Did you ever wonder where the idea of credit reports came from? In July 1841 Lewis Tappan formed the Mercantile Agency (later Dun & Bradstreet) in New York City. The agency collected a small amount of business information - sales estimate, industry, and bill paying ability - on companies, so that those wanting to do business with each other reliable information. This firm continues on today and has grown to include the publisher Hoover's, another staple of libraries.
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This Month in Business History
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Lewis Tappan, half-length portrait, seated, facing right
Prints & Photographs Division
Library of Congress
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-47919
Fireworks at Washington Monument, ca. 1950.
from the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection (Library of Congress)
Reproduction number: LC-H8-CT-F02-001-A
July 4th marks the founding of the United States, and for many the day would not be complete without the evening fireworks celebration. If you've ever wondered about the origins of this custom, fireworks appear to have been associated with this day since the founding of the republic. John Adams wrote in his diary for July 3, 1776, about the declaration to be made the following day: "The day .... ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore."
In July of 1912 economist and Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner Milton Friedman was born. Milton Friedman taught economic theory for many years at the University of Chicago, known collectively as the Chicago School of Economics. Among some of his more well known works are A Monetary History of the United States which was an examination of the role of the money supply and economic activity in U.S. history and A Theory of the Consumption Function, an alternative theory to John Maynard Keynes' The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
Photograph of Milton J. Friedman, 2002
Courtesy of the University of Chicago