Frederick W. Beinecke, mid-1950s

Frederick W. Beinecke, mid-1950s

Frederick W. Beinecke


Frederick W. Beinecke nurtured, along with his two brothers and lifelong business partners Edwin and Walter, The Sperry & Hutchinson Company (S&H) of New York City, the leading trading stamp company in the United States.

Frederick W. Beinecke (born April 12, 1887 in New York City, NY; died July 30, 1971 in Great Barrington, MA) [1] (known as “Fritz” to family and friends) nurtured, along with his two brothers and lifelong business partners Edwin and Walter, The Sperry & Hutchinson Company (S&H) of New York City. The United States’ leading trading stamp company, S&H and their “Green Stamps” redemption coupons became one of the most successful and recognizable symbols of post-Second World War American consumer culture. Their father, German-born hotelier Bernhard, instilled a strong sense of careful investment, corporate responsibility, and civic duty in his sons. Edwin, Fritz, and Walter were passionate rare book collectors who donated much of their personal wealth, collections, spare time and energy to furthering Yale University’s academic goals. Today, the architecturally stunning Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library stands as one of the world’s greatest repositories of early and historic documents, images, and artifacts.

Frederick W. Beinecke was born on April 12, 1887 to Johann Bernhard Georg Beinecke (April 22, 1846–December 20, 1932) and Johanna Elisabeth Beinecke (née Weigle) (1858–March 21, 1938) in New York City. The Beineckes managed a large household, eventually comprising Frederick (known as “Fritz” to family and friends) and five siblings: Bernhard (June 15, 1876–July 9, 1936), Alice (December 23, 1881–January 12, 1954), Theodora (August 9, 1883–April 12, 1940), Edwin (January 6, 1886–January 21, 1970), and Walter (May 4, 1888–September 3, 1958). A sixth sibling, Johanna, was born on November 2, 1882, but died two months short of her fourth birthday.

Bernhard Beinecke grew up in Elberfeld, near Wuppertal, Germany, before immigrating through Castle Garden to New York City in 1865.[2] Only nineteen on arrival, he soon demonstrated his natural business prowess. Bernhard signed on as a wagon driver for a meat concern; within a few short years he bought the company and appropriately renamed it Beinecke & Company.[3] The company’s growth, in turn, introduced Bernhard to New York society. On April 12, 1875, he married Johanna Elisabeth Weigle at the German Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He spent the next fifteen years gradually expanding and cementing his company’s position in the city’s vital meat packing industry. These efforts culminated with the 1890 acquisition of rival firms Ottman & Company and T. C. Eastman Company, Limited. Beinecke & Company assumed control of New York City’s largest stockyard, located along Fifty-Ninth Street and the Hudson River.[4]

The United States witnessed tremendous mobility at the turn of the twentieth century, a period of globalization known as the “Belle Époque” (“Beautiful Age”). The upper and middle classes traveled more than ever before, and major cities were redeveloped in gentrification movements under such visionaries as Frederick Law Olmsted. Delivering meats to New York City’s major hotels, Bernhard quickly appreciated the opportunities awaiting him in this burgeoning market.[5] In 1890, he purchased the (then-unfinished) Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue at the southeast corner of Central Park. Profits from the Plaza led Beinecke and his board to construct the Manhattan Hotel in 1896. By 1901, he decided to demolish and rebuild the still-young Plaza Hotel. With Harry S. Black, president of the George A. Fuller Construction Company and its parent company, the United States Realty and Improvement Company, and nationally recognized hotelier Fred Sterry (who became The Plaza’s first director), Beinecke tore down the fifteen-year-old building in 1905 and replaced it with a magnificent complex later described as “the most elegant hotel in America.”[6] Designed by the nation’s leading hotel architect, Henry J. Hardenbergh, creator of the Manhattan and Waldorf-Astoria hotels in New York City and the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., no expense was spared in building and furnishing The Plaza.[7] Handmade Irish linen, French Baccarat-produced glassware, and carefully selected English oak panels were imported to recreate the “effect of a French chateau.”[8] The board of the United States Realty Trust Company, the Plaza Operating Company’s parent entity, included such leading financiers as James Stillman (National City Bank of New York, now Citibank), John W. Gates (affiliated with the Texas Company, now Texaco), Charles M. Schwab, and William F. Havemeyer.[9] On its opening day, Alfred Vanderbilt signed the register book first; Bernhard and his family were the third. Within the first months, many of America’s elite family dynasties, from the Vanderbilts and George Gould to Benjamin Duke and Oliver Harriman, had taken up semi-permanent rooms in The Plaza.[10] In only twenty-five years, Bernhard had transformed himself from a youthful immigrant into one of New York City’s most influential entrepreneurs. Over the next decade, he expanded his hotel empire, including the crosstown Savoy Plaza and Boston’s famed Copley Plaza.[11] Under Bernhard’s direction, the Plazas became the first high-end hotel chain in the United States. The hotel chain’s success also deepened the Beineckes’ relationship with the Fuller Company. The Fuller Construction Company, founded in 1882, had established itself as the United States’ foremost builder of skyscrapers. Before constructing The Plaza, Fuller had already completed the New York Times building and the famous Flatiron skyscraper at 175 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan.[12] IIn 1966, the Beineckes still held the largest share block in the construction firm that in New York City alone had gone on to build both Pennsylvania Station and the United Nations headquarters.[13]

Early Days

Fritz and his siblings came of age in this exciting environment. Fritz’s son, William S. Beinecke, later described his grandfather as “a man of astounding energy, ability, acumen, and audacity,” traits he inculcated in his children from an early age. Edwin, Fritz, and Walter, in particular, took this to heart, remaining both intimate friends and business colleagues for their entire lives.[14] In New York City, the brothers lived in a well-appointed townhouse on 47 East 78th Street (and later West 76th Street). But their favorite place was Oscawanna, the Beineckes’ country residence, situated near Peekskill on the Hudson River.[15] Summers were spent with tutors and friends at Oscawanna, or on trips to Western Europe.[16] A 1902 trip, for instance, included Belgian windmills, Pompeii, the Rhine River Valley, Pisa, Berlin, and the Doge’s Palace in Venice.[17] The brothers, who learned to speak fluent German from their parents at an early age, first attended Columbia Grammar School, a private primary school originally established by Columbia University. There, they proved to be strong students; Fritz joined the chess club and was elected president of the school’s Hawthorne Literary and Debating Society. He continued on to Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, a preparatory school long favored with the New England elite. Wryly known as the “good-natured Dutchman” for his Saxon stature by fellow students, he perfected his sports abilities, musical talents, and expertise in German and Latin.[18]

Fritz entered Yale in the fall of 1905. By the end of the nineteenth century Yale, along with Harvard and Princeton, had become a bastion of wealthy American families. At the turn of the twentieth century, sixty-five percent of New York City’s elite sent their sons to the “Big Three.”[19] American higher education was only just beginning to undergo the momentous process that would eventually transform universities into centers of academic rigor, rather than sites of social training. Young men of the right backgrounds were expected to hold “elevated tastes in art and literature as well as manifestly amateur skills in athletics.”[20] Demonstrated academic abilities fell somewhat further down the priority list.[21] The Beinecke brothers however bucked this stereotype. Fritz had always been an outstanding student, and initially hoped to pursue classics at Yale. But his mind was soon drawn to engineering problems, and he formally switched into Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School (now merged into Yale College of Arts and Sciences and Yale School of Engineering).[22] He received general department honors, graduated summa cum laude, and was inducted into Sigma Xi, the national engineering honor society.[23] Friends knew him as a natural tinkerer, and he was also a member of the football team that led Yale to victory over Princeton in the November 15, 1908 final.[24] Cecil Rhodes, who on his deathbed in 1902 had established the famed scholarship for scholar-athletes that would bear his name, might have been delighted if Fritz had applied to Oxford.

Diverse Investments

Fritz wanted to prove himself before entering his family’s businesses. After graduating, he joined the Bethlehem Steel Corporation as an inspector.[25] But the job’s dullness soon motivated him to renew his search for work, and in early 1910 he became a rodman for the New York Central Railroad (NYCR). For $40 a week (or $947 in 2010 dollars), he operated technical equipment for a survey party.[26] Like his father, management soon noticed his skillful leadership; within months Fritz was appointed an assistant supervisor for the NYCR.[27] He designed signs warning passers-by of the newly electrified railroad tracks. This, evidently, was a boring task for the energetic young engineer, for he mischievously fashioned the sign with a small Latin phrase at the bottom. No one thought the addition of the “Cave Canem” was out of place until the NYCR’s general counsel realized sometime later that it meant “Beware of the Dog.”[28]His brief foray with Bethlehem Steel had not proven fruitless, however. On weekends off he took the morning Lehigh Valley railroad to Cranford, New Jersey. There, he courted twenty-year-old Caroline Regina Sperry, a daughter of William and Caroline Sperry. An intelligent, lively young woman, Caroline (known as “Carrie” to family and friends) had spent her formative years at The Ogontz School for Young Ladies, a prestigious finishing academy that later educated Amelia Earhart. They married in Cranford on November 14, 1912 and took up residence at 817 West End Avenue in New York City, where their son William was born on May 22,.[29] Their marriage would last nearly sixty years and forge one of America’s largest companies.

