dollars, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, I do hereby sell and assign to Robert Brown, the written account, which is justly due from the within named Charles W. Pratt, and I hereby authorize the said Robert Brown to collect the same. "John Smith." "Newburg, N. Y. November 1, 1910."
Regarded simply from a business viewpoint and without considering ethics, "Honesty is the best policy."
Bills, where possible, should be promptly paid.
Prompt payment is a guarantee of credit and credit is the heart if not the soul of business.
Never, if it can be avoided, buy goods on the installment plan.
Be sure to get a receipt for all payments you make, and be equally sure to keep the receipt where you can find it.
Examine all bills and invoices; compare them with the goods received, and no matter what your faith in the seller's care and honesty, calculate for yourself the price of each item, and be sure that the total is correct.
DISCOUNT IN TRADE
It is a business custom, when a bill is paid before it is due, to allow a discount. This may be the legal rate of interest, or any percentage agreed on in advance.
Sometimes wholesale merchants or manufacturers grant esteemed customers, in consideration of prompt payments, a discount from the regular prices. This is known as "trade discount."
We often read of two or more discounts. A store keeper buys a bill of goods for $350 and is granted 20% and 5% from the selling price.
This does not mean a discount of 25% as the uninitiated might think. The 20% is deducted from the $350, that is, $70, leaving $280. Then the 5%, $14, is deducted from this, leaving $260.
Partial payments are not endorsed on the bill. The receipt is written on a separate piece of paper. It differs from the usual receipt in that the one is "in full payment" and the other "on account."
Receipt no bill before it is actually paid.
Some one has translated the letters "C. O. D." into "Come omejitly Down." The Collect on Delivery usually accompanies goods sent by express.
FORMS OF RECEIPTS
A receipt for a partial payment:
Leavenworth, Kansas. December 7, 1910. $75.00 Received from Charles Long seventy-five dollars on account. Henry S. Somers.
A receipt in full:
San Diego, Cal. July 27, 1910. $260.75 Received from N. O. Taylor, two hundred and sixty 75-100 dollars, in full payment to date. Samuel G. Novris.
Portland, Me. October 20, 1910. $40.00 Received from Thomas Moore, ten cords of hardwood, at $4.00 a cord, the sum to be applied to his account. Daniel Forman.
In payment of rent:
$17.00 Received from William Forbes seventeen dollars in full payment of rent of premises No. 24 West Street, for the month ending October 31, 1910. Philip F. Ross.
Where one person pays for another:
Wilmington, Del. August 17, 1910. $80.00 Received from Alfred Thompson eighty dollars to apply to the account of Hiram O. Wells. Baker Jones & Co., per, S. N. Thorp.
Receipts and other documents signed with a mark X should be witnessed.
Payment on a note:
Bridgeport, Conn. July 1, 1910. $150.00 Received from Casper N. Work one hundred and fifty dollars to apply on the payment of his note to me for six hundred dollars, dated March 8, 1910. Ruben Hoyt.
The maker of the note should, in addition to getting his receipt, have the amount of his payment endorsed on the back of the note by the holder.
Where a receipt is given to the administrator of an estate his position should be named as "Robert Fields, administrator of the estate of John Jones, deceased."
WHAT IS AN ORDER?
An order is a command or instruction by one person to another to do a stated thing.
An order may be given for the delivery of goods or the payment of cash.
This is the usual form:
Dayton, Ohio. August 3, 1910. Mr. G. W. McBride: Please deliver to Edward Lott goods from your store to the amount of ten dollars, and charge to my account. F. T. Leroy.
This would be an order for cash:
Holden, Ind. June 18, 1910. $30.00 Mr. P. T. Mayhew. Please pay to Thomas Jackson thirty dollars and charge same to my account. F. R. Wilson.
A DUE BILL
The customary form of a due bill is:
Durham, N. C. May 1, 1910. $10.00 Due George Smith ten dollars, payable in merchandise from my store. S. T. Long.
WHO SHOULD KEEP ACCOUNTS
To have any value, business accounts, whether of a great or a small concern, must be accurately kept.
Every man and woman, having unsettled dealings with others, should keep some sort of book accounts.
Storekeepers must keep accounts, and every farmer and mechanic, who would know just what he owns and what he has spent during the past month and year, should keep an exact account of every cent received and paid out.
Lawyers and doctors know how to keep accounts, or if they do not they are neglecting their own side of their professional duties.
Workers, skilled and unskilled, and even the hired girl who is paid by the month, should keep a record of the compensation received, and how the whole or the part has been expended.
No woman can be called a really good housekeeper who does not know to a penny what has become of the money she has received for the upkeep of her establishment, whether she have a score of servants or does all her own work.
In order to keep such accounts, as have just been indicated, it is not necessary to be a trained bookkeeper, or to know anything more about the art than a good common school education gives.
Another word as to the farmer. I am not thinking in this connection of the old-time, deep-in-the-ruts farmer, who never learns and knows nothing to forget, but of that wide-awake producer who tries to keep up with the times.
Not only should the farmer keep cash accounts, the form may be quite simple, but all his business affairs should be kept in the best possible trim.
Personal agreements without some kind of writing to back them up, are dangerous.
Verbal contracts feed the lawyers.
All transactions involving labor or money should be recorded in black and white.
Don't trust to your memory.
Don't rely on the memory of another.
AN ACCOUNT WITH CROPS
Every farmer should keep an account with each crop he raises and even with every field he cultivates.
Against the farm should be charged—
1. Its annual rental value. 2. What all the labor would cost if hired. 3. New machinery. 4. Wear, tear and repair of old machinery. 5. Taxes. 6. Insurance. 7. Doctor's bills. 8. Interest on mortgage if any. 9. The cost of fodder, fuel, etc., consumed.
