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John Robbins catalogs & letter

Elsewhere in TagTown references have been made to the business relationship between John Robbins and Edmund Hoole. This page contains a letter from these companies which seems to be a "joint" issue. This suggests price fixing on baggage checks in 1872. In addition some selections form John Robbins catalogs will be included here.

The following table quantifies the number of shapes available for each catalog year listed. Once enough catalogs have been evaluated a trend of growth and then decline will be obvious. All Robbins catalogs do not have issue dates. There is always a claim of "having been in business for some number of years". This involves estimating the age.
Number of shapes
 Robbins  1861? "18 years experience" (1)  69 listed (2), claims over 100
 Robbins  1868  248
 Help here!    

(1) Estimation based on 1843 start date.
(2) could be missing some pages, doubtful string tied booklet format
1872 Letter to Agents from Robbins & Hoole
Note that Hoole refers to himself as the Hoole Baggage Check Co at this point in time in the New York City Business directory. If only we could pay these prices today.

1861? Robbins catalog cover
Note that I trimmed down the border to save space (time to load image). The 1868 catalog lists the same 42 Kneeland Street address.

1868 Robbins catalog "Reversible" explanation
This is page 28 of the 1868 Robbins catalog of baggage checks. The "Duplicate" check referred to is the passenger receipt. Early examples of reversibles sometimes do not even match in shape. The Types page (click bottom of page) shows an example of this. It is also interesting to see some digs at competitors designs (Wilcox & Murdock) as being clumsy to use.

Early check with brass strap fastener
Robbins "unlike" reversible pair

This is an example of the "brass strap fastening" mentioned in the catalog page above. All of the checks I have seen with these devices have been dated before 1872. The M&CRR is the Memphis & Charleston RR. Note also that  Grand Junction is also in an arc, which is more evidence of this being an early check.

Note Hoole's patent on the bag check with the "brass strap fastening" device (bottom) and Robbins hallmark on the passenger receipt. These checks came with a collection of Cape Cod Railroad memorabilia.

1868 Robbins catalog sample page
This is a sample page from the 1868 Robbins catalog. Note that each shape has a unique number assigned to it for ordering purposes. If anyone has tag #206, please let me know,. I will trade you my car for it!

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