The next three years finally provided Fritz with opportunities to put his ample energy and intelligence to work. In 1911, he was appointed chief engineer for the Red Hook Light and Power Company, based near Poughkeepsie, New York and responsible for electric power throughout the Hudson River Valley.[30] This time, he was tasked with an engineering problem more suited to his strong talent. Red Hook hoped to construct an important hydroelectric power facility at Roeliff Jansen Kill, a Hudson tributary northeast of Poughkeepsie and Kingston. For months, he rode up to Roeliff Jansen Kill on his motorcycle, itself a toy he loved tinkering with, to direct the reshaping of the local streams, and dam and powerhouse construction.[31]

His success with Red Hook earned him a partnership offer in early 1914 from the Washington Power Works in New York City. At the time, Washington Power was seeking new, more efficient methods of oil burning for ocean-going vessels. In so doing, they hoped to expand into a lucrative market. The fastest transatlantic liners, including RMS Olympic, RMS Aquitania, RMS Mauretania, and the German SS Imperator, all burnt vast quantities of coal. Coal-fired ships required frequent refueling, forcing ships into the nearest port and restricting transoceanic operations. An oil-based system was far more efficient, but required pressurized air to be forced through a burner in order to increase the fire’s heat and hence the amount of steam released for propulsion. The system’s efficiency, however, required the disintegration of the oil into droplets, a mechanism that had yet to be effectively designed. Fritz helped engineer a solution: a “power atomizer” fuel injector, separating the oil into a mist continuously sprayed into the burner.[32] Both his work and that of others played a role in the First World War: in the Dreadnought-building competition before 1914, American and European navies clamored to convert their fleets to oil.[33] His work on the power atomizer piqued the interest of the Texas Company, which was eager to take advantage of developments in energy and petroleum engineering.[34] The Texas Company soon hired Fritz as director of its New York City vehicle division, gaining both his energy knowledge and management experience.

The coming of war did not at first threaten Fritz’s young family. General prosperity continued to flourish, particularly in the burgeoning cities.[35] He spent weekends with family, or fixing his car, or fishing, hunting, and boating with Edwin and Walter.[36] In 1915 the family moved to a suburban house in Cranford, New Jersey, away from Manhattan’s chaotic atmosphere.[37] William’s brother Richard was born there in 1917.[38] After the American entrance into the war, Fritz registered with the Draft Office on June 5, 1917.[39] He was not called up until a week before the Armistice; on November 2, 1918 the War Department commissioned him as a captain in the Quartermaster Corps, with responsibilities over construction projects and logistics.[40] Some months later, the family watched from the windows of The Plaza Hotel as returning American servicemen paraded up Fifth Avenue.[41] Fritz remained on the reserve list until 1929.[42]

Drawing on his German industrial roots, Bernhard trained his sons to be astute businessmen. Fritz carefully and constantly monitored the market for the next big opportunity. By the end of the First World War, much of the Texas Company’s profits increasingly derived from automobile gasoline, rather than such traditional mainstays as railroads and ships. From his position in charge of The Texas Company’s New York City vehicle and horse-drawn carriage division, Fritz had become very familiar with the fledgling automobile industry. After a brief stint working for Studebaker Corporation, in 1919 he and two associates, Ira Jones and Frank Sholes, struck out on their own, establishing the Studebaker Sales Company of Newark, New Jersey.[43]

The Studebaker Sales Company of Newark was not a directly owned Studebaker subsidiary: the Company sold both directly to consumers and acted as a middleman distributor to smaller dealerships.[44] In this capacity, Fritz and his partners developed their enterprise into one of the largest Studebaker retailers of its kind outside Los Angeles (which had secured an early lead in general automobile demand). His company performed remarkably well, riding the postwar economic boom.

When Fritz invested in Studebaker, the Indiana-based motor company was at the height of its success. In 1916, a year before the United States’ entrance into the First World War, Studebaker’s profits reached record highs. And only eighteen months after the end of the war, sales had already recovered to near-1916 levels: 51,474 vehicles for a pre-expenditure income of $90.7 million (or $985 million in 2010 dollars).[45] Fritz’s Los Angeles counterpart, Paul G. Hoffman, inculcated the city’s strong car culture. In response to increasing traffic problems, he was appointed chair of the County’s road committees, responsible for road design, management, and planning. Hoffman hired the Olmsted firm to design new road systems, thus increasing consumer confidence in vehicle safety, and increasing purchases of new vehicles.[46] By 1920, Studebaker cemented its position in the motor industry with such popular cars as the attractively designed and priced forty-horsepower Special Six.[47] Confident of future demand, Fritz stayed in the Studebaker business for nearly a decade before divesting himself of his interest in the Newark firm in 1928.

Sperry and Hutchinson

Fritz’s father had long practiced a cautious approach to business, never investing his entire capital in a single venture. Fritz and his brothers followed this logic, spreading their talent and investments in several enterprises. All three had begun working in The Plaza from youth, and retained ownership stakes.[48] But Edwin, Fritz, and Walter were about to embark on an entirely new venture, a corporation that would eventually be listed on the Fortune 500 Index and become synonymous with commercial savings.

When Fritz wed Carrie Sperry in 1912, he married into a prosperous, self-made business family. Her uncle, Thomas A. Sperry, shared Bernhard Beinecke’s entrepreneurial talent. At seventeen, he found a job with a Bridgeport, Connecticut–based silverware firm as a traveling salesman. “His work carried him over a large part of the United States,” S&H president George Caldwell recalled in 1921, “and he had a rare opportunity to study the subject [of maximizing sales] under varying conditions and from all angles.”[49] The coupons concept, then quite new in business, deeply interested Sperry. He spent much of his free time between 1891 and 1896 learning about a newly created type of coupon known as the trading stamp.

In early 1896, Sperry partnered with Shelley Hutchinson, a Baltimore businessman, to form the Sperry and Hutchinson Company (S&H) in Jackson, Michigan.[50] Caldwell waxed lyrical about the company’s rapid success: “It is sufficient to say that the plan swept like prairie fire, ran up the Hudson River to Albany, over the trail of the Indian through the Mohawk Valley to Buffalo, and then across our vast deserts and over and through the mountains until we reached the great Pacific.”[51] Dramatic prose aside, Sperry and Hutchinson’s experiment paid rapid dividends. The trading stamp idea was remarkably simple yet elegant. A customer received a number of postage-sized stamps for every purchase he or she made with a participating vendor. After customers had collected a sufficient number of stamps (normally quantified in terms of x stamp books filled), they could redeem them with the stamp company for products. The system was designed to be mutually beneficial: merchants paid the stamp company to participate (usually a small percentage of their earnings). In exchange, the stamp company provided stamps to be given with customers’ purchases; the incentive to collect stamps (and receive gifts) would drive up consumer demand for merchants, who could reap higher profits.[52] Each stamp corresponded to a ten-cent purchase; a book held twelve hundred stamps, or the equivalent of one hundred and twenty dollars in purchases necessary for stamp collection.[53] The refinement, William Beinecke recalled, “was to have a company make the stamps available to a variety of merchants and then redeem them at the company.”[54]

On February 1, 1897, the first Green Stamp redemption center opened at 42 Cannon Street, Bridgeport under the short-lived name of Merchants’ Supply Company.[55] An 1897 S&H financial statement submitted to the Bradstreet Company suggested the cautious but optimistic path the company hoped to pursue. Instead of taking out loans, Sperry and Hutchinson each contributed $7,500 ($203,000 in 2010 dollars) from savings in startup costs, and paid for nearly everything in cash, not credit.[56] By 1902, S&H had opened a number of redemption centers and offices across the United States in response to popular demand, often under local names. Their model was prudent yet effective. Only a few employees were required to manage any single office or redemption center; funds could instead be invested into Green Stamp books and an ever-enlarging selection of products.[57] S&H prudently selected where to advertise. From at least 1904, the company published large advertisements in key markets: middle class women (The Ladies’ Home Journal), businessmen and professionals (The Saturday Evening Post) and the early “mass-market” monthly Munsey’s Magazine.[58]

The burgeoning trading stamp industry, led by S&H, bothered some merchants and state governments. Puck criticized trading stamps in a 1905 cartoon: a hungry fox attempted to coerce naïve, trading stamp-carrying pigs into his dark cave.[59] Companies argued that: (1) trading stamps would provide an inordinate advantage to participating vendors, breaching the limits of ‘healthy competition,’ ultimately at the consumer’s expense; and (2) consumers would unknowingly be entering a contract. But in a series of court cases in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Louisiana, and New Jersey, state courts agreed that laws barring the distribution or redemption of trading stamps were unconstitutional as they violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee to protect Americans’ right to fairness, choice, equal opportunity, and right of due process. By enacting anti-trading stamps legislation, courts ruled, the state had exceeded its “police power” authority.[60] New Jersey’s legislature subsequently passed a bill protecting consumers’ right to use trading stamps.[61] These legal obstacles did little to stem public interest in trading stamps. A letter from the Tokyo Fish Market in Los Angeles to another, unnamed company (and copied to S&H), sent around 1907, typified merchants’ response:

I understand that you wish to use Green Stamps at your store and I think it is a very desirable option to have the stamps for the promotion of sales. We had been using the stamps ever since we opened the store continuously [sic] as a service to our customers. The stamps have been extremely well received by them. As you well know, this is a stamp that is being given away by many retailers. Therefore it can be saved quickly as far as the customers are concerned, so they are very enthusiastic about saving them.[62]

S&H’s in-house magazine, S&H Topics [later The Sperry Magazine (1915–1916), The Sperry System (1916–1919), and The Sperry Service (1919 onward)], reprinted such correspondence to boost employee morale and its own populist image.[63]

The company strove to establish itself as a purveyor of quality goods. Michel A. Levy, an upmarket shoe retailer in Santa Barbara, California, accepted S&H Green Stamps for discounts off Laird Schober shoes for women, Johnson & Murphy shoes for men, and J. Edwards shoes for children.[64] In department stores, which had begun to change how Americans shopped for and bought merchandise, S&H erected elaborate “push-button catalogs.” In a concept reconstituted by department stores a century later with touchscreen computer terminals, customers could press a button on the face of a wooden box to view images of selected, “premium” S&H items. The company also installed these devices in their own redemption centers.[65] By 1914, the trading stamp industry volume had grown to an estimated $25 million per year ($563 million in 2010 dollars). S&H established an early lead it would never forfeit.