The farm should be credited with—
1. The rent. 2. The cost of everything produced and consumed on place. 3. The farm products sold. 4. The stock sold. 5. Increased value of stock. 6. Increased value of property, if any.
Such accounts you say will cause trouble; well, you cannot do anything of value without trouble. The question is will the effort pay? Those who keep such accounts say it does, and they are usually the successful, progressive farmers.
The working man, skilled or unskilled, and the working man's wife as well, should keep some form of cash book that will show from week to week the receipts and expenditures.
One can be thrifty without being miserly.
Where did the money go?
Look at your book, where every cent expended has been set down, and you will be surprised to find how the little sums total up.
Look over the list of little things bought and you will be surprised to see how many were not needed.
Here is a simple form for a home record:
Cash Received 1910. Jan. 2. Balance on hand.........$45.50 " 3. Work for Mr. Jones....... 1.75 " 3. Smith paid bill......... 13.75 " 9. Work for Mr. Brown....... 7.50
Cash Paid 1910. Jan. 2. Two shirts...............$1.50 " 3. To wife for house........ 8.50 " 4. Doctor C's. bill......... 6.00 " 5. Fare to Troy............. 2.25 " 6. Horse car................ .20 " 6. Postage.................. .06 " 7. Church Contribution...... 1.00 " 8. Shoes mended............. 0.60 " 9. Newspaper bill........... 1.00
Never "lump" what you receive or what you spend.
Set down each item separately, even to one cent.
When you have filled out each page of "received" and "paid" foot it up and carry it to the next page set apart for the purpose.
An account book will cost but a few cents. Use the left-hand side for receipts and the right for expenditures.
At any time the excess of the left hand over the right should show the amount on hand.
Strike a balance at least once a month.
Never mix up another's accounts with your own.
John Smith, treasurer of some church, society, or club, is a different person before the law from John Smith, the trader or mechanic.
Funds not your own, and which may be added to or decreased from time to time, as in the case of a society, say like the Odd Fellows, should be kept in the bank not as John Smith's but as the funds of "John Smith, Treasurer of Washington Lodge 110, Independent Order of Odd Fellows," or whatever the name of the society, club, or church may be.
In the same way, "a treasurer's book" should be kept and all the receipts and expenditures carefully recorded.
If a business proposition is made to another by mail, or if you hand another in writing your proposition as to a certain contract you are willing to undertake, for the consideration named, be sure to keep a copy of the letter or contract; such a precaution may save trouble.
AS TO BANKS
No instrument of trade has done so much or is more essential to the safe and progressive business of the world today than the bank.
Every department of business, in our modern civilization, must keep in touch with the bank.
Money is the blood of trade and the banking system is its heart.
The bank is as necessary to the thrifty farmer as it is to the greatest railroad or the most wide-spread trust.
Banks are depositories for money not in circulation.
Banks have facilities for the safe-guarding of money which the ordinary business man could not provide for himself.
Instead of running the risk of paying bills with money carried about on his person, the business man, and every man with ready money should follow his example, deposits his money in a convenient bank, for which he receives a proper voucher in the shape of a credit in a deposit book.
When he pays a bill, he draws a check for the amount, payable to the order of his creditor. This check, when endorsed by the receiver and paid by the bank, is in itself a receipt for the money.
As I propose to say something about savings banks in another chapter, the present will be devoted to what are known as "banks of deposit."
Banks of deposit are either National, State, or private.
A National bank is, as the name implies, chartered and incorporated by the Government, with special privileges and restrictions.
The Government in the organizing of National banks had in mind the protection of the public without unduly limiting the profit of the stockholders.
The sum the stockholders must contribute to the establishment of a National bank varies according to the population and the business importance of the place in which the bank is to be located.
The capital must exist in a prescribed form.
Certain forms of investment are prohibited, as for instance the ownership of real estate, except under certain restrictions.
This is done that the National bank may be able to convert its securities into cash in the shortest order.
In consideration of a prescribed amount of United States bonds, deposited with the Treasury in Washington, the Government issues to the National bank a prescribed sum in printed bank notes of varying denominations.
If the bank should close for any reason, the bank notes or their equivalent must be returned, when the bonds deposited as security are released.
Every bank must have a board of directors, a president and a cashier. Receiving and paying tellers, with bookkeepers, and many clerks are necessary to carry on the business of a large bank.
In addition, the National banks are under the supervision of regularly appointed Government inspectors.
A National bank may fail, but its notes are still "as good as gold."
BANKS AS LENDERS
The bank not only receives money on deposit, but it loans money under certain conditions.
Many merchants, builders, contractors and others often find it necessary to borrow money in order to carry on their business successfully.
If a man's business reputation is good, and the banks keep well posted in such matters, he may secure a loan on his own note, though even in such cases the name of a good endorser is required.
If in addition to his note the borrower can offer security in the way of bonds of good character, or other reliable collateral, he can usually be accommodated.
Of course, the banks charge interest for loans. They also make collections on notes and other commercial paper and they issue foreign and domestic bills of exchange.
Every man with a sum large or small in excess of his expenditures, should open a bank account. Even if not in business this will encourage thrift and lead to good business habits.
INTEREST ON DEPOSITS
Some banks, particularly those known as "state" or "private," and National banks in smaller communities, allow interest on deposits. This interest varies with the demand for money, but in the eastern states it seldom goes over four per cent.
It is well to know when interest begins and ends.
If the dates set by the bank for reckoning interest are the first day of January, April, July and October, money deposited March 31st will begin to draw interest next day, but if deposited April 2nd, it would not begin to draw interest till July 1st.
But if you have the money and would insure its safety, deposit it at once regardless of time or interest.
