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Early Business Periodicals at the Library of Congress

General Commercial and Financial Periodicals

During the nineteenth century the number of periodicals dedicated specifically to commercial and financial activities increased markedly. They aimed to provide “men of business” all the information necessary to participate successfully in economic life: articles describe the workings of industry and commerce, finance, and shipping; and report the latest stock market activity as well as relevant news in business, law, and politics. Some periodicals include a prospectus or statement of purpose in the initial issue. The periodicals described below are linked to bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Hunt's Merchants' Magazine

New York
LC Call Number: HF1.M5

Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine was founded in 1839 “to provide business men with a valuable periodical devoted to the commercial and industrial interests of the nation and, so far as might be, of the world.” During its thirty-year print run, it published stock and bond tables, debt statements, and the commercial, industrial, transportation, and agriculture news it promised.

In 1871 Commercial and Financial Chronicle absorbed the monthly Merchant’s Magazine and Commercial Review, a descendent of Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine.

Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine was included in Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature, 1839-1870. The full run (1839-1870) of this periodical, is available in ProQuest’s American Periodicals Series Online as Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review. Several full-text issues of each title are available at HathiTrust Digital Library. External

Holdings with title changes:

Microform holdings:

Commercial and Financial Chronicle

New York
LC Call Number: HG1.C7

This long-running periodical contains articles on the full range financial and commercial issues of the day. It provides extensive data on stocks, corporate bonds, and government securities; money market conditions; price, production, and supply information on a full array of commodities and staple goods; trade and port activity reports; company and industry information; and reports on foreign trade and commerce, especially as related to American business. It is also an excellent source of information on U.S. public debt.

In 1871 Commercial and Financial Chronicle absorbed the monthly Merchant’s Magazine and Commercial Review, a descendent of Hunt’s Merchants’ Magazine.

Commercial and Financial Chronicle is selectively indexed in the Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective (1913-1978) database. Although publication continued into the late 1980s, the Library has few print holdings past 1976. However, a microform set is available for researchers. Several full-text and search-only issues of the Chronicle and its supplements are available at HathiTrust Digital Library. External.

Holdings with title changes:

Microform holdings:

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Supplements

The Commercial and Financial Chronicle published important supplements, which were individually cataloged, and are listed in the following entries:

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Railway and Industrial Compendium.

LC Call Number: HG1.C74

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Bank and Quotation Supplement.

LC Call Number: HG1.C76

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. State and City Section.

LC Call Number: HG1.C78

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. The Public Utility Compendium.

LC Call Number: HC1.C82

Commercial and Financial Chronicle. Railway Earnings Section.

LC Call Number HG1.C83

Bradstreet's Weekly, A Business Digest

New York
LC Call Number: HF1.B8

Bradstreet's Weekly reported on commerce, finance, and industry, as well as local and international events. It is a rich source of statistical data, such as weekly finance reports, import and export quantities and values, as well as local and foreign business activity reports. It provided thorough accounts of international trade, particularly United States trade with the United Kingdom. On a regular basis, it reported information on the trade markets for breadstuffs, cotton, wool, sugar, wood, butter, iron and steel, and many more items. Data is usually presented in tables that facilitate comparable analysis. In addition to covering bilateral business relationships, Bradstreet's regularly reported on foreign markets with quantitative data.

John Milton Bradstreet had published the first book of commercial credit ratings in 1851. Mercantile agencies, such as Bradstreet and its chief competitor, R.G. Dun & Co., provided subscribers with credit information on distant businesses. Bradstreet's extensive network of reporters on business credit-worthiness provided the foundation of a general business news publication. Bradstreet and R.G. Dun later merged to form Dun and Bradstreet.

The Public: A Journal of Finance, Commercial Interests, and Political Science

New York
LC Call Number: HG1 .P9

Articles in The Public comment on contemporary news, including presidential elections, war, Congress, and political and transportation news. There are railroad company reports, market reviews, exchange tables, and unique advertising. Sections also deal with foreign trade and commercial information. Each volume has an index subdivided into categories: editorials, correspondence, investment and railroad news. From v.1-v.8 (1872-1875), the periodical was called The Financier; however, beginning with v. 5, the title on the spines of bound volumes in the collection is The Public.

The Daily Indicator

New York
LC Call Number: HG1.D4

Subtitled "Latest Financial, Mining, Railroad, and Insurance and Commercial News," this daily periodical has reports of all transactions on the Stock Exchange; tables of railroad stocks and bonds with the dates and prices of latest sales; daily corrected tables on insurance stocks and on city and town securities. These daily tables offer a large data sample that could be of use for researchers aiming to determine market trends and identify patterns. Each issue also reports the latest news of importance to bankers, investors, and the general businessman.