Thomas Sperry died prematurely at age forty-nine, a victim of accidental ptomaine poisoning from a European trip.[66] His brother, Carrie’s father William, immediately assumed the S&H presidency. After only a year at the helm, he passed S&H’s daily management on to George Caldwell, but retained a forty-nine percent stock interest and his boardroom seat.[67] Fritz had not been the only Beinecke brother to marry a Sperry daughter. On February 17, 1917, Walter wed Katherine (Katie) Sperry, S&H founder Thomas Sperry’s eldest child.[68] When Thomas had died in 1913, Katie was only about twenty years old. According to William, Thomas in his will stipulated that his four children could not vote on their inherited S&H shares until they reached the age of thirty. In the interim, Thomas’s widow Kate, who remarried a Mr. Goodrich, controlled the other fifty-one percent of S&H’s shares.[69]

Although S&H enjoyed a swift rise, it remained a relatively small company. Management shuffles and intermittent legal disputes meant that S&H’s survival was by no means ensured. Although a first run of half a million copies of their general magazine quickly sold out when published in October 1915, World War I leveled off both profit and capital growth.[70] Nonetheless, in a February 8, 1918 letter to Caldwell, William Sperry expressed some surprise that S&H had survived as well as it did: “[I]t is gratifying to learn that we really made a profit in 1917.”[71] But Sperry was eager to transfer his S&H stake and retire to Florida. Hoping to place additional investment and long-term stability into the company, in late 1917 he entered negotiations with his son-in-law Fritz and his brothers Edwin and Walter to purchase his minority share in the company. Although S&H endured the war intact and enjoyed similar public interest as in the prewar years, it remained “[a] very modest enterprise. Its significance paled before other activities in which the [Beinecke] brothers were engaged.”[72] Edwin had moved to the top of the larger Fuller Construction Company, and was destined to eventually take the helm of its parent entity, U.S. Realty Corporation.[73] Only later did the Beinecke brothers devote their full attention to S&H and its potential.

The transaction was not without mishap. Sperry’s offer to the Beineckes angered S&H president Caldwell, who felt cheated that none of the shares were first offered to him. In a February 2 letter, he noted the brothers’ youth and vigor, but questioned whether they would actually enjoy the stamp business. In response to this confusion, Fritz wrote to his father-in-law, “In conversation with Edwin, Mr. Caldwell seemed to feel that you did not offer him the stock in good faith. Of course, I know that this is only a subterfuge, but in order to clarify this misunderstanding, I think it advisable to write Mr. Caldwell.”[74] Tensions among Caldwell, Sperry, and the Beineckes escalated. On February 15 Caldwell complained to Sperry that,

When I wrote to you I did not know the price you sold it at. Let me congratulate you on selling it to your son-in-law at so good a price and let me assure you that I would not buy the stock at half that price. Nor would anyone else, therefore we are naturally put in a state of suspicion on the deal because I cannot believe that the Beinecke boys are not good traders and must therefore come to the conclusion that they bought something that they did not know the value of…let me assure you that the way this transaction looks from my desk that it is a bit shady and I say this because I cannot see the motive for it…I cannot believe that you would attempt to sell Fritz Beinecke your holdings…there is a great deal of doubt of it [the Green Stamps] being able to get by the various state legislatures so as to be able to do business.[75]

On the surface, Caldwell’s charge of nepotism is enticing, but deeper investigation reveals several key problems. First, Caldwell explicitly did not question the Beinecke brothers’ business acumen, but rather only the price at which they bought Sperry’s shares. Second, Caldwell’s obvious lack of confidence in S&H’s future probably enhanced Sperry’s hesitance to offer him a stake in the company. The Beinecke brothers, on the other hand, had already proven their commercial expertise in a variety of industries, were trusted members of Sperry’s extended family, and were backed by a considerable, stable, and carefully invested fortune. Finally, Caldwell’s behavior appears to have been orchestrated by Kate Goodrich who maintained her late husband’s majority interest and, Fritz contended, as early as 1913 had voiced her concerns that the Beinecke brothers, not her, would eventually be favored in any corporate shakeup.[76] Sperry, nonetheless, was delighted with the new arrangement, formalized by the Babbage & Sanders law firm of New York City in July 1919.[77] Although the deal transferred an estimated forty-nine percent of S&H shares to the Beinecke brothers, it was not until summer 1923 that the family would obtain controlling interest in the company. In June, Katie turned thirty, and almost immediately exercised her newly empowered right to vote. She voted her shares alongside her husband Walter, as well as Fritz, and Edwin, thus finally providing the Beineckes with majority stock ownership.[78] In anticipation of her inevitable decision, Caldwell had formally retired from the S&H presidency on January 1, 1923.[79] The three brothers borrowed funds to purchase the rest of the stock (a loan they quickly repaid with strong S&H dividends). The Beineckes divided S&H into sixths; each husband and wife received one-sixth of the company, respectively.[80]

Years of Ups and Downs

S&H only comprised one of the Beinecke brothers’ holdings.[81] It remained a stable firm through much of the 1920s, and consumers responded very positively to the firm’s coupons and product offerings. Consumers purchased and redeemed an ever-increasing number of Green Stamps. A May 16, 1921 letter from a Chamber of Commerce in distant Terrell, Texas testified to their growing popularity:

[H]aving consulted some of our business men whose firms have done business with your company; and, as a result of this investigation, said committee has issue to your Mr. E. W. Bowden a certificate stating that his proposition is legitimate and above board and advising our business men that, in the opinion of the committee, they will make no mistake in patronizing him if his proposition [of using Green Stamps] appeals to their requirements.[82]

On January 1, 1923 Caldwell finally vacated the S&H presidency to the Beineckes.[83] Edwin retired from his position as president of Henry Maurer & Son, a large brick-maker and fireproofing concern, to become S&H president.[84] Fritz, then fully engaged with Studebaker and his other concerns, did not become fully involved with S&H until the early 1930s, when his own financial losses during the Depression galvanized him to enter the trading-stamp business.[85] In the interim, Edwin and Vernon C. Brown, who managed daily operations, continued William Sperry’s cautious growth policies, introducing Green Stamps into new markets and expanding their merchandise inventory as demand warranted.[86] For America’s middle and upper classes, the dynamic 1920s proved profitable, exciting, risky, and entrepreneurial.[87] Writing in The Sperry Service, Edwin pressured their employees to invest in Green Stamps, propose creative new uses for them, and to maintain traditional salesmanship.[88] In 1925, Fritz and Carrie moved to Madison, New Jersey, where William and Richard would spend much of the rest of their childhood. Here he maintained his control of the Studebaker office and travelled to New York City to attend S&H meetings.[89]

The S&H 1926–1927 catalog exemplified the Company’s expanded offerings. One of the best surviving examples of pre-Depression S&H catalogs, the 1926–1927 edition directly marketed to the burgeoning middle class, many able to purchase luxury goods for the first time. Housewives could select from a variety of complete silverware sets, ranging from colonial Puritan-inspired designs to deeply embellished bas-relief collections. Camping equipment was available for days out with the family, as well as waffle presses and electric heaters for leisurely Sunday brunches. Clocks available for every room could be procured, along with dozens of towel, sheet, and bedding types. For businessmen, long-standing pen manufacturer Parker partnered with S&H to sell its famed fountain pens; Kodak and Amsco negotiated similar arrangement for cameras. Belber provided leather travel goods, professional briefcases, and umbrellas for both men and women. Children flipped to the back of the catalog to view the latest Lionel and American Flyer railroad sets, Erector kits, and Winslow ice skates.[90]

In late 1928 Fritz sold his shares in the Studebaker Sales Company of Newark. The company had remained remarkably stable, even if not as profitable as it had been in the early 1920s.[91] But the automobile business no longer interested him. Fritz, as had been noted at Yale two decades previously, was a natural problem-solver, eager for new challenges. S&H would finally become that new adventure. Looking back at the Great Depression, it was sadly ironic Fritz decided that 1929 was the year to branch out into Wall Street. In March, the Bankers Bond and Mortgage Company, on whose board Fritz served, bought and merged three smaller financial firms and opened New York operations worth over $42 million (or $535 million in 2010 dollars) via a subsidiary, Manhattan Mortgage and Guaranty Company.[92] Two weeks later, Fritz, Charles B. Coady, M. F. MacQuoid, Frederick F. Turrell, and Harold M. Ward established Coady, Beinecke & Co., expanding on MacQuoid and Coady’s existing firm.[93] Portentously, the Wall Street Journal announced the new partnership on April Fools’ Day. The new company immediately reapplied for and obtained membership with the New York Stock Exchange and Curb Market, and began trading operations. In October, the stock market crashed, precipitating a global depression.