If a depositor withdraws his money before the day when interest is due, he forfeits the interest. But banks vary as to that.
CHECK AND DEPOSIT BOOKS
Every depositor is given a book in which the teller or cashier credits him on the left-hand side with the amount deposited. Other deposits are treated in the same way, and at proper times, if interest is allowed, it is added as a deposit.
The depositor can provide his own check book, and have it printed in any color he pleases, with the name of himself and business on the margin. The bank, however, will supply loose bank checks of its own, or it may provide them in book form, with stubs, or a space on which the number, amount and purpose of the check may be noted for the drawer's information.
"Writing up" of the deposit book is leaving it with the proper officer at the bank—a receipt for the book is never taken. It is returned with all the checks received, and their amount footed up on the right hand or debit page, and the balance on hand shown.
Every depositor should know from the record on the check stubs exactly how his account stands with the bank.
Take care that you do not overdraw.
Keep your own record of your own money.
COMMERCIAL DEPOSIT BANKS
In the Commercial banks of our large cities no interest is allowed, nor could it be easily calculated where a score of deposits may be made in a week and a hundred checks drawn in a day.
The depositor in such a bank is free to check out his funds as he pleases.
Before opening an account there is more than money needed from the depositor. If unknown, he must satisfy the bank of his character, which is best done through the introduction of one known to both.
Some banks make a charge for deposits, where a man makes a convenience of them by depositing money which he checks out in a short time.
A depositor, when opening an account with a bank is required to place his signature in a book kept for the purpose. Until the bank officer, the paying teller, becomes familiar with the signature on the check, he verifies it by comparing it with that in the book.
HOW TO PREPARE A CHECK
A check may be defined to be "a written order on a bank directing it to pay a certain sum of money to the person named in the check or to his order, and signed by a depositor."
So long as the purpose is clearly conveyed in the writing no particular form of words is necessary, nor need the paper on which the check is written be the regular printed form properly filled in.
The "drawer" is the one who makes the check.
The "payee" is the one for whom the check is made.
In making a check, the best plan is to fill out the stub first, and from the data on it make out the check. This tends to accuracy.
Be sure to number your check, beginning with I.
Be sure that the number on the stub is the same as on the check.
A person having money in bank and wishing to draw for his own use, makes his check payable to "self" or to "cash."
Usual form of check:
First National Bank. No. 27 Kingston, Vt., Oct. 13, 1910. Pay to order of John Smith Seventy-five 75/100 ——— dollars. $75.75 George F. Brown.
It is proper form to specify on the face of the check the purpose for which it is given, but while this is permissible it is not usual.
Write the amount of the check first in words then in figures. This makes more certain the amount.
Always begin first word of amount close to left-hand side of check; when the whole sum is written down draw a heavy stroke along the line to the word "dollars."
When a check is made payable to John Smith or order, John Smith must sign his name on the back of the check—left-hand end and about an inch from the top.
Never sign a check until you are ready to collect, or to bank it.
The payee can endorse the check to another by writing on the back as follows:
Pay to the order of Thomas Brown. John Smith.
A check payable to "bearer" may be negotiated by any one. When such checks are presented by a stranger, at the bank of the maker, the paying teller always insists that the stranger be identified.
Never make a check payable to "bearer" if it can be avoided.
Sometimes checks are dated ahead, for reasons satisfactory to the maker and payee.
A check drawn on August 5th, but dated August 20th cannot be collected till the latter date.
Never date a check ahead unless you are positive that you will have the money in bank to meet it on the day named.
Never, if you can avoid it in trade, receive a post-dated check.
Cash or deposit your checks as soon as possible after they are received.
If the bank should fail, while you are holding the check, the maker cannot be held for the loss.
CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT
Often when a depositor is travelling, he finds it convenient to carry with him a form of paper that is as good as cash, and much better in the event of loss.
Banks will issue "certified checks" to depositors. These checks are stamped by the bank "certified" with the date and officer's signature attached.
On issuing such a check, the bank debits the receiver's account with the amount, and so can guarantee the payment whenever or wherever presented.
Such a check may be received with as much certainty of its value as if it were a bank bill.
When a person places money in a bank with no intention of checking it out for some time to come, he may have issued to him a "Certificate of deposit."
While holding this certificate he cannot check against the money in the bank.
The holder of a certificate of deposit may transfer it.
The money may be paid in part by the bank, if the certificate is presented, and the amount is endorsed on the back.
To withdraw all the money the certificate must be surrendered.
USE OF CHECKS
There is no form of commercial paper in such general use as the check.
The total of all the checks in use at some seasons is far more than the total of all the money in all the banks.
Checks are balanced in the money centers through what are known as clearing houses. In these a bank is charged with checks against it and credited with those in its favor.
The differences are settled by cash.
Often a few thousand dollars will settle check accounts amounting to millions.
If by any chance you should receive a check in which your name is misspelled, or not given as you write it, endorse the check exactly as the name is written on the face, then add your name in the regular way.
While of National importance, savings banks are chartered by the respective states in which they exist, and as such are distinctly local institutions.
Unlike the National, the savings bank is not established as a money-making corporation.
The ostensible and actual purpose of the savings bank is to encourage people of small means to save.
The savings bank provides a safe place for the care of such deposits, and it pays such rates of interest on such deposits as are warranted by the earnings of its investments after paying the expenses incident to the proper conduct of its officers.
When a savings bank receives authorization to act, through a charter from the state, the organizers choose a board of directors and the proper officers.
Usually the officers occupying positions of trust and responsibility are required to give bonds for the proper discharge of their duties.
HOW BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED
With all the legal conditions complied with, and a suitable office provided, the savings bank is ready for business.
