BOGERT & DURBIN

Copyright 2021 John N. Lupia, III

 “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” - William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

The firm of Bogert & Durbin that was incorporated in 1891 is a classic case of the power of branding. R. R. Bogert & Co., New York had  for twenty years established a solid reputation and confidence in the global philatelic community. Durbin & Hanes, had done the same for a decade in Philadelphia. But it was four years after the death of L. W. Durbin in 1887 that Bogert & Durbin was formed with Edward Billings Hanes, as if concealing himself behind the name, became its first president.  So let it be known that the firm of Bogert & Durbin was posthumous and contained no Durbin at all since he already had left this world four years before the company was formed.


Rudolphus Ritzema Bogert (1842-1907),  was born on February 17, 1842, son of Rudolphus  Bogert (1811-1866), and Wealthy Jane Gordon (1819-1900), New York City, New York  Postage Stamp Dealer. In 1874 he was a founding member of the National Philatelic Society. He had his first office at 227 Harrison Street, Brooklyn, New York, but later in early 1882 removed to the Tribune Building on Nassau Street. He published Philatelic World.


Grandfather of Rudolphus Ritzema Bogert also named Rudolphus Bogert (1766-1842), came to New York from the Netherlands (Holland), died when our Rudolphus was an infant, miniature locket portrait in watercolor painted by Parmesan Howell circa 1806, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number: 69.187. IAP 36121010


He married Elsie Comstock (1854-1930), and they had three children Helen (1876-?), Charlotte Ritzema (1880-?), and Infant 1878-1878.


He held his 24th Auction Sale on Wednesday and Friday, February 25 and 27, 1891 at 7:30 P. M. R. R. Bogert Stamps on Exhibition at Room 37, Tribune building for Two Weeks before the Sale. Knickerbocker Conservatory, 44 W. 14th St., New York City. 


Above: R. R. Bogert's Philatelic World (Tiffany 117) Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.





Above : R. R. Bogert & Co., to the Chapman Brothers, postmarked December 8, 1887. Reverse of cover bears an R. R. Bogert & Co., mailing label. The Chapman Brothers were always lifelong stamp dealers besides dealing in coins and other numismatic items. There are many pieces of correspondence both with Bogert and Durbin singly and jointly in the Lupia Archive. Only a few are given here to demonstrate. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections, Special Collection : The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. 1884 cover estimate $200.


Above : R. R. Bogert envelope postmarked Registered March 25, 1888. Ex-Schuyler Rumsey, Lot 1884, Closed $130.

In 1885 Bogert hired sixteen year-old Arthur Elijah Tuttle (1869-1943) as an assistant and his older half brother George Robert Tuttle (1853-1919) was already working for him. These were the two brothers but of different mothers sons of Marwell Elijah Granger Tuttle (1815-1890) and his first wife Marietta Hardon (1818-1857) who gave birth to George, and his second wife Mary Louise O'Hara (1835-1906), who gave birth to Arthur.




Bogert's advertisement appeared in many  magazines was a commonly seen eye catcher that made him highly successful.


He merged his business with Edward Billings Hanes and Arthur Elijah Tuttle forming a consolidation with Durbin and Hanes in 1891 renaming the merged companies Bogert & Durbin long after the death of Durbin. The firm had $75,000 operating capital. The board of directors included R. R. Bogert, Arthur E Tuttle, William F. Clement, and George R. Tuttle, Hanes was President of the firm, Bogert the Treasurer, and Arthur E. Tuttle, Secretary. They remained in both offices : Durbin & Hanes' city of Philadelphia, and in the Tribune Building, 60 Nassau Street, New York. The New York branch office occupied 1,500 square feet and had six salesman full time filling orders.


Edward Billings Hanes (1851-1923), died on May 2, 1923 while living at Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, bequeathing his library of 560 volumes on Playing Checkers to the Public Library of Providence, Rhode Island.

Edward Billings Hanes (1851-1923), was born on August 25, 1851, Providence, Rhode Island, son of Pasco Hanes, Jr. (1828-1864), a tinsmith, and Permella Lucia Cady (1823/5-1908). On September 10, 1879, he married Nettie Edna Bowen (1860-), daughter of Cyrus and Diana Bowen. They had George Cyrus Hanes (1880-1939), who married Bertha Dorr in 1904. His two granddaughters Beulah and Ruth died in their infancy. He worked as a druggist for 10 years. Afterwards he worked as a publisher for 10 years. Following this he was a traveling salesman for philately. He was devoted to collecting books and pamphlets on playing checkers and accumulated one of the largest know collections in the country. Hanes was the real driving force behind the brand name Bogert & Durbin, scouting and traveling to purchase stamp collections and hoards wherever he could find them for the company to process and liquidate them at reasonably good profit margins.


In 1896 Bogert took part as one of the founders of The Collectors Club, and help organize the American Philatelic Society.




                Above : Postal Card advertisement circular used of Bogert & Durbin to announce their business to prospective customers. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.


        Above. Bogert & Durbin like many 19th century stamp dealers had rubber stamps made to stamp the gum side of stamps certifying them with their brand.

        Above : Postal Card of Bogert & Durbin imprinted for correspondence with clients. Here they request a client drop by to straighten out their bids which seem to be in disorder. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.

        Above : Postal Card dated January 3, 1893 from George Robert Tuttle to Hiram Edmund Deats : "I have sent to me on approval some 90c 1888 as follows : 2 strips of 4 each, a block of 4and a block of 10. All at catalogue prices. How would you care to have them? Yours very truly, George R. Tuttle, 520 Summer Ave. Newark, NJ." George Tuttle, a partner in the firm of Bogert & Durbin lived in the Forest Hills section of Newark, New Jersey and wrote to Deats from his residence, not the office. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections, Special Collection : The Hiram Edmund Deats Archive.

        Above: Postal Card dated May 10, 1893 from George Robert Tuttle to Hiram Edmund Deats :"These W. U. Tel's are in 1875 Machine E at $1.75, 1878 Mk D at $1.75, 1880 Rubber D at $1.75, 1884 Mk. E at 5c. Do you with them? Geo R Tuttle" There are many pieces of correspondence with Bogert & Durbin in the Lupia Archive. Only a few are given here to demonstrate. There was already a growing market in philately for Western Union Telegraph telegrams, which carried good premiums. The varieties cited are by varying methods of imprinting the corporate name on the telegrams either by machine printing, watermark, or rubber stamp. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections, Special Collection : The Hiram Edmund Deats Archive.

            Above : Bogert & Durbin envelope postmarked August 23, 1893, New York to L. Beringer, New York City. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.

            Above : Graphic illustrated business envelope showing the Bogert & Durbin building Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, postmarked September 21, 1893. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.

In 1894, Bogert hired his cousin Percy C. Doane.

In 1895, September issue of Philatelic Monthly they published their discovery of the Chestnut Street Line Local stamp.

        Above : 
