Cover: The Charles Ilfeld Company: A Study of the Rise and Decline of Mercantile Capitalism in New Mexico, from Harvard University PressCover: The Charles Ilfeld Company in HARDCOVER

Harvard Studies in Business History 20

The Charles Ilfeld Company

A Study of the Rise and Decline of Mercantile Capitalism in New Mexico

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$70.00 • £60.95 • €63.95

ISBN 9780674110755

Publication Date: 01/01/1961


512 pages


Harvard Studies in Business History


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  • Foreword
  • Author’s Preface
  • I. Transition from Petty to Mercantile Capitalism to 1874
    • 1. Santa Fe: Development of an Economic Town to 1865
      • Restless Capital
      • The American Trader and the Development of Wholesaling
      • The German Immigrant and the German Jew
      • Elsberg and Amberg
    • 2. Charles Ilfeld Comes to Taos, 1865
      • Migration
      • Selection of Taos
      • A. Letcher Company
      • Customers and Trade Area
      • Money Barter
      • Analysis of Total Business
      • Commercial Decline of Taos
    • 3. Letcher and Ilfeld, Las Vegas (1867–1874)
      • Las Vegas in Retrospect
      • The New Business Site
      • Partnership
      • Sales and Profits
      • Elsberg and Amberg Relationship
      • Letcher and Ilfeld: Mercantile Capitalists
      • Charles Ilfeld: Proprietor
  • II. Foundations of Mercantile Capitalism: Charles Ilfeld, 1867–1887 (Early Phase)
    • Introduction
    • 4. Monetary Exchange, Las Vegas and the East
      • Role of the Forts
      • Servicing Transport
      • Mail Contracts
      • New Private Investment
      • Banks and Exchange
      • Shipment of Raw Materials
      • Significance of the Drive for Monetary Exchange
    • 5. The Merchant Credit System: Independent of Specialized Banking
      • The Late Appearance of the Banking Specialist
      • Handicaps to the Banking Specialist
      • Use of Agents
      • Use of Partners
      • Legal Procurement Area
      • Declining Emphasis on the Merchant Credit System
    • 6. Significance of Slow and Costly Transportation
      • Protection against the Specialist
      • Temporary or Sporadic Impediments to Commerce
      • More Serious Impediments to Trade
      • Interdependence of Merchants in the Arid Southwest
      • Problem of the Backhaul
      • Wagon Rates
      • Railroads and Rebates
      • Looking Ahead
    • 7. Some Early Policy Decisions of Charles Ilfeld
      • Credits and Collections
      • A Definite Policy of Collection
      • Interest
      • Labor Policy
      • Internal Control
      • Emphasis on Retailing
      • The Influence of Industrial Capitalism
      • Rooted to the Plaza
    • 8. Charles Ilfeld and His Management Problem
      • Temporary Managers
      • Pending the Apprenticeship of Max Nordhaus, 1883–1886
      • The Rise of Max Nordhaus
  • III. Toward Mature Mercantile Capitalism: The Establishment of Monopolistic and Protective Devices: Charles Ilfeld and Max Nordhaus, 1887–1929 (Later Phase)
    • Introduction
    • 9. Toward Sheep and Wool Specialization
      • Underlying Forces
      • Charles Ilfeld and Max Nordhaus
      • Max Goldenberg, Collector and Sheep Specialist
      • Contracting Sheep
      • Turning toward the Trail
      • The Drive of 1893
      • Trying Again in 1895
      • Perspective
    • 10. The Wool Trade
      • Early Interest in Wool
      • Wool Contracting Discouraged
      • Wool Storage and Handling
      • Wool Scouring
      • The Protective Tariff
      • The Uptrend
    • 11. The Partido System
      • Development and Early Growth
      • Charles Ilfeld Adopts the Partido System
      • The Profitableness of Partido Agreements to Charles Ilfeld
      • Debt Funding
      • The Partido Contract as an Aid to Customers
      • Analysis of Partidario Ledger Account Balances
      • Troubles with Partidarios
      • Demand for Partido Contracts
      • Protection against Loss of Customers
      • Surplus Sheep and Land Policy
    • 12. Sedentary Sheep Husbandry
      • Forces at Work
      • Toward Sedentary Sheep Husbandry
      • Miscellaneous Ranching Properties
      • Land for Pintada
      • Sheep Ranching at Pintada
      • Managerial Problems
    • 13. Defensive Policy in a Shrinking Trade Area
      • The Beginning Mercantile Capitalist and His Credit Risk
      • Specifically Nordhaus and Ilfeld
      • The Shrinking Trade Area
      • Early Experience with Country Stores
      • The Restrictions on Country Stores
      • Use of Negotiable Cash Orders
      • Use of Non-Negotiable Merchandise Orders
      • Some Problems Encountered
      • Another Try at Springer
      • Puerto de Luna, Liberty, and Tucumcari
    • 14. Retail Trade and the Rise of Jobbing
      • The Broader Picture
      • The Enlarged Department Store
      • Retailing to the Ladies
      • The Native Trade
      • Price Maintenance and Exclusive Brands
      • Jobbing and Bidding
      • Drumming
    • 15. Direct Investment in Country Stores
      • Fort Sumner, Pastura, and Corona
      • Further Retail Store Expansion
    • 16. Wholesaling and Branch Warehouses
      • The Early Extent of Bulk Sales
      • Charles Ilfeld, Wholesaler
      • Incorporation and the Human Factor
      • Expansion of Branch Warehousing
  • IV. Decline of Mercantile Capitalism and the Rise of a New Era
    • 17. The Old Order in a Changing Economy
      • Attacking in Depressions
      • Liquidity and the Great Depression
      • The Old Order Continues
      • The War and Postwar Pressures
    • 18. Thawing the Family Capital
      • Awakening to the Problem
      • The New Regime
      • Emphasis on Administration
      • The Family Draws Its Capital
      • Remnants and Memories of Mercantile Capitalism
  • Appendices
    • 1. Legal Documents of Elsberg and Amberg
      • Bill of Complaint
      • Witness to Signature
      • Orders from Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
      • Separate Answer of Adolph Letcher
      • Separate Answer of Charles Ilfeld
      • Separate Answer of Herman Ilfeld
    • 2. Letter from Residents of Taos County, New Mexico, to President of the United States
    • 3. A. Letcher and Company Account with Elsberg and Amberg
      • Release of Letcher and Company’s Financial Obligations to Elsberg and Amberg
      • Deposit of Letcher and Company with Elsberg and Amberg
    • 4. Copy of Document Transferring Ownership of A. Letcher and Company to Charles Ilfeld
    • 5. Vignette of Alexander Grzelachowski
    • 6. News Item from the Las Vegas Gazette, January 24, 1883
    • 7. Explanatory Notes to Maps of the Territory of New Mexico, 1870
    • 8. The Arnot Wool Company, Subsidiary of Gross, Kelly and Company
    • 9. Description of the Albuquerque Wool Scouring Mill
    • 10. Description of the Rio Grande Woolen Mills Company in Albuquerque
    • 11. Wool Data and Partido Sheep, 1894–1905
    • 12. Sheep Contract: Charles Ilfeld with Juan Tafoya and Pedro Tafoya
    • 13. Distribution of Country Accounts and Country Account Balances, 1880 and 1890
    • 14. Current Financial Position of Charles Ilfeld and Company, 1895–1949
    • 15. Consolidated Statements of Operating Data, Charles Ilfeld Company 1886–1949
    • 16. Genealogy of the Ilfeld-Nordhaus Families
  • Bibliography
  • Notes
  • Index

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