Some savings banks will receive on deposit any sum from five cents to five thousand dollars.
Other banks will not receive less than one dollar at a time, nor more than a thousand.
We have heard of "penny savings banks," but they are rarely chartered, and are organized, only to encourage thrift among children.
Fractional parts of a dollar are not usually reckoned as drawing interest.
Some banks require as much as three, four or five dollars before allowing interest.
Savings banks in the eastern states pay from three to four per cent. In the west it is sometimes as high as six.
Each bank has certain dates at which calculation of interest begins. As a rule this is January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.
Money deposited at any time between these dates does not draw interest till the beginning of the next quarter.
But never mind the interest.
The best time to make a deposit is when you have the money.
The bank is safer than your pocket.
HOW TO DEPOSIT
Count your money carefully and make a memorandum of the amount before giving to the savings bank to deposit.
Hand the money to the officer—usually "the receiving teller"— authorized to receive it.
The teller writes down the name, age, occupation and residence of the depositor.
If money is deposited in the name of one under legal age, the names of the parents and the birthplace of the minor are also recorded.
The adult depositor must write his name in a book provided by the bank for the signature of clients.
When these conditions are complied with, the depositor receives a memorandum book, known as a "deposit book", in which, with his name and date, is written the amount of his first deposit.
The deposit book must be carefully guarded, for without its presentation at the savings bank money cannot be drawn. You cannot check against your savings bank account, as with a commercial bank.
HOW THE ACCOUNT GROWS
After the first account is opened the rest is easy.
On the second, as on all subsequent visits, the deposit book, with the amount to be entered, is handed to the receiving teller. He counts the money, makes a record of it for his own use, enters it on your book as a deposit, and hands the book back. That is all.
Whenever interest is due it is written down in the book as if it were a cash deposit.
The interest, if desired, will be paid in cash, but if allowed to remain, it begins at once to earn interest for itself.
Interest grows like a rolling snow ball. On such small beginnings great fortunes have been built.
Savings banks keep a reserve, made up of earnings in excess of interest and all expenses.
This reserve earns money.
The money so earned is reckoned as a net profit, and it may be distributed, and usually is, among its depositors as a "dividend."
THE LIMIT OF DEPOSIT
Different banks have different limits of deposit, that is fixed sums beyond which they will not receive.
The limit is from one thousand to five thousand dollars.
When the fortunate depositor has reached the limit with one savings bank, there is no law to prevent his opening another account with another, or with any number of similar banks.
Remember the savings banks are not meant for capitalists, but for small depositors.
After deposits and interests have reached a total of $1,600, the interest will not go on earning interest, but will be regarded simply as a deposit.
This is in compliance with law.
Depositors, posted as to the law, open another account with another bank, and keep on till the interest limit is reached.
HOW TO DRAW MONEY
A savings bank depositor may either draw money himself or through some properly authorized person.
This is the method:
The deposit book is presented to the paying teller. The owner states the sum he wants to draw.
Having assured himself that the bearer of the book is the right person, the teller takes a receipt in a book kept for the purpose, for the amount, enters the same on the right hand or debit side of the book, and hands out the money.
There is a form of authorization for another to draw, printed on the deposit book. This must be copied and its directions complied with.
Most banks will not allow depositors to draw out less than a fixed sum, say $5.00.
This saves trouble, and prevents thoughtless depositors from going to the bank every time they want a dollar.
Before a depositor can draw a large sum from a savings bank he may be compelled, under the law, to give from one week to six weeks' notice of his intention.
This provision may not prevent a run on the bank, but it gives the managers time to provide for it.
Read the rules in the deposit book.
HOW SAVINGS BANKS EARN
How can a bank that does not discount notes or deal in loans and commercial paper earn money? How can it pay interest?
While they may be individually small, the aggregate of all the deposits in a savings bank may, and often do, amount to many millions.
This money is not allowed to lie idle.
Under the skilled direction of the bank officers, the money, instead of lying idle in the vaults, is invested in many ways, but always in accordance with the laws of the state under which the bank is chartered.
Much of the money is invested in mortgages on real estate, never on personal property.
National bank stocks, sound railroad bonds, and other forms of reliable interest security are fields for the investment of savings bank funds.
Savings banks are subject to the periodic inspection of state officers appointed for the purpose.
The failure of a savings bank through bad investments or the dishonesty of officials is very rare.
Avoid all banks that promise more than the regular rate of interest.
Private banks may be, and usually are, honestly conducted, but to be safe, deposit only with a bank that is regularly chartered and is subject to the inspection of the law.
The savings bank is the best for the wage earner.
The promissory note is a most useful kind of commercial paper, and it is in general use in business.
If a man has not sufficient ready cash to pay for the real estate he is about to purchase, he makes up the difference by a note, which note is secured by a mortgage on the property.
Remember the mortgage must always be regarded as security. The note represents the debt.
Often wholesalers take a note as part or even full payment for a bill of goods to a retailer.
If the wholesaler needs money, he endorses these notes and putting them in his bank draws against them, less the discount he has to pay for the accommodation.
As has been shown, an account may be transferred and sold, but a note is more convenient for that purpose.
As with a check the maker of a note is known as a "drawer," the person in whose favor it is drawn is the "payee."
Notes may be written in pencil, but it is better and safer to write with ink on good paper.
Supposing you buy a team of horses, or it may be a bill of goods, from John Brown, for $350.
Now you have only $100 in cash. What are you to do?
Mr. Brown, knowing you to be reliable, says: "That's all right, friend Jones. You pay me the $100 cash for which I will give you a receipt, then I will take your note for six months, payable at my bank."
You agree to this; pay out the money, make and deliver the note and take the property in question, which is now yours as much as it had been his before the transfer.
