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This Month in Business History


Collier magazine cover depicting men holding tools and firearms, building military equipment for war efforts
Arthur Szyk, artist. [Labor Day, 1942]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Labor Day

Many Americans may think of Labor Day as the end of summer or a day of rest, parades, picnics, or store sales. Labor Day is so much more.

Homeowners Insurance Introduced

In September 1950 the Insurance Company of North America (INA), the largest and oldest company of its kind in the United States, introduced a profoundly innovative idea that transformed the insurance industry.

The Panic of 1873

Today when people hear someone speak of the "great depression" most automatically think of the severe financial downturn beginning in 1929, but for many years prior to that, the term "great depression" conjured up images of the financial distress ushered in by the Panic of 1873.

Patent for the Cash Register Issued

Patent number 221,360 was issued on November 4, 1879, for a machine that was designed to solve the problem of employee theft - the cash registered.

Patent for the XEROX Machine Issued

The Xerox 914 was unveiled on September 16, 1959 and has been a staple in office large and small ever since.

John Merrick, Entrepreneur and Community Leader, Born

John Merrick was born enslaved on September 7, 1859. He went on to become an entrepreneur, a community leader, and a philanthropist.

New York City's Independent Subway System Opened

New York City's subway system traces its history to the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (built in 1908) and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (1902), but on September 10, 1932 the Independent Subway System opened as a combined system.