“Prosperity was at an end,” London School of Economics professor Lionel Robbins recalled in 1935. The market collapse dramatically halted the “roaring twenties” in America.[94] The stock exchange disaster did not at first harm Fritz. William remembered that his father continued managing Coady, Beinecke & Co., and the family spent summer holidays in 1930 and 1931 in Westhampton, on Long Island.[95] But Fritz and Carrie’s income gradually began to dry up. His Wall Street brokerage desperately sought new clients, without much success. By February 1930 Fritz’s finances were pinched. In a letter to William’s school, the Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut, he offered a $500 donation (or $6,530 in 2010 dollars) to help defray the institution’s own financial troubles. He nonetheless added that their request had arrived “during the stock market debacle, and [for some period] I felt that I could not at that time do anything concrete for the school.”[96] He remained surprisingly patient, however, moving from one corporate problem to another. Finding calm in poetry, a favorite pastime, he published an exhortation entitled “A Call to Action” in the March 26, 1933, New York Times:

Our wilderness was conquered;
Our railroads pierced or scaled
the mountains because we believed in
the future, because we had abiding
faith in our own resourcefulness.
Let us again venture forth in search
of new conquests. Let us not rest
in seeming security. Let us not
measure each new venture in terms
of certain returns. Let us build our
highways for our sons and daughters.
Let us clean out the slums of
our crowded cities, and let us rear
these monuments with courage
with daring and let us be as brave
and venturesome as the pioneers;
but let us be the pioneers of better
civilization, a happier people and a
great and glorious democracy.[97]

Unfortunately the worst was yet to come. In early 1933 Studebaker returned to haunt him. While visiting the New Jersey beaches with the Blakes, longtime family friends, Fritz was shocked to learn of Studebaker chairman Albert R. Erskine’s suicide.[98] The passing of a business leader who, in his son William’s words, had been “an idol” to Fritz, may have been the final catalyst; he and Coady closed their firm soon thereafter.[99] Although S&H had been in better financial health than the now-defunct Coady, Beinecke & Co., it too ceased making any profit and could not pay dividends to its shareholders.[100] Some of the family’s treasured assets, including the beloved family yacht, the Innisfree, were sold to pay outstanding debts.

In order to remain solvent, the Beinecke brothers decided to reform S&H’s complicated financial portfolio. On Edwin’s advice, Fritz moved up to Boston, headquarters of a failing S&H subsidiary, a department store named Houghton & Dutton. It had barely survived the turbulent years since 1929 and was uncompetitive against the likes of nearby Filene’s.[101] The store shut its doors in late 1936, but not before Fritz spent two years eking out whatever reforms and profits he could, thus bolstering (however temporarily) S&H’s financial outlook until the worst of the financial crisis had begun to pass.[102] Although S&H was ultimately forced to sacrifice Houghton & Dutton, Fritz’s efforts to bring in some revenue both rehabilitated his family’s income and deepened his interest in the trading stamp business. The Beineckes returned to Madison in 1936; two years later, he became first vice president of S&H, commuting every day to corporate headquarters. Fritz had survived the Great Depression, but he would never forget how easily the market could destroy his life’s work.

Americans reacted in diverse and often extreme ways to the Great Depression. A few, like Erskine, committed suicide. They believed that all was lost, that the backbone of the American economy had been permanently broken. Some others shifted into crime to survive. But many other men and women simply renewed and reinvigorated their efforts to find work and reestablish themselves. As he struggled to prolong Houghton & Dutton’s existence, Fritz found solace in writing. His thoughts on economic reform, entitled Liberty and Wealth, outlined both his observations on the market paradigm that had led to the Great Depression, as well as theoretical means of reforming capitalism: “So complicated has become the machine of commerce that few will spend the effort to study it, and few will have the patience to analyze it…To understand its operations, we must learn something about society’s fundamentals,” including education, entrepreneurship, and the workings of the free market.[103] He submitted the manuscript for review to Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts, Boston-based financial lawyers, in March 1935. While admitting the manuscript’s clarity of economic fundamentals, they sharply criticized Fritz’s call for centralized credit control in order to stabilize future price swings.[104] In response to their critique, Fritz permanently shelved the manuscript. Subsequent events proved Fritz’s approach correct, at least in part. Although the government did not inherit control of all fiscal credit, the existing Federal Reserve System was radically overhauled in the Banking Act of 1935. The Act greatly expanded the role of the Board of Governors vis-à-vis regional Reserve offices, and provided Washington increased control over market oversight. The experimental Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, created in 1933, was permanently established in 1935, a landmark Washington institution guaranteeing depositors’ deposits if a bank should fail.[105]

War and Economic Boom

The Beineckes had remained close to their German relatives. In the 1900s and 1910s, Bernhard and Johanna repeatedly returned to Germany to visit their Beinecke and Weigle family, friends, and take comfort in childhood surroundings. After Bernhard’s death in 1932, his sons continued the tradition. William recalled when Fritz, Carrie, and himself visited Germany in 1937. The family sensed with some fear Hitler’s absolute grip on German life, even if they, like so many others, remained unaware of the world war that was about to begin.[106] At home, and with the worst of the depression behind them, Fritz and Carrie began returning to New York City’s social scene.[107] But the outbreak of war in Europe swiftly put an end to their brief respite. S&H remained surprisingly stable during the war years. Sales fell from roughly $3 million to $1 million per year from the onset of the Depression to its worst point (or from $47.6 million to $15.9 million). Rationing and the industrial shift from consumer to military production forced the company to downsize its operations, but for those companies who still produced store goods, S&H Green Stamps remained a useful marketing tool. By 1945, annual sales had gradually recovered and escalated to $5.5 million (2010 est. $66.6 million).[108]

When the United States entered the war on December 9, 1941, Edwin, Fritz, and Walter were too old to enter the military. Fritz’s son William, however, had joined the navy via the V-7 “crash course” officer-training program in 1940.[109] He went on to serve in combat as an officer with USS Buck and, after it was sunk by a German U-Boat, USS Murray.[110] Richard, too, soon joined the war, as a private (first class) in the Marine Corps.[111] Back at home, Fritz attacked labor leader John L. Lewis in the New York Times. The latter had successfully broken a “no-strike” pledge previously agreed between the Roosevelt administration and various major industries, bringing coal production to a halt.[112] As he previously outlined in Liberty and Wealth, Fritz believed that patriotism and economic strength were mutually important, particularly in times of crisis.[113] He returned to this theme in two articles apparently written for returning businessmen. In “America Think! Your Future Lies Trembling in the Balance,” he called for new endeavors to increase productivity, not loans.[114] In “A General Staff—for Peace,” Fritz played the historian, describing “the utter stupidity and ineptitude of this generation,” and demanded answers to why so many had starved and died. Most tellingly he wrote, “This war has demonstrated that our economy produces a great plenty of the necessaries of life, and in addition can and does produce an enormous surplus which in peace we do not know how to pass back to our people.”[115] He would spend much of the next twenty-five years putting a solution to this dilemma into practice: positioning S&H at the center of American postwar consumption and donating vast funds to Western cultural and educational institutions.

In a financially more secure position, Fritz spent much of 1946 tracking down his German relatives via American Forces Germany, sending them care packages, and providing European business contacts wherever possible to aid the Beinecke and Weigle families’ survival.[116] Fritz and his brothers were vehemently anti-Nazi and anti-Communist. In a 1947 pamphlet, entitled “Treachery Abroad,” he compared the rising Soviet threat to the Third Reich’s horrors.[117]

Back in the United States, the return of millions of servicemen and women catalyzed a tremendous economic boom. “Levittowns” sprang up throughout the country to house a burgeoning middle-class population. Skyrocketing demand, in turn, led to the revitalization of American consumer production, expansion of department stores, and the first regional malls.[118] This, of course, boded extremely well for S&H fortunes. A 1947 editorial in The Detroit News recounted S&H’s history and reminded readers of the bountiful array of products Green Stamp collectors could obtain.[119] “[I]n the 1950s the explosive demand for trading stamps,” economist Harold W. Fox noted, “coincided with the rise of general-merchandise discount stores,” spreading to other commercial sectors as demand rose. S&H research estimates suggested that in 1959, of 51,217 households polled, seventy-six percent liked Green Stamps.[120] Richard D. Smith has estimated that by the 1960s nearly eighty percent of all US households collected or had collected S&H Green Stamps for redemption.[121] The supermarket proved to be S&H’s most lucrative postwar source. Originally created in the 1940s, supermarkets multiplied and diversified across the country in the postwar boom. Supermarkets and shopping centers very quickly reached millions of suburban and rural Americans, opening vast new markets for such enterprises as S&H and A&P. The press lauded the all-encompassing, efficient, and copiously stocked stores, filled with domestic and imported foods from nearly every part of the world. In a postwar, bipolar international community, Americans became the first to receive the latest and most exciting in foodstuffs.[122] George Meredith, director of the Association of Retail Marketing Services in the mid-1990s, recalled, “The supermarket gave the stamp business what the department stores had given it originally, but with greater strength.” Since families shopped almost daily for groceries, stamps booklets could be filled more quickly, reaping greater profits for both supermarket firms and S&H.[123] Under the Beineckes’ careful but energetic control, S&H maintained a powerful grip on the trading stamp industry. S&H and A&P, one of the United States’ largest supermarket chains, collaborated from the early 1950s onward. A&P would provide one Green Stamp for every ten cents spent. In return, S&H earned from A&P two-tenths of one cent per stamp. Their collaboration proved eminently profitable, and consumers excitedly responded to joint S&H/A&P promotions.[124] The brothers, too, embraced the television craze; in 1959 for instance, Arlene Francis, the nationally popular panelist of What’s My Line and a former Miss Philadelphia winner, opened S&H’s new Philadelphia redemption center.[125] By the early 1960s, the Federal Trade Commission estimated S&H’s trading stamp market share at a comfortable thirty-five to forty percent of the total industry. A 1964 Fortune estimate argued S&H’s hold on the trading stamp market was even greater; well over half of the country collected and redeemed Green Stamps.[126] Largely thanks to the Beineckes’ efforts to expand into supermarkets and shopping malls, the number of trading stamps redeemed between 1950 and 1960 rose from 8.8 billion to 327 billion. Although this figure represented all trading stamp companies, the sweeping growth provided S&H with very positive profit margins.[127] The Beineckes balanced S&H management with their other concerns: Edwin, Fritz, and Walter shared management responsibilities at S&H; Edwin divided his time between S&H and Fuller, while Walter also ran the John C. Paige Insurance Company.