The following would be a legal form in which to make the note:
$250. Summit, N. J. October 10, 1910. Six months after date I promise to pay to the order of John Brown.............. Two hundred and fifty ...... dollars,.... At the Lincoln National Bank of Summit .......... Value received. George Jones. No. 1. Due April 14, 1911.
Now, if before the expiration of this note, you want to make a payment on it of, say, $75, you take the money to Mr. Brown, who endorses on the back of the note, "Received on the within note $75, January 3rd.," if that be the date, and signs, "John Brown."
It may be well to remember that while a running account may be collected at any time, the law cannot prevent the maker of a promissory note from selling all his belongings and leaving the country before the note is due.
DAYS OF GRACE
Notes may be "time" notes, that is where there is a specified time for payment, or "demand" notes. The latter are collectable on presentation.
With the time notes "three days grace" are allowed after the expiration of the date for payment. No such favor is allowed in the case of demand notes.
These grace days do not seem businesslike. Why not add them to the date in the note? Well, it is a custom, quite as old as the greater part of our laws, and so it must be observed.
Under the law a note is payable at the home or business place of the drawer, unless otherwise specified.
A note secured by a mortgage has its payment guaranteed.
The usual way of securing the payment of a note given in business is to have it endorsed with a good name across the back, as in endorsing a check.
By writing your name across the back of another man's note you announce to all the holders of that note that you know the maker and that if he does not pay it you will.
In most states the indorser of a note cannot be held responsible for payment, unless the holder notifies him, within twenty-four hours after the note comes due, that the maker cannot or will not pay.
If an indorsed note changes hands, each indorser is responsible to all endorsers who follow him and also to the last holder of the note.
If an indorser, that is, one into whose hands the note has come after the first endorsement, should not wish to guarantee payment, he writes before his name, "Without recourse to me."
This is known as a "qualified endorsement."
A NEGOTIABLE NOTE
Most notes are negotiable; that is because they may be sold, like any other personal property, or the ownership may be transferred from one person to another.
No note is negotiable that does not bear on its face, the words, "Pay to bearer," or "Pay to the order of," followed by the payee's name.
When two persons sign a note they become jointly and individually responsible for its payment.
Such persons are known as "joint makers."
If one signs his name on the back of a note before it has been handed to the payee, he makes himself not only an endorser, but a joint maker.
If the maker of such a note refuses to pay on the expiration of time stated, he is liable for the amount without any notification.
If a business man borrows from a bank on his note, he must pay for the privilege.
Interest is a sum paid for the use of money.
Interest is reckoned as a certain percentage yearly on the principal.
Interest on interest is called "compound interest" and is unused in ordinary business transactions.
Instead of collecting interest when the amount borrowed on a note is due, or deducting it from the principal in advance, it discounts the note at the rate agreed on and pays the rest.
This is called bank discount and its rate is variable, depending on the abundance or scarcity of money.
Money is a marketable article, and the price, like that of wheat or cotton, is governed by supply and demand.
INTEREST ON NOTES
A note may be made payable "with interest," or not, as the parties concerned may agree.
If nothing is said about interest in the note, no interest can be collected.
Again a note may go into details and specify that "the interest shall be ten per cent, payable semi-annually," provided always that the rate shall not be higher than the legal interest of the state.
Excessive interest is known as "usury." It invalidates all the interest, and in some places the principal is forfeited.
When the holder of an interest note receives interest payment he must record the date and sum on the back of the note.
If a note comes due on Sunday or on a legal holiday, payment must be made on the following day.
Holidays are appointed by the separate states.
The United States recognizes no day as a holiday, except Sunday, and that is acknowledged through custom.
It is customary for banks to notify makers of notes held by them a few days before time set for payment; but this is not required by law.
If a note lies unpaid in bank the day set for payment, as soon as the office closes for regular business the note is protested.
The protest is made before a notary public; he is usually an employee of the bank.
In the protest formal objection is made against the breaking of the promise, and demanding that the matter be set right by the maker, or on his failure, by the indorser.
The indorser, who has to pay, has a claim for the amount on the maker of the note, as he would have for money loaned or goods sold, and he can sue to collect.
A note that is not paid within a fixed time is said to be "outlawed."
Remember the indorser of a note must be notified within twenty- four hours of the failure of the drawer to make good.
The object in protesting a note is to fix the liability on the endorser.
If there be more than one endorser notice of protest must be sent to all at the same time.
It is better, where possible, to serve the notices on the indorsers in person.
The payee must also be notified.
There is a form of note sometimes used in business which is given without any consideration on the part of the maker. This is known as an "accommodation note."
The maker of such a note does not expect to pay it, nor does the man in whose favor it is drawn expect to do so.
An accommodation note is an instrument by the sale of which, or through a bank, money may be raised for immediate use.
The maker in this case is a friend who loans his name.
As there was no value received such a note could not be collected by the payee.
But if it passes into the hands of a third party, who endorses it, then the maker of the note can be compelled to pay.
A LOST NOTE
A note may be lost or stolen.
The losing of a note does not release the maker from payment of the full amount on the date and at the place named.
The loser should at once notify the maker of his loss.
A man who buys, before its maturity, a lost or stolen note, may collect the full amount from the maker, provided the note is payable to "bearer" and no notice of the loss has been published.
When the maker of a lost note pays the amount to the original owner, he should receive from him what is known as a "bond of indemnity."
This bond is to secure him against paying a second time.
NOTES ABOUT NOTES
There are some things worth remembering about promissory notes.