The American Banker

New York
LC Call Number: HG1501.A5

This weekly publication reported developments related to banking, such as bank openings and closings; bank failures; reorganizations; bank consolidations; and transfers of ownership or management. It reported extensively on banking law, especially judicial opinions. To help maintain the integrity of circulating bank notes, it provided news of counterfeits, and forgeries, bank burglaries, and updated information on counterfeit bank notes or altered designs. It features detailed reports on the prices and trading activity of corporate and government securities. In addition there are wholesale price tables for items such as dry goods and foodstuffs, including wool, seeds, glass, nails, rice, and fish.

The Financial Record and Investors' Manual

Boston, New York
LC Call Number: HF1.E15

Not to be confused with the ever popular Economist magazine from London, the short- running American Economist presented financial and business news for a select audience. Statistical tables give railroad stock data and up-to-date stock exchange numbers. Articles cover topics from "The Half Year's Trade" detailing the dollar value of imports and exports as compared to the previous six months, to "The Panama Canal," which summarizes an informational tour of a dam and reservoir in France.

Dun's Review, International Edition

New York
LC Call Number: HF1.D9

The international edition of Dun's Review is part of the business index series that merged with Bradstreet's Weekly in 1933. The first International Edition includes editorials on the "Significance of the Decline in Silver," and articles about "The Trans-Continental Railroads Projected in Australia" and the "History of Failures in the United States." In addition to the wide variety of international trade and business news, there is a classified index to guide researchers interested in advertisements. Each issue has a general table of contents, and is indexed in Industrial Arts Index. Many issues are available at HaithiTrust Digital Library. External

Exporters and Importers Journal with American Price Current

New York, Boston, Chicago
LC Call Number: HF1.E7

The Exporters and Importers Journal was founded "to place before the purchaser of American merchandise the most complete and accurate information possible to obtain." Its American Price Current section lists prices and specifications along with product illustrations. This journal features illustrated articles about agricultural, mining, and manufacturing products and industries. There are market reviews, freight rates, marine news and data, American export tables, and lists of exports by destination. This is an invaluable resource for researching early 20th century American manufactured products and international trade.

The American Exporter: Expand the Market and Increase Production

New York
LC Call Number: HF1.A5

"The single object of this journal will be to promote a larger and wider distribution of the products of the United States by spreading abroad the fullest possible intelligence concerning the industries of this country." It regularly published illustrated features on manufacturing; machinery and mill supplies; home furnishings; clothing and textiles; drugs, optical and surgical goods; forestry and papermaking; and other products. Its indexed advertisements, foreign trade news notes, trade statistics, and tables of exports by country make this periodical a valuable resource in the history of international trade and commerce during the late 19th and 20th centuries. It is indexed in the Industrial Arts Index. Some issues are available in HaithiTrust Digital Library. External

The Country Courier

New York
LC Call Number: Microfilm 01104 no.100 AP

Both Country Courier and its predecessor, Examiner, were edited by Barent Gardenier, a lawyer and politician who served as a Representative from New York in the U.S. House of Representatives. Essays in the Examiner concern commercial policy and economic matters as they relate to political events, especially the War of 1812. While the Examiner was mainly a political magazine, the Country Courier reported on foreign and domestic events, as well as the proceedings of Congress and the state legislature. Much of its material was selected from other papers, particularly the New-York Courier, a daily paper. There was also a column on literature called "The Critic," and some poetry and anecdotes. Each volume contains an index. The Library holds the semi-weekly, Country Courier, only on microform. Both Country Courier and Examiner are available online in ProQuest American Periodicals.

Fisher's National Magazine and Industrial Record

New York
LC Call Number: HF1.F5

"We shall prove that Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce, far from being rivals, are the three graces of civil society…" Although short-lived, Fisher's National Magazine is a source of mid-nineteenth century American commercial news, descriptions of industry, updates on the state of crops, "Notices of new books," explanations of U.S. tariffs, and American economic history in articles such as the "Historical Sketch of Continental Money." There are also reports on internal improvements, such as canals; demographic data summaries; descriptions of commerce in foreign countries; and biographical sketches. Each issue has a table of contents. All issues are available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library. External

The Review: A Commercial, Financial and Literary Journal

New York
LC Call Number: HG1.R4

As the title indicates, this periodical covers commercial and financial news with a literary section at the end of each issue. Subjects written about include insurance, free trade zones, tariffs, domestic and foreign railways, shipping, and crops and manufactures. Researchers looking for insurance statistics will find them here. Anyone using this source will discover the literary section full of amusing anecdotes and excellent puns that lend levity to the research process.