Forbes’ commentary revealed much about S&H’s operations in the post-war decades. The brothers were family men, concerning themselves little with public attention or social favor. At the end of 1963’s fiscal year, S&H held total assets of $256 million, of which $127 million was reserved in cash and securities (or, in 2010 dollars, approximately $1.82 billion total assets and $904 million in cash and securities reserve). On the Fortune 500 List that year, only thirty corporations held more total cash and securities. Stanley H. Brown, the report’s author, went so far as to suggest that, even though S&H did not publish annual earnings, he estimated it to be one of America’s largest privately owned companies.[128] The Beinecke brothers had never forgotten the Depression; William recalled that it had left “a deep scar” on Fritz, and their future business philosophy had centered on cautious, constructive investment, with substantial savings.[129]

Success of S&H Green Stamps (and their competitors) brought the renewed ire of some retailers and a number of state governments. Merchants lobbying against S&H argued that Green Stamps “represented below-cost pricing,” forcing non-participating companies to reduce prices to the point where they, in turn, antagonized federal antitrust officials watchful of unfair monopolization caused by excessive price discounts. Safeway president Lingan Warren stormed into S&H headquarters demanding an ultimatum with the Beineckes; he was firmly shown the door. Other merchants turned to the courts to outlaw trading stamps on the grounds that they excessively skewed the market system. By 1955, fifty bills had been introduced at various civic levels in twenty-four states. Thanks in large measure to popular public support for Green Stamps and their competitors, however, only a few such levies and bans were passed.[130] In July 1959, S&H won a landmark case concerning the financial status of unredeemed stamps; in New Jersey v. Sperry and Hutchinson Co. superior court judge Freund dismissed the state’s case, arguing “(1) the stamps themselves must be presented for redemption before any right to redemption exists,” and “(2) there was no proof as to any individual holder’s having owned the prescribed minimum necessary to redeem.”[131] Although other legal attempts were mounted against S&H, the New Jersey ruling limited future efforts to inhibit S&H business.

In 1966, Fritz retired from S&H (although he maintained his nominal director position until his death). The company’s control passed to his son, William. Fritz left at perhaps S&H’s peak. Demand remained strong, and S&H’s recent legal battles were safely behind them. In 1966, it announced an initial public offering. Quoted in Time, William stated that its 1965–1966 income of $330 million ($2.22 billion in 2010 dollars) had been the company’s highest ever. The Time reporter nonetheless hinted at changes in consumer behavior that would hurt S&H’s long-term future. With the market flooded with stamps and the introduction of individual coupon programs, retailers large and small began crimping S&H’s core markets.[132] Although S&H remained nominally profitable, its market steadily shrunk. From 1973, Bass Brothers Enterprises, a Fort Worth, Texas–based investment firm, began aggressively buying up S&H stock. After Betsy Beinecke, William’s cousin, sold her stake to Sid Bass in 1980, the Beineckes decided to sell the company, eventually handing it over to Baldwin-United Corporation in 1981. In hindsight, the Beineckes divested themselves of S&H at the right moment, before the trading stamp industry collapsed in the late 1980s. William transferred much of the income derived from the S&H sale into Antaeus Enterprises, a holding, investment, and philanthropy firm, which continues successfully to this day. William, nevertheless, was haunted by the sale and eventual closure of S&H, a company that, at its height, constituted an important piece of American consumer culture. “Often, in dreams,” he wrote, “I return to the board room of the S&H building…[t]he camaraderie and team spirit of S&H was impossible to duplicate.”[133]

Cultural Responsibility and the Beinecke Library

In 1920, the famed sculptor Gutzon Borglum gave Fritz’s brother Edwin a sculpture of wooing centaurs as a mark of his friendship with the family. Borglum had become one of America’s most prominent sculptors. In the vein of renowned artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Borglum had undertaken numerous famed commissions, including a statue of Abraham Lincoln executed at the request of Theodore Roosevelt and presented to Newark, New Jersey on May 30, 1911. In 1927 Borglum, a vocal supporter of the City Beautiful and urban gentrification movements, would begin the monumental task of chiseling busts of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.[134]

The Beinecke brothers, members of New York City’s German elite bourgeoisie, were widely respected both for their adept business sense and lifelong intellectual investments. Edwin and Fritz were two disciples of Yale English professor Chauncey Brewster Tinker, who passionately promoted book collecting and preservation at Yale and mentored a number of the twentieth century’s leading American collectors, including the Beineckes, Frank Altschul, Wilmarth Lewis, Paul Mellon, and Herman Liebart.[135] They became affectionately known as the “sons of Tink,” and formed the Yale Library Associates in 1930.

The Yale experience engrained in the Beinecke brothers a responsibility to give back to their community, to better the nation’s knowledge and curiosity. Edwin, under Tinker’s mentorship, began his personal library in the 1920s. Fritz started his book-collecting career much later, after becoming deeply interested in the bizarre life of James Wilkinson. Wilkinson, a former general in the American Revolution and, in 1804, commander of the United States Army, allegedly conspired with Aaron Burr to establish a new nation in the American Southwest. Their plan encompassed Mexico and portions of the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase. But, as Gordon S. Wood maintained, Wilkinson was an avaricious paid Spanish agent, who vacillated between U.S. and Spanish interests and political and economic conditions changed. Wilkinson soon turned against Burr, and reported the latter’s designs to President Thomas Jefferson.[136] Burr faced treason charges, but was ultimately acquitted.

Fritz’s fascination with Wilkinson’s enigmatic past cultivated a much broader passion for the history of the Western United States, an interest that also furthered his preoccupation with American freedoms and the “pioneer spirit.”[137] As a member of the Yale Library Associates, Fritz was intimately familiar with the University’s existing Western Americana holdings; he handpicked much of his personal collection with Yale’s repositories in mind.[138] Like Edwin, he collected rare books not only for personal interest and preservation, but also for their future access and usefulness to scholars. As an incentive, he endowed an annual prize for the best doctoral dissertation in Western American history.[139] In the aftermath of 1956’s tumultuous events in North Africa and Eastern Europe, he wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that, the “fundamental principles” of the United States called the nation,“ ‘With malice towards none and charity for all’… [to] bind the wounds of this bleeding world” and point the way towards “the path of peace.”[140] World affairs had spurred him to seek a better future, with a strong, educated American public confident, but not adventurous on the world stage.[141] In 1949, he and Carrie moved to Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Rather than selling their beloved Madison home, they donated it to nearby Drew University.[142] Once resettled, they underwrote local restoration efforts, usually with as little publicity as possible.[143] The Beinecke brothers had long sought as much anonymity in their philanthropic efforts as possible, keeping their personal lives and financial affairs away from prying eyes. Indeed, S&H remained at its lower Fifth Avenue headquarters in Manhattan until 1964; even then, the move to a contemporary building on Madison Avenue was explained away by S&H spokespeople as simply a need for more space.[144]

This changed, however, in 1958, although not without the brothers’ strident efforts to avoid the spotlight. The brothers had long been active supporters of their alma mater’s libraries. Fritz served as chairman of the Yale Library Associates and both funded and advised on new acquisitions.[145] In 1951, Edwin donated one of the world’s largest collections on famed author Robert Louis Stevenson. Fritz followed suit with the donation of his extensive Western Americana collection in 1956.[146] The donation filled a prominent gap in Yale’s existing collections, establishing or dramatically expanding Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, the Spanish Southwest, and Mexican War collections. By 1960, the Beinecke Western Americana collection contained over 2,000 rare artifacts; Fritz continued adding to the collection and promoting its active use for the rest of his life.

By the late 1950s, Yale’s library collections overwhelmed available space. In particular, its rare books and manuscripts division had been flooded in the postwar decade with bequests, grants, and donations from alumni seeking a permanent home for their personal bibliographical collections. Yale and other major academic institutions had become more favorable to obtaining rare books collections and assuming a “distributed responsibility” to preserve and exhibit civilization’s important documents. The shift towards rare book collecting, however, was gradual, and Yale was financially unprepared to construct an entirely new library devoted exclusively to rare and special collections. Offers to donate nonetheless continued.[147] The Beineckes, realizing their opportunity to establish a lasting center for the advancement of learning, offered to assist with a two-million dollar gift, later enlarged to over four million dollars (i.e., $28.5 million or $57 million in 2010 dollars). A 1958 letter from President A. Whitney Griswold indicated Yale’s enormous gratitude:

Word has just come to me from the Treasurer of the magnificent gift to the Beinecke Fund in the Yale Library; and although I know you wish no publicity to be given to the gift and shall respect this wish, I cannot resist writing each of you to tell you how deeply grateful I am to you. You have all done so much for Yale that I doubt whether Yale can ever thank you enough…[148]

Yale’s attempts to organize an important rare books repository stretched back to 1924, when the Beineckes’ friend Tinker exhorted the university to collect and protect the world’s unique texts. It was the leadership of university librarian James T. Babb, known colloquially as “Yale’s collector of collectors,” however, that renewed the impetus for the construction of a rare books library. Babb and the Beineckes were old friends and fellow book-collectors, and they met to discuss their vision for an avant-garde, free standing special collections library that would draw some of the world’s finest scholars.[149] The Beineckes clearly envisioned an institution comparable to the world’s greatest archives.[150] Unfortunately, Walter died in September 1958, but his wife, Katie, would see his shared dream of the library into fruition.[151]