1. Never give one if you can pay cash. 2. A note made on Sunday is worthless in some states. 3. A note given under compulsion is worthless. 4. Notes made by a drunken person, or obtained by any form of fraud cannot be collected under law. 5. Notes bear interest only when so stated in body of note. 6. The holder of a note has a legal claim against every indorser. 7. Each indorser is responsible to every indorser who follows him. 8. Notes are valid without reference to the kind of paper, or whether they are written with pen or pencil. 9. Losing a note does not release the maker from payment. 10. If no time is set in a note for payment, it becomes due as soon as it is made. 11. Where a note is made in one state and is payable in another, it is governed by the laws of the state in which it is to be paid. 12. Notes payable on demand draw no interest until after they have been presented for payment. 13. If a note reads "with interest" and no rate is specified then it draws the legal interest in the state in which it was made. 14. Demand notes are not entitled to days of grace. 15. If no place of payment is named in a note, it should be presented to the maker personally in business hours. 16. The misspelling of a word or words in no way invalidates a note. 17. If a person who cannot write makes a note his mark should be properly witnessed. 18. The makers of a joint note must be sued jointly. 19. If the words and the figures in a note disagree, the words take precedence. 20. A note signed by a firm may be collected from either of the partners. 21. When a payment is made on a note secured by a mortgage, the amount is endorsed on the note, never on the mortgage. 22. A note given by a minor is void, unless given for actual necessities, like food and clothing. 23. If a note made by a minor is acknowledged when he comes of age it is binding and collectible.
A draft is a written order from the first party to the second party to pay to the third party a certain sum of money at a certain time.
The first party is called the "drawer."
The second party is the "drawee."
The third party is the "payee."
There are two kinds of draft.
The first is usually where the cashier of one bank, through his own check, draws on another bank for the cash difference in their accounts with each other.
The second form of draft is the most usual and is the one we shall here consider.
The cashier's draft is always for cash and the demand is always honored. The ordinary business draft may be for cash or for goods.
The business draft is usually honored, but there are circumstances under which it may be ignored.
TO MAKE A DRAFT
But let us suppose that the draft is all right and that a merchant, let us call him Henry Thomas, and suppose him a resident of Philadelphia, has a bill against James Taylor, of Cleveland, and he wants to collect it, without recourse to law. How will he go about it?
The bill is for $100.
Mr. Thomas writes this draft:
Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 5, 1910. At sight pay to the order of Johnson National Bank of Philadelphia One hundred................... dollars. With exchange and charge same to Henry Thomas. To James Taylor, Cleveland, Ohio.
Having drawn his draft, Mr. Thomas takes it to the Johnson National Bank for collection. The collection is actually made by some bank in Cleveland to which the Johnson has endorsed it over.
If Mr. Thomas wished he might have sent his draft direct to the Cleveland bank, but he no doubt thought it better to transact such matters through his own bank.
Or if Mr. Thomas lived where he was not in touch with a bank, he might have drawn through any person whom he knew in Cleveland.
On receiving the draft for collection, the Cleveland bank would at once give it to a clerk who would without delay present it to Mr. Taylor.
Mr. Taylor, having written his acceptance of the draft, is given three days grace in which to make payment.
In states where days of grace are not allowed, he would have to pay at once.
Mr. Taylor writes the word "accepted," with the date and his name across the face of the draft, and if he does not pay cash, he states in the writing where payment will be made.
Of course, Mr. Taylor cannot be compelled to accept a draft. There may be good and honest reasons for his not doing so, but having accepted it, in business honor he is bound to pay it.
The term "Sight draft" explains itself, but the order to pay a draft may indicate, and often does, the number of days allowed for payment, after presentation.
What should be done by the man to whom a bill or a note is due, when the debtor lives in a place where there is no bank?
In that case he must learn in some way the name of a promising person to make the collection for him.
In this case he makes out the draft as before, and adds the words "for collection." This acts as a bar to any transfer of the paper.
Most banks refuse to handle a draft marked "for collection."
Drafts are not necessarily duns.
Some country merchants prefer to pay their bills to wholesalers in that way, so that collecting drafts is no small part of the business of the ordinary bank.
While men are not compelled to meet drafts when presented, if the amount is due and he defaults or refuses to pay he injures his own credit.
In refusing a just draft he is said to "dishonor" it.
So sure are wholesalers that their drafts will be met by their distant debtors that they do not hesitate to draw against them when deposited for collection, regarding them as cash to their credit in bank.
When a draft is not accepted or paid when due, if it be a time draft, it is protested in the same way as a note.
The protest of a draft serves as a notice to the drawer of its non-acceptance.
Like notes and checks, drafts may be transferred by a similar endorsement.
If I wanted to pay a bill for $150 to Albert Holt, living at Wallace, Kansas, and did not wish to trouble him with a check, how would I go about it?
1. I might express the cash, which would be expensive. 2. I might send it in postal order, not always certain. 3. I might send it by a trusted hand, but might have long to wait before I found a friend going out to Wallace.
I am living in New York City, and am familiar enough with banking to know that New York is a great financial center and is in constant communication with nearly all the outside banks.
The outside banks keep money in deposit here, and the New York banks, particularly in the spring and autumn, keep deposits with their correspondents.
With my $150 and a small extra sum to pay my bank for drawing the draft, I go thither and buy a draft for the sum I owe Mr. Holt.
I mail this draft to my creditor and he can cash it without loss in his home bank. Here is the form:
No. 101. Madison National Bank of New York. Pay to the order of Albert Holt, One hundred and fifty dollars ($150.)... .......... L. N. Jones, Cashier. To Prairie National Bank, Wallace, Kansas.
A GOOD PLAN
When you buy a draft which you mean to send off in payment of a debt, a good plan is to have it made payable to yourself.
Let us suppose it is the case of Albert Holt. You transfer the draft to him by writing across the back, "Pay to the order of Albert Holt," and add your signature.