"Among the recent arrivals in Philadelphia is a gorilla preserved in alcohol. Although dead the animal is in excellent spirits."
The Review, November 1882

Southern Hardware

LC Call Number: HD9705.U6 S6

Founded in Chattanooga in 1879, The Tradesman was published there until 1915 when it was consolidated with Southern Machinery, moved to Atlanta, and renamed Iron Tradesman. In October 1918, that title was changed to Southern Hardware and Implement Journal. Although records vary as to the date, perhaps 1926, it later became known as Southern Hardware. From its beginning, this publication provided detailed information about developments in iron, steel, and other metals; hardware and machine tools; retailing; manufacturers; building materials; and transportation for Southern businesses. Sample headlines from the edition of March 1, 1895, enlighten researchers to some of the content: "Mill Building by Installment," "Foundry and Machine Shop: Proper Foundry Construction and the Apparatus to be Used," "Important Mining Legislation," "Southern Industrial News: What is Going On Among the Factories of the South. In each issue, there are numerous pages of advertisements featuring tools and machinery, coupon books, and classifieds. Each issue has a table of contents.

Niles' Weekly Register

Baltimore, Philadelphia
LC Call Number: JK1.N5

The original Prospectus states the purpose of publishing political essays and discussion with an aim of being unbiased. Niles included "Brief yet comprehensive accounts of 'the revolutions of empires'" while "Avoiding whatever may provoke religious controversy." Each issue summarized the preceding week's news "so as to present a general view of what is doing in the world." Niles' Weekly Register is notable for its rarely interrupted coverage of early 19th century commerce, events, and trade. It reported regularly on Congressional decisions, conditions in the states and foreign nations, domestic and foreign trade news, and military and political events. Particularly remarkable is the focus on transportation in relation to trade. Each volume has an index, and it is included in Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. Burt Franklin published a reprint.

Niles' Weekly Register (1814-1837) and Niles' National Register (1837-1849) are available online in ProQuest American Periodicals and in EBSCO American Antiquarian Society Historical Periodicals. Niles National Register (v.1-v.76 (1811-1849)) is in Hein Online.

Microform holdings:

DeBow's Review; Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial Progress and Resources

New Orleans
LC Call Number: HF1.D2

According to the preface, DeBow's aimed to be a journal of trade, commerce, commercial polity, agriculture, manufactures, internal improvement, and a literary work. It covered subjects ranging from railroads to foreign and domestic grain markets, the Louisiana sugar crop, and English post office reforms and their effect on the American system. Its focus on the Southern and Western United States, location of publication, and publication dates make DeBow's particularly useful for the study of the South before, during, and after the Civil War. It is indexed in the Index to Legal Periodical Literature and ;Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, and each volume contains an index. Select issues from 1846-1867 are available electronically at the HathiTrust Digital Library External, and some issues from 1850-1880 are available online in ProQuest American Periodicals Series.

Financial Review

Washington, D.C.
LC Call Number: HG1.F65

Although the Financial Review emphasized local and East Coast American business news, it included updates of foreign news. A "Foreign Commerce" section discusses imports and exports, the change in gold supplies in National Banks around the world and the U.S. Treasury. It also includes U.S. bank statements, Treasury transactions, bonds, and both New York and Washington Stock Exchange quotations.

The Dial

LC Call Number: HG1.D5

This daily periodical provided data on stocks; notes, particularly bank notes; specie quotations; and rates of domestic exchange. It published brief reports on the financial condition of banks and insurance companies; announcements of forthcoming publications; sailing days of European departures and arrivals; and railroad route announcements. It described counterfeit bills, editorialized the Civil War ("the rebellion") in relation to its financial context, and discussed taxes and national debt. Mainly American news is covered, but also international business as it related to United States trade and commerce. It is indexed in Poole's Index to Periodical Literature.

The Financial Register of the United States

LC Call Number: HG1.F55

The prospectus in the first issue lays out material to be included: the annual report of the Treasury Secretary, excerpts from "annual commercial statements showing the extent of the commerce and navigation of the United States," reports on banks and on state debts, British and French financial news, and other commercial and banking statistics. Although this publication ended after eighteen months, its editor concluded that "the two volumes contain as much printed matter as is contained in five octavo volumes of the usual size, and will be found serviceable for reference, as comprising the history of the late money crisis" (i.e., the Panic of 1837). Full text is available online at the HathiTrust Digital Library. External

The Statist, a Weekly Journal

LC Call Number: HG11.S8

"An attempt will be made to present, in a highly condensed form, each week, a record of the important events in the various departments of trade and finance, an adequate discussion of these events, and a series of statistical tables…" There are statistical tables of bank returns, wholesale commodities prices, railway traffic numbers, and bullion and exchanges. The "Letters to the editor" section consists of correspondence about markets, trade, finance, and business. Some attention is devoted to colonial and international commerce. Each volume has an index, and is included in Subject Index to Periodicals, Biography Index, and Business Periodicals Index. Many issues are available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library. External