The only area of significant (albeit amiable) disagreement concerned the building’s location. President Griswold and Babb wanted the library constructed as an extension to the existing Sterling Memorial Library; the Beineckes sought a freestanding archive. As principal backers and closely connected with the Fuller Construction Company (of which Edwin had long served as chairman), Edwin and Fritz won out. As in earlier donations, the brothers stressed their intention to minimize publicity. Griswold and Babb, warming up to the idea of a freestanding building, excitedly wrote to Fritz that they shared the Beineckes’ vision for “the largest collection of rare research materials in one building in this country.”[152] The prominent architect Gordon Bunshaft was selected to design the library.[153] When completed in 1963, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library held capacity for 820,000 items. Babb told the Yale University News Bureau that the Beineckes had funded “the finest possible building for the care and servicing of the world’s heritage.”[154] Architecturally stunning, the Beinecke Library’s outer marble walls were semi-translucent, permitting a degree of light to flow into a central, multistory, glass-shielded chamber where visitors could look up at some of the world’s greatest books. Any doubts about its location and design were swiftly forgotten. Within three months, 551 researchers registered at the library, of whom 140 had travelled from other universities to use Yale’s collections. In comparison, the Yale staff proudly noted that a “similar leading American library of similar character [The Huntington Library, Pasadena, California] recorded about 800 [researchers] in the course of a full year.” A further five to eight thousand people had visited to view the rare text displays and the library’s architecture.[155] Within a year, the American Library Association awarded the Beinecke Library its coveted First Honor Award.[156]

Today, Studebaker and the Red Hook Light and Power Company are both long gone. The Beineckes sold The Plaza during the Second World War. A Beinecke relative attempted to resurrect S&H Green Stamps in the late 1990s, only to sell the venture soon thereafter.[157] Yet the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library remains, still as forward-looking as it was when designed a half-century ago. True to Edwin, Fritz, and Walter’s vision, it is today undoubtedly regarded as one of the world’s preeminent centers for scholarly research, a gift of knowledge where many of history’s secrets await to be unlocked. Upon entering the Beinecke, every visitor is welcomed with Fritz’s epitaph to civilization: “May this library given to Yale University…stand as a symbol of loyalty and devotion of three brothers and serve as a source of learning and as an inspiration to all who enter.”


[1] The author is deeply indebted to William S. Beinecke, Frederick W. Beinecke, Jr., and Linda Wool of Antaeus Enterprises; Edwin Schroeder, Director of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University; Dr. Anthony Grafton, Princeton University, Stephen Ferguson, Princeton University Library, and Dr. Harold T. Shapiro, President Emeritus, Princeton University, for their extensive and deeply supportive assistance throughout every stage of this project. This article is dedicated to Dr. Jennifer Burtner. Address correspondence to

[2] Paul W. Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke (North Haven, Conn.: Van Dyck Printing Company, 1974), 5–16; Charles E. Peterson, “Castle Clinton Restoration,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 9.3 (Oct., 1950): 26.

[3] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 6; William S. Beinecke and William J. Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke: A Monograph (Internal Publication: Beinecke Family Archive, 1982), 15.

[4] “Bernhard Beinecke Dies; A Hotel Man: Chairman of Board of Plaza, 86,” New York Times, December 21, 1932, 19.

[5] William S. Beinecke, former president and chairman, Sperry & Hutchinson Company, interview by Benjamin J. Sacks, New York City, interviewed November 11, 2011 and April 17, 2012..

[6] “The Plaza,” clipping in “The Bernhard Beinecke Story, 1877-1890,” 13–14, scrapbook, box 3, Beinecke Family Papers (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.), hereafter BFP..

[7] Curtis Gathje, At The Plaza: An Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Hotel (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000), 14–15.

[8] William S. Beinecke, Bernhard Beinecke (New York: Prospect Hill Press, 2005), 14–28.

[9] “The Plaza,” 13–14.

[10] Gathje, At the Plaza, 11, 15, 20–23.

[11] Beinecke and Gaskill,Frederick W. Beinecke, 15.

[12] Dictionary of Chicago Business, s.v. “Fuller (George A.) Co.,” accessed June 9, 2012.

[13] Stanley H. Brown, “Sperry & Hutchinson’s Very Successful Stagnation,” Forbes (Nov., 1964): 1–8, 4.

[14] William S. Beinecke, with Geoffrey M. Kabaservice, Through Mem’ry’s Haze: A Personal Memoir (New York: Prospect Hill Press, 2000), 7–9.

[15] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 10.

[16] See “Photographs (Various) and Commentaries,” box 6, BFP.

[17] Edwin J. Beinecke, “Photographs of Europe,” 1902, box 6, BFP.

[18] “Chess Club. Officers for 1900,” Columbia Grammar School Record for 1899–1900, “Form Notes,” The Columbia News (1901), 11–12, and “Classical Department,” The Pot-Pourri and Class-Book, vol. 13 (Andover, MA: Phillips Academy, 1900), 15, all in Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Biographical. Early education (Columbia Grammar School, NY, NY; Phillips Academy, Andover, MA), Antaeus Enterprises, New York City, hereafter AE; Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 9–10.

[19] Jerome Karabel, The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005), 25.

[20] Frederick A. Birmingham, The Ivy League Today (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1961), 2; Benjamin Sacks, “Harvard’s ‘Constructed Utopia’ and the Culture of Deception: The Expansion toward the Charles River, 1902–1932,” The New England Quarterly 84.2 (June 2011): 286–317, here 288–289. For a discussion of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton’s emphasis on athletic merits, see Ronald A. Smith, “A Failure of Elitism: The Harvard-Yale Dual League Plan of the 1890s,” The New England Quarterly 61.2 (June 1988): 201–213.

[21] Jerome Karabel, “Status-Group Struggle, Organizational Interests, and the Limits of Institutional Autonomy: The Transformation of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1918–1940,” Theory and Society 13.1 (Jan., 1984): 1–40, here 6–7; Karabel, The Chosen, 17–20.

[22] See Charles H. Warren, “Sheffield Scientific School—The First Hundred Years,” Scientific Monthly 67.1 (July, 1948): 58–63.

[23] “Beinecke, Frederick William,” National Cyclopedia of American Biography (1972), 57:30–31, hereafter NCAB; “Beinecke, Frederick William,” editing draft for National Cyclopedia of American Biography (February 1972), 1. Both S1-B4 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Biographical. Yale, Committees and Activities, Class Profiles (incl. Abstracts of Entries About FWB-“Yale Alumni Weekly” and “Yale Alumni Magazine”) 1908–1971. Abstracts prepared by P. Garkill, AE.

[24] “Fritz William Beinecke,” Class History of 1909 S (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Publications, 1909): 42; “Committee.” Both S1-B4 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Biographical. Yale, committees and activities, class profiles (incl. abstracts of entries about FWB-“Yale Alumni Weekly” and “Yale Alumni Magazine”) 1908-1971, AE; William S. Beinecke interview; “Princeton Beaten by Yale,” New York Times, November 15, 1908. The “S” in Beinecke’s class designation stands for “Sheffield.”

[25] “Beinecke, Frederick William,” NCAB 57:30.

[26] All financial estimations conducted on March 10, 2012, via Measuring Worth, as advised by the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC. Estimates calculated with consumer price index (CPI), without GDP deflation.

[27] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 16.

[28] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 11–12.

[29] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 15; William S. Beinecke interview; “The Ogontz School,” Penn State University Libraries, accessed July 31, 2011; Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 31; “The Engagement is Announced of Miss Carrie Regina Sperry,” Yale Alumni Weekly, Dec. 22, 1911, 357; “The Wedding of Miss Carrie R. Sperry and Fritz W. Beinecke,”Yale Alumni Weekly, Oct. 18, 1912, 116.

[30] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 12, “The Beinecke Brothers,” The Beinecke Scholarship, a Program of the Sperry Fund, accessed Jan. 31, 2012. Also see “Power Dispute Plunges Village into Darkness,” Cornell Daily Sun, September 24, 1925, 3; William S. Beinecke interview. According to William Beinecke, Red Hook was eventually absorbed by Niagara Power. Also see “Poughkeepsie, N. Y.,” Electrical World, 64.23 (Dec. 5, 1914): 1128.

[31] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 12–13; William S. Beinecke interview.

[32] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 13.

[33] Robert K. Massie, Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004), 204, 288. The author wishes to thank Willow Dressel and Adriana Popescu of the Friend Center Engineering Library, Princeton University for their exhaustive efforts to locate a Beinecke patent.

[34] “Fritz W. Beinecke is Now in the Sales Department of The Texas ,” Yale Alumni Weekly, Dec. 18, 1914, 377.

[35] See Barbara W. Tuchman, The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War, 1890–1914 (New York: Macmillan Company, 1966). For a brief synopsis of the United States’ growing economic prowess, see Paul Kennedy, “The Tradition of Appeasement in British Foreign Policy, 1865–1939,” in Strategy and Diplomacy 1870–1945: Eight Studies (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983), 17.

[36] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 36.

[37] “Beinecke, Frederick William,” NCAB 57:31.

[38] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 2, 14; William S. Beinecke interview.

[39] “Fritz W. Beinecke,” Union County, New Jersey, No. 1765549, June 5, 1917, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918,, accessed Feb. 26, 2012.

[40] R. C. Marshall, Jr. and Frank P. Leslie to Frederick W. Beinecke, Nov. 2, 1918; Frederick W. Beinecke to R. C. Marshall, Jr. and Frank P. Leslie, Nov. 6, 1918, in Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1918. War Dept., Construction Division, corresp. & memo re: terms of FWB’s Commission as Captain, Quartermaster Corps, U.S. Army, 11/2-11/6, 1918, AE.

[41] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 1; William S. Beinecke interview.

[42] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 16; William S. Beinecke interview.

[43] William S. Beinecke, interview by Benjamin J. Sacks, New York City, April 17, 2012; “Beinecke, Frederick William,” NCAB 57:30; Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 16.

[44] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 16; Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 13.

[45] Thomas E. Bonsall, More Than They Promised: The Studebaker Story (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000), 112–113.

[46] Alan R. Raucher, “Paul G. Hoffman, Studebaker, and the Car Culture,” Indiana Magazine of History 79.3 (Sept., 1983): 209–230, esp. 212–215.