Now as all drafts are returned, as payment vouchers, to the banks from which they were issued, and as Mr. Holt must have signed the draft to get his money, it follows that there is a record of his having received it, and this has all the force of a receipt.
Do not endorse a draft with just your name, for in that case, anyone into whose hands it falls may collect. First write "Pay to the order of" the person for whom it is intended.
GOOD AS CASH
A draft made payable to yourself is as good as cash, and far safer to carry.
If you are identified at any bank between the Atlantic and Pacific, you can have your draft cashed.
All banks furnish blank drafts.
Never endorse a draft made payable to yourself, and this applies to a check, until you are about to use it.
It is a good plan never to sign your name until it is actually necessary.
Some people have the foolish habit of signing their names on stray bits of paper.
Do not get into this habit, even if there is no space to fill out a note or order above the signature.
As has been before stated, money in its broadest meaning is a medium of exchange.
Anything that can pay a debt or purchase property, in any part of a country, is the money of that country.
Every civilized country has its own minted or printed money.
The usual mediums of circulation are gold, silver, nickel and copper, the latter alloyed more or less in the United States with nickel.
Government and bank bills, while having all the purchasing power of gold, are simply promises to pay in gold, or other coin of "redemption", the amounts they represent.
The money of one country cannot legally be made to pay a debt in another country, unless both parties to the payment agree to it.
When gold is exchanged to settle the balances of trade between two countries, it is not reckoned, if coined, at its face value, but at its bullion value.
The word "pecunia" meant in ancient Greece and Rome a flock or herd.
In those days live stock were used as a medium of exchange, or money.
We keep the word and often use it as in "pecuniary" affairs, and when we call a moneyless man, "impecunious."
UNITED STATES MONEY
The United States Government reserves to itself the right under the constitution, to coin and issue the money to be used by its own people.
Formerly we had two standards of value, gold and silver, or bimetalism.
If gold and silver were produced in relatively equal quantities, the world would go on trading with money of both kinds, but the proportions are not the same.
Among the Aztecs and Peruvians silver ranked with gold as two to one, that is, two pounds of silver would purchase as much as one pound of gold.
But when great silver mines were discovered and new methods were discovered for extracting the metal, it became more and more abundant, till it depreciated far below the former value it had in its relation to gold.
Most of the commercial nations decided to have but one standard of value, and that gold, long before the United States fell into line.
Our money measure is known as the decimal, or metric. It would be convenient, if we could follow the example of nearly all the other commercial nations, and use the metric system for all our weights and measures.
OUR METAL MONEY
In the United States Treasury at Washington, there are many million dollars in silver coins and bullion.
The gold standard has not driven silver out of circulation, for it is still found convenient to use it in settling immediately our smaller business transactions.
When the silver dollar was first coined, and indeed up to the present date, the intention was that it should contain about a dollar's worth of silver, or 374 1/4 Troy grains of the pure metal. This amount of silver was supposed to represent permanently 24 3/4 grains of pure gold, and it did so represent its value at one time, and would have continued to do so, had the relative output of both metals been the same.
Our chief mint is in Philadelphia, where is coined all the copper, nickel, silver, and gold money in use.
To imitate these metals, even where the full value is given, constitutes the criminal offence called "counterfeiting."
In former times, some of our older readers will remember them, the Government meant to have the metal in each coin of about its unstamped value in the market.
In those days the cent was as large as our present silver half dollar, and the copper two-cent piece was a monster in the way of coinage.
Now our copper and nickel coins are small and can be carried without testing strength of pockets. They are regarded as money "tokens."
Silver coins that are punched can be refused in the settlement of a debt.
Punched gold coins should always be refused, for they are never of their face value.
Silver coins may be used in the settlement of bills up to $5.00.
Gold coins are, of course, legal tender up to any amount.
We usually class all paper money as "bills."
There are three classes of bills, all quite different in their inception and meaning. These are—
1. National bank notes. 2. Treasury notes or "greenbacks." 3. Treasury certificates.
A national bank note is the guaranteed promise of some national bank to pay coin or its equivalent to any one presenting the note at the bank and asking to have the exchange made.
This exchange is called "redeeming."
If you examine a bank bill you will notice that it is drawn much like an ordinary business "demand" note, made payable to "bearer," and signed by the bank president and cashier.
For every dollar of its own sent out in the form of a bill by a national bank, the Government holds a dollar of the bank's collateral to guarantee the redemption of the note if the bank should fail.
National bank notes are received in all business transactions, because they are secured by the Government, yet there are cases in which even the Government will not receive them in payment of a claim, nor pay them out itself.
1. All import duties must be paid in gold. 2. The Government pays the interest on its own bonds in gold.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing—a department of the United States Treasury—makes and prints all the national bank notes.
On all these notes the names of the United States Treasurer and the United States Register appear. The names look like signatures, but they are facsimilies and are printed with the note.
The notes are printed on specially prepared paper, to imitate which is regarded as a counterfeit.
Soiled and worn out bank notes may be exchanged for fresh ones at the Treasury Department.
Greenbacks are treasury notes. The name comes from the color in which they first appeared in the years of our Civil War.
The treasury note is really an engraved promissory note of the United States Government made payable to the bearer, and bearing the signatures of the Treasurer and Register of the Treasury.
These notes are issued in denominations of from five to ten thousand dollars.
Formerly there were one and two-dollar treasury notes issued, and we still find some of these "old-timers" in circulation.
There are so many treasury notes in circulation that the Government, vast though its bullion and coin reserves are, could not redeem them if presented at once.
The treasury note is a legal tender for any amount of indebtedness.