Investors Chronicle and Money Market Review

LC Call Number: HG11.M8

Money Market Review promised "Independent comments upon the various commercial and Financial Topics of the Day. Leading articles upon the Bank Returns, the Money Market, and Kindred Matters. Full details of the movements in the Stock Exchange, and in the Public Securities of every kind. Special analysis of the Accounts and Position of our great Railway, Banking, and other Undertakings, Home and Foreign. Also, a careful description of the Course of Trade in the manufacturing and other Districts. Together with a Weekly Review of the Mining Business."

The publication also reported on currencies, trade, commodities, companies and industries, and economies around the world. It includes advertisements. Each volume contains an index. In August 1914, the title changed to Money Market Review & Investors' Chronicle until 1921 when it became Investors' Chronicle & Money Market Review. It merged with Stock Exchange Gazette in June 1967 and began publication as Investors Chronicle and Stock Exchange Gazette (HG4501.I57).

The Shipping World and Shipbuilder

LC Call Number: HE 561.S6

According to the first issue in May 1883, The Shipping World was "established to record the progress of shipbuilding and auxiliary industries, promote the true interests of our Merchant Navy, and to extend the markets and guard the welfare of trade and commerce at home and abroad. This publication is valuable for its content relating to shipping, commerce, and trade and industry over the course of its history. Coverage also includes shipbuilding and ship repairs, marine engineering, safety, dockyards and harbors, sailings, freight markets, and passenger and cruise lines. Some issues include pull-out charts, such as the 1883 "Chart of the River Clyde: showing shipbuilding yards" and a "Chart showing Extent and Value of British Commerce." It absorbed World Shipbuilding ;on July 7, 1954, Shipbuilder and Marine Engine-Builder on July 2, 1964, and Syren and Shipping Illustrated in May 1967. It is included in the British Technology Index.

Great Britain Trade and Navigation Monthly

LC Call Number: HF183.A3

This is an excellent source of international trade data for Great Britain and her trading partners. Nine sections of tables provide a large sample of data. These are: I. Imports and Consumption, which alphabetically lists items with their quantity and value for the current and two preceding years, and includes foreign and colonial merchandise; II. Exports of foreign and colonial merchandise; III. Exports of British and Irish produce and manufactures by destination; V. Imports and Exports of Bullion and Specie; VI. Shipping/Foreign trade tonnage of vessels by nationality and country of entry; VIII. Declared Value of Merchandise imported; IX. Declared value of British and Irish Exports. Each issue has a table of contents.

The Tradesman; or Commercial Magazine

LC Call Number: HF11.T7

In the Preface of its first issue, The Tradesman declared it would contain discussion of the Acts of Parliament relating to Commerce, imports and exports, manufactures, and commercial speculation. It reported on fisheries and agricultural markets, including wool, silk, linen, and cotton sales and transport. It published articles about advances in the coal industry and others intended to promote the "general advantages" of canals. Additionally, there is a "Catalogue of all books published on any of those subjects in the preceding Month." Data in this publication includes marine lists, stock statistics, and commodities prices. It is an extremely valuable source for early 19th century commercial and trade history. This periodical is available online in the ProQuest British Periodicals Collection for the years 1808-1812, and in The Making of the Modern World for the years 1808-1815. Several issues are also available at the HathiTrust Digital Library. External

British Trade Journal and Export World

LC Call Number: HF11.B7

"A complete monthly résumé of all items of commercial interest to residents in India, China, Japan …" and Commonwealth countries. The contents of the January 1895 edition indicate the variety of subjects covered: "Trade Revival in Brazil," "Refrigeration for Breweries," "Steam Engines and Thrashers for Export." A Spanish edition was published every other month, and occasionally editions in French, Dutch, and Italian. Recurring sections were "Notes on New Books" and commercial and trade reports. It came into print approximately 15 years before similar publications, thus expanding the wealth of data and information available to researchers. Some issues are available online at the HathiTrust Digital Library. External

Microform holdings:

The Economist: A Financial, Railway, and Mining Journal

Boston, New York
LC Call Number: HF1.E15

Not to be confused with the ever popular Economist magazine from London, the short- running American Economist presented financial and business news for a select audience. Statistical tables give railroad stock data and up-to-date stock exchange numbers. Articles cover topics from "The Half Year's Trade" detailing the dollar value of imports and exports as compared to the previous six months, to "The Panama Canal," which summarizes an informational tour of a dam and reservoir in France.