[47] Bonsall, More Than They Promised, 112–113.

[48] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 22; “First Pay Stubs,” Feb. 15 and Dec. 6, 1906, box 6, BFP.

[49] “Historical Background, Thomas A. Sperry (1874–1913),” box 14, BFP.

[50] Richard D. Smith, “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” Audacity: The Magazine of Business Experience 2.3 (Spring, 1994): 52 ff.; Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 18.

[51] “Historical Background, Thomas A. Sperry (1874-1913).”

[52] Richard D. Smith, “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” 52.

[53] U. S. Federal Trade Commission, Economic Report on the Use and Economic Significance of Trading Stamps (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1966), 2.

[54] William S. Beinecke interview.

[55] “February 1st, 1897,” Box S3-B4 Reference – Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Antecedents, Merchants’ Supply Co., Redemption Center, 42 Cannon St., Bridgeport interior (copy of photo), AE; “Trading Stamp Book Issued by the Merchants’ Supply Company,” c.1897, box 14, BFP.

[56] “Xerox Copy of: Financial Statement of S&H Co, May 12, 1897, submitted to Bradstreet’s (The Bradstreet Co.),” Box S3-B4 Reference – Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Financial Statement (submitted to Bradstreet Co.), May 12, 1897, AE.

[57] “Xerox Copy of: Trading Stamp Companies owned by Sperry and Hutchinson Company: the United States Copyright office, list of companies owned by S&H and date of copyright entered starting in 1897, August 7; to 1902, June 14,” Box S3-B4 Reference – Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Copyrights, Lists of Copyrighted “saver books” held by S&H (includes name of Company & date of copyright), 1897–1902, AE.

[58] “Trading Stamps: The ‘Square Deal,” box 14, BFP; Richard Ohmann, “History and Literary History: The Case of Mass Culture,” Poetics Today, 9.2 (1988): 357–375, 364. For further information on S&H’s early success with women, see “Women’s Clubs Endorse Trading Stamps,” Just Between Ourselves, n.d., Box S3-B4 Reference – Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Reference, misc. articles & clippings re. trading stamps n.d., 1944, AE.

[59] “1905 Puck Cartoon,” box 15, BFP.

[60] See discussion of a Virginia case, Young v. Commonwealth, in “Recent Cases,” Yale Law Journal 13.2 (Dec., 1903): 98; and discussion in W.C.J., “Comment on Recent Cases,” California Law Review 3.1 (Nov., 1914): 57–59.

[61] “Supreme Court Decisions Concurred in by the New Jersey Legislature!” April 6, 1902, box 14, BFP. For a listing of similarly relevant legal cases involving S&H and other trading stamp firms through the 1920s, refer to “Regulation of the Trading Stamp Industry,” Duke Bar Journal 6.2 (Winter 1957): 71–108, here 76n30.

[62] Tokyo Fish Market, 318 East First Street, Los Angeles, “Translation of Letter from Tokyo Fish Market Dated March 14,” c. 1907, box 14, BFP.

[63] “The Sperry Service,” 1919, box 14, BFP.

[64] Michel A. Levy Company, “Michel A. Levy Advertisement,” Feb. 7, 1913, box 14, BFP.

[65] “Push Button Catalog,” c.1910, box 14, BFP.

[66] Smith, “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” 52–53.

[67] “Historical Background, Thomas A. Sperry (1874–1913).”

[68] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 20–21.

[69] William S. Beinecke interview.

[70] Sperry and Hutchinson Company, “‘The Sperry Magazine,’ October 1915,” box 14, BFP; Smith; “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” 53.

[71] William M. Sperry to George B. Caldwell, Feb. 8, 1918, Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject files, 1918, Sperry & Hutchinson Stock, FWB corres. with his father-in-law Wm. M. Sperry (1/2) re: sale of his stock, 1/25-2/28, 1918, AE.

[72] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 20.

[73] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 20.

[74] Frederick W. Beinecke to William M. Sperry, Feb. 2, 1918, Box S1 B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1918 Sperry & Hutchinson Stock, FWB corresp. with his father-in-law Wm. M. Sperry re: sale of his stock, 1/25-2/28, 1919, AE.

[75]George B. Caldwell to William M. Sperry, Feb. 15, 1918, Box S1 B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & subject Files, 1918 Sperry & Hutchinson Stock, FWB corresp. with his father-in-law Wm. M. Sperry re: sale of his stock, 1/25-2/28, 1918, AE.

[76] Frederick W. Beinecke to William M. Sperry, Feb. 15, 1918, Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1918 Sperry & Hutchinson Stock, FWB corresp. with his father-in-law Wm. M. Sperry re: sale of his stock, 1/25-2/28, 1918, AE.

[77] “The Beinecke Brothers, Edwin, Walter & Fritz, purchased 4980 shares of the capital stock of The Sperry & Hutchinson Co. from William Sperry,” July 17. 1919, box 7, BFP.

[78] Beinecke interview. According to William, Goldman Sachs and Studebaker provided loans for the deal, which were soon repaid to avoid long-term debt.

[79] “George B. Caldwell, for the last eight years president of the Sperry & Hutchinson Company, and William J. McKee, vice-president, will resign, effective January 1,” 1922, box 4, BFP.

[80] Beinecke interview; Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 103–104.

[81] Sperry & Hutchinson’s strong financial position was reflected in their 1920 fiscal statements. See Sperry and Hutchinson Company, “Financial Statement,” 20 July 1920, BFP.

[82] L. A. Markham, Secretary, Terrell, Texas Chamber of Commerce to Sperry & Hutchinson Company, 16 May 1921, box 14, BFP.

[83] “George B. Caldwell, for the last eight years president of the Sperry & Hutchinson Company, and William J. McKee, vice-president, will resign, effective January 1,” press release, 1923, box 4, BFP.

[84] Clifford M. Maurer and Henry Maurer & Son, “The Scroll of Appreciation,” December 29, 1922, box 7, BFP; “A Competitive Test of a Hollow Tile and a Concrete Fireproof Floor,” Engineering News-Record (Dec. 2, 1897): 367.

[85] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 103.

[86] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 103.

[87] See, for example, Lynn Dumenil, The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s (New York: Hill and Wang, 1995), 71–77, 85–91, 304–306.

[88] For example, Edwin J. Beinecke, “Greetings and a Forecast,” The Sperry Service (Jan., 1926), box 7, BFP.

[89] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 31.

[90] All from S&H Green Stamp Premiums: Your Book of Savings (New York: Sperry and Hutchinson Company, 1926), Box S3-B4 Reference – Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Catalog. S&H Catalog, 1927, AE.

[91] Frederick W. Beinecke to Bernhard Beinecke, August 3, 1928, Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1928. Beinecke, Bernhard, FWB corres. with his father re: family, travels in Germany, 2, 7-9/1928, AE.

[92] “New Mortgage Bank Ready to Start Here,” New York Times, March 12, 1929; “Bankers Bond and Mortgage Guaranty Company of America,” New York Times, January 20, 1930, 33.

[93] “Form New Partnership,” Wall Street Journal, April 1, 1929, 20.

[94] Lionel Robbins, The Great Depression (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1935), 10–11. Also refer to David Cannadine’s introduction to section II, in “Economy: The Growth and Fluctuations of the Industrial Revolution,” in Making History Now and Then: Discoveries, Controversies and Explorations (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 91.

[95] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 67–68; William S. Beinecke interviews.

[96] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 59; Frederick W. Beinecke to R. R. McOrmond, February 15, 1930, Box S1-B4 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1930. Westminster School, FSB letter re: financial gift to school (includes reference to WSB, a student at the school), 2/15/1930, AE.

[97] Frederick W. Beinecke, “A Call to Action,” letter to the editor, New York Times, March 26, 1933, Box S1-B6 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Speeches, writings, interviews, 1933. 3/26/1933, “A Call to Action,” Letter to the Editor, New York Times, AE. Also refer to Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 73.

[98] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 68; “Manufacturing: Champion,” Time, March 20, 1939.

[99] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 68.

[100] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 69.

[101] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 69; Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 59–60.

[102] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 69–70; H. D. Hodgkinson, “Miracle in Boston,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3rd ser., 84 (1972): 71–81, 71.

[103] Frederick W. Beinecke, Liberty and Wealth, unpublished manuscript, 193), pp. 4–5, Box S1-B6, Beinecke, Frederick W.-Speeches, Writings, Interviews, 1935, “Liberty and Wealth” treatise, AE,.

[104] Daniel J. Lyne to Frederick W. Beinecke, March 23, 1935, Box S1-B4 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corresp. & Subjects, 1935. “Liberty and Wealth,” comments of FWB’s treatise by Daniel J. Lyne, 3/23/1935 (includes copy of letter by Lord Macaulay on “The Durability of American Institutions, 9/23/1857), AE. For further information on Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts, see “Introduction,” Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts, accessed March 2, 2012.

[105] For an interesting contemporary account of the Banking Act of 1935, refer to Frederick A. Bradford, “The Banking Act of 1935,” American Economic Review 25.4 (Dec., 1935): 661–672.

[106] “Mr. & Mrs. Beinecke made the West/East crossing on the Hindenburg in 1937,” 1938, box 8, BFP; Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 110–113.

[107] “Diplomat Honored at Cocktail Party,” New York Times, April 6, 1939, 32.

[108] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 268.

[109] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 147–151;William S. Beinecke to Frederick W. Beinecke, Sep. 6, 1940; William S. Beinecke to Frederick W. Beinecke, Sep. 28, 1940. Both letters Box S1-B10 Beinecke, William S.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1940 Naval Reserved, WSB’s letters to his parents, written while on training cruise aboard U.S.S. New York, 8-9/1940 (originals & typescript), AE.

[110] Beinecke interviews; Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 206.