The Government prints the following guarantee on every treasury note:
"This note is, by law, to be considered as good as coin. Any one to whom you pay it must reckon it as equivalent to a dollar (or face value in dollars) in value."
The treasury certificate is, in form, very much like the treasury note, and it bears the signatures of the same officers.
Treasury certificates are of two kinds, gold and silver.
The gold certificates are printed in yellow.
The silver certificates are light black and white.
These certificates are issued against the great reserves of gold and silver that are kept to redeem them.
The use of the gold certificate saves the loss of the gold that comes through abrasion when handled.
A five-dollar silver certificate is much more convenient to carry than five silver dollars.
These certificates, as may be seen, are issued for the convenience of the public.
Certificates of either character will be redeemed to any amount, in the metals for which they call, if presented at the United States Treasury at Washington, or at any of the sub-treasuries to be found in our larger cities.
Only those familiar with the work can realize the great quantities of bank bills, treasury notes, and certificates continually being made and sent out from Washington.
While a stream of clean, fresh paper of enormous value is going out to be spread all over the country, another stream of soiled, torn and altogether disreputable-looking paper is flowing back to the Treasury.
The filthy paper is quite as valuable as the clean, so it is properly checked, recorded, and credited before new paper is sent out in its place.
They are now trying to make old bills presentable by washing them at the Department. Meanwhile, most of them are ground again into pulp, made into new paper, and all the first processes gone through with to make the paper into money.
OUR POSTAL BUSINESS
Up to a few years ago, it was the city, town and village dweller who reaped the greatest benefit from the post office.
In dense communities carriers leave the mail at the place to which it is addressed. Where this is not done the walk for the mail is not far.
Now the purpose of our Government, which is of the people and by the people, is to treat all the people alike.
However, up to a few years ago the farmer, our most essential producer, had not a fair deal.
Fortunately things have changed and are still changing for the better.
Rural Free Delivery was an idea as just as it was grand, and as welcome as it was necessary.
The good work began October 1, 1896.
The purpose of rural free delivery is to accommodate dwellers in the country, whether farmers or not.
Through this branch of the service mails are carried daily, on fixed lines of travel, to people who otherwise would have to go long distances to reach a post office.
The Government requires that the states or counties shall keep in good condition the roads traversed by the mail carriers.
Gates must not obstruct, and it is required that every unfordable stream shall be bridged.
It is further required, as a condition for establishing a line for rural free delivery, that each route of twenty-four or more miles in length shall have at least one hundred families resident on either side.
CLASSIFIED MAIL MATTER
Mail matter is divided into four classes. For each class a different rate is charged.
First Class:—All letters, and all other written matter, with a few exceptions, pay two cents for each ounce, or fraction of an ounce.
Second Class:—Newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals, one cent for each four ounces or fraction of four ounces. Publishers of periodicals, sending direct from place of publication, get a lower rate,—one cent a pound.
Third Class:—Books, circulars, and other printed matter, one cent for two ounces or fraction of two ounces.
Fourth Class:—Merchandise and miscellaneous articles, weighing not over four pounds, one cent for each ounce or fraction of an ounce.
1. On a tag, or the paper on which the address is written, the sender of third class matter may write "from" and add his own name and address. 2. On the blank leaf of a book, forwarded as third class matter, the sender may write a dedication or inscription, but it must not be in the form of a letter. 3. Fourth class matter must be so wrapped that the postal authorities can examine the contents without much trouble. 4. Such articles as glass, nails, needles or other matter that might work injury if it came loose, must be enclosed in two separate wrappings, or a double case. 5. Poisons, explosives, inflammable substances, and live animals are excluded from the mails. 6. Firearms may only be sent in detached parts. 7. All alcoholic liquors are regarded as explosive.
The rates to Canada are the same for all classes of matter as in the United States, except that seeds, scions, bulbs, cuttings, and roots are one cent per ounce.
To Cuba all the rates are the same as for domestic matter.
Rates with Mexico are the same as if mailed between our own states. Packages are limited to 4 pounds 6 ounces, except that single books may weigh more. Merchandise must be sent by parcel post.
To all other countries, in what is known as the "Postal Union", the rates for letters are five cents for each half ounce or fraction thereof.
Postal cards two cents each, double four cents.
Registration fees or letters or other articles, four cents each.
Ordinary letters for foreign countries, except Canada, Cuba and Mexico, must be forwarded, whether any postage is paid on them or not.
All other mailable matter must be prepaid.
Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Tetuila, the Philippines and Porto Rico are regarded as insular or territorial possessions of the United States, and are entitled to the same postal rates.
Postage stamps may be purchased at any United States post office, or at any place authorized to sell them.
Anyone may sell postage stamps as he would any other personal asset.
If stamps are bought to be enclosed in a letter, they should never be of a higher denomination than twos and ones, as they are easily disposed of.
Letters should always be stamped on the upper right-hand corner of the envelope.
Packages should be stamped in the same way and on the addressed side.
The using of cancelled stamps is a felony.
Foreign stamps have no value on letters or parcels mailed in the United States.
A domestic, unstamped letter will not be forwarded.
If a stamped letter is found to require more postage, the amount lacking is stamped on the letter, and must be paid by the receiver.
Stamped envelopes and stamped wrappers are sold by the post office at the usual rates of postage, with the cost of the paper added.
If a stamped envelope or wrapper is spoiled, the stamp must not be cut off and used by pasting on another envelope or wrapper, for it will be treated as if no postage were paid.
Such spoiled wrappers or envelopes will be exchanged, without charge, by the postmaster, for stamps of the same value.
Never use a postal card to dun a debtor.
Never send a confidential message on a postal card.
Foreign postal cards, that is those bearing a foreign stamp, cannot be used in the United States.