This Day in Financial History - January 2 . . .


1870 - The first known female-owned U.S. stock brokerage is launched, as sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennie Claflin open their Woodhull, Claflin & Co. at 44 Broad St. in Manhattan. Bedeviled by rumors that it is merely a front for Woodhull's supposed lover, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, the firm does not survive long. "It is probably only in the matrimonial line that women can become successful speculators," sneers broker Henry Clews. Source: www.jasonzweig.com

1882 - On this day in 1882, John D. Rockefeller officially united his Standard Oil Company with its various producing, refining, and marketing affiliates to form the Standard Oil Trust, the nationís first sanctioned monopoly. Indeed, the Standard Oil Trust was a behemoth that effectively dominated the oil industry. Under the terms of the Standard Oil Trust Agreement, brokered by Rockefeller and eight other trustees, the oil giant could be acquired, sold, combined or divided as necessary. While this was all good for Standard Oilís trustees, the companyís cutthroat tactics raised the ire of certain legislators, as well as some sectors of the public. In 1892, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of splitting Standard Oilís monopoly, though Rockefeller was able to maintain the companyís choke-hold on the industry by shifting its holdings to companies located in other states. In 1899, Rockefeller formally reunited these companies under the New Jersey-based Standard Oil Company. However, the passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), which was a byproduct of the growing distaste for Standard Oilís hard-driving practices, finally spelled the end of the companyís monopoly. In 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Standard Oil was illegal under the terms of the Sherman Act and forced the company to shed its primary holdings. Source: www.history.com

1919 - The New York Stock Exchange installed a separate ticker to track bond trading on this day in 1919. Source: www.history.com





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