[111] For further information on William S. Beinecke’s wartime service, see “Midshipmen’s School on the USS Prairie State and Service Aboard the USS Buck, 1941–1943,” in Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 161–184, also 244, 247–249.

[112] J. R. Sperry, “Rebellion Within the Ranks: Pennsylvania Anthracite, John L. Lewis, and the Coal Strikes of 1943,” Pennsylvania History 40.3 (July, 1973): 292–312.

[113] Frederick W. Beinecke, letter to the editor, New York Times, March 19, 1943, 18.

[114] Frederick W. Beinecke, America Think! Your Future Lies Trembling in the Balance (New York: 1945), Box S1-B6 Beinecke, Frederick W. – Speeches, Writings, Interviews, 1945. 1945, “America Think! Your Future Lies Trembling in the Balance,” AE.

[115] Frederick W. Beinecke, A General Staff—for Peace (New York: 1945), 1–22, Box S1-B6 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Speeches, Writings, Interviews, 1945. 1945, “A General Staff—for Peace,” AE.

[116] See Frederick W. Beinecke to Marta Rettich (Weickart), Sep. 12, 1946; Marta Rettich (Weickart) to Frederick W. Beinecke, November 7, 1946, and Marta Rettich (Weickart) to Frederick W. Beinecke, December 31, 1946, all in Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1946. Rettich, Marta, corres. re: family & care packages, 9-12/1946, AE.

[117] “Treachery Abroad,” Box S1-B5A Beinecke, Frederick W. – Speeches, writings, interviews, 1947. 1947, “Treachery Abroad,” AE.

[118] See David Schuyler, “Reflections on Levittown at Fifty,” Pennsylvania History 70.1 (Winter, 2003): 101–109; Richard Longstreth,The American Department Store Transformed, 1920–1960 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2010), 4; and Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (New York: Knopf, 2003).

[119] W. K. Kelsey, “The Commentator,” The Detroit News Editorial Page, 21 July 1947, Box S3-B4 Reference-Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Reference, misc. articles & clippings re. trading stamps n.d., 1947, AE.

[120] Harold W. Fox,The Economics of Trading Stamps (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1968), 13,, 19.

[121] Smith, “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” 50.

[122] John E. Mertes, “The Shopping Center: A New Trend in Retailing,” Journal of Marketing 13.3 (Jan., 1949): 375. On restricting the size of supermarket corporations, see M.A. Adelman, “The A & P Case: A Study in Applied Economic Theory,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 63.2 (May, 1949): 238–257; Tracey Deutsch, Building a Housewife’s Paradise: Gender, Politics, and American Grocery Stores in the Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010), 183. Also refer to John P. Walsh, Supermarkets Transformed; Understanding Organizational and Technological Innovations (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1993), introduction.

[123] Smith, “When Everyone Collected Stamps,” 53–54.

[124] Marc Levinson, The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America (New York: Hill and Wang, 2011), 57.

[125] “Arlene Francis,” press release, May 1, 1959, box 15, BFP.

[126] Brown, “Sperry & Hutchinson’s Very Successful Stagnation,” 1.

[127] Federal Trade Commission, Economic Report on the Use and Economic Significance of Trading Stamps, 4–5.

[128] Brown, “Sperry & Hutchinson’s Very Successful Stagnation,” 1.

[129] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 70–71; “Business Philosophy,” working draft for S&H Magazine (Spring, 1971), AE.

[130] Jeff R. Lonto, “The Trading Stamp Story (or When Trading Stamps Stuck),” Studio Z-7 Publishing, accessed August 9, 2011.

[131] “The State of New Jersey, by Grover C. Richman, Jr., Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. The Sperry & Hutchinson Company, A Corporation of the State of New Jersey, Defendant-Respondent,” 1959, Box S3-B4 Reference-Sperry & Hutchinson Co. Legal, State of New Jersey v. S&H, 1959 opinion and decision (in favor of defendant, S&H), AE.

[132] “Merchandising,”Time Magazine, 8 April 1966, 92, 94, AE.

[133] Beinecke, Through Mem’ry’s Haze, 409–413, quote on p. 413.

[134] “Notes on Gudzon [sic] Borglum,” 1919, box 6, BFP. See Gutzon Borglum, “Our Ugly Cities,” The North American Review 228.5 (Nov., 1929): 548–553 and Walker Rumble, “Gutzon Borglum: Mount Rushmore and the American Tradition,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 59.3 (July, 1968): 121–127.

[135] Barbara A. Shailor, “Introduction,” The Beinecke Library of Yale University, ed. Stephen Parks (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2003): 9–25, 9.

[136] “Notes Relating to the Life of Frederick W. Beinecke,” c.1972, pp. 3–4, Box S1-B4 Beinecke, Frederic W. – Biographical. Estate, bequests to Yale (overview, including donation of books & manuscripts to the F.W. and C.S. Beinecke Collection of Western Americana), AE. On Wilkinson, see Gordon S. Wood, “The Real Treason of Aaron Burr,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 143.2 (June, 1999): 280 and Thomas Perkins Abernethy, “Aaron Burr in Mississippi,” Journal of Southern History 15.1 (Feb., 1949): 9–21, 9.

[137] “Notes Relating to the Life of Frederick W. Beinecke,” 5; Jerry E. Patterson, “The Mexican War, 1846–1848: A Collection of Contemporary Materials Presented to the Yale University Library by Frederick W. Beinecke, 1909 S,” Yale University Library Gazette 34.3 (Jan., 1960): 94.

[138] “Notes Relating to the Life of Frederick W. Beinecke,” 5.

[139] Archibald Hanna, Jr., “The Yale Collection of Western Americana,” in Jeanne M. Goddard and Charles Kritzler, eds., A Catalogue of the Frederick W. & Carrie S. Beinecke Collection of Western Americana Volume One: Manuscripts (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1965), ix–x. Also see: Mary C. Withington,Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Collection of Western Americana founded by William Robertson Coe (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1952); Peter Decker, “Pioneering Western Americana,” AB Bookman’s Weekly 82.15 (Oct. 10, 1988): 1356; Archibald Hanna, Jr., “The Collection of Western Americana,” in The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library: A Guide to Its Collections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Library, 1974), 90–91.

[140] Frederick W. Beinecke, “With Charity for All,” letter to the editor, Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 8, 1956, 28.

[141] Frederick W. Beinecke, “When a Demagogue Blusters,” letter to the editor, Christian Science Monitor, December 11, 1958, 26.

[142] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 33; “Frederick Beinecke: we learn through the press…,” Yale Alumni Magazine (Feb., 1950): 36.

[143] Beinecke and Gaskill, Frederick W. Beinecke, 50.

[144] Brown, “Sperry & Hutchinson’s Very Successful Stagnation,” 1, 3.

[145] Steven Kezerian, “Yale Medal,” Yale University News Bureau, February 21, 1959, 2, Box S1-B4 F-Beinecke, Frederick W.-Awards, 1959 2/21/1959, Yale Medal, AE.

[146] “Illustration, Edwin J.’s gift,” Yale Alumni Magazine 14.10 (Jul., 1951): 7; “Frederick W. Beinecke, of the Class of 1909 S,” Yale Alumni Magazine (Mar., 1959): 19.

[147] Harold T. Shapiro (president emeritus, Princeton University), interview by Benjamin J. Sacks, February 17, 2012.

[148] A. Whitney Griswold to Frederick W. Beinecke, March 19, 1958, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & subject Files, 1958. Philanthropy-Yale, gift to the Yale Library Beinecke Fund, FWB corresp. with A. Whitney Griswold, President of Yale, 3/19/1958, AE.

[149] Shailor, “Introduction,” 11. Also see Donald C. Gallup, What Mad Pursuits! More Memories of a Yale Librarian (New Haven, Conn.: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Yale University, 1998), 4.

[150] James T. Babb to Alfred Whitney Griswold, August 10, 1959, and A. Whitney Griswold to James T. Babb, August 18, 1959, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1959 Philanthropy, Yale, Beinecke family gift of funds to build a new library (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library), corres., AE. In the end, the Beineckes shouldered the vast majority of building funding.

[151] Prindle, Ancestry of William Sperry Beinecke, 21.

[152] Edwin J. Beinecke to James T. Babb, August 21, 1959, p. 2; James T. Babb to Frederick W. Beinecke, October 6, 1959, p. 3, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1959 Philanthropy, Yale, Beinecke family gift of funds to build a new library (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library), corres., AE.

[153] James T. Babb to Gordon Bunshaft, October 22, 1959, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1959 Philanthropy, Yale, Beinecke family gift of funds to build a new library (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library), corres., AE; “Gordon Bunshaft, 1909–1990,” MoMa 2.6 (Autumn, 1990): 3.

[154] Steve Kezerian, Yale University News Bureau, September 28, 1960, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corres. & Subject Files, 1960. Philanthropy, Yale, Beinecke Family gift of new Library (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library), press release, 6-8/1960, AE.

[155] Yale University Library (assumed), press release, 1964, and Herman W. Liebert to Frederick W. Beinecke, Jan. 14, 1964, in Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corr. & Subject Files, 1964. Philanthropy, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, corres. re: financial gift, 1/14/1964, AE.

[156] Alphonse F. Trezza to James T. Babb, February 25, 1964, Box S1-B5 Beinecke, Frederick W.-Corr. & subject Files, 1964. Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library receives AIA “First Honor Award” for Best Designed College Library (press release, corres.), AE.

[157]Walter Beinecke,” Brook Venture, 2009, accessed June 10, 2012.

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  • Article Title Frederick W. Beinecke
  • Coverage 1887-1971
  • Author
  • Website Name Immigrant Entrepreneurship
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  • Access Date June 14, 2024
  • Publisher German Historical Institute
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 22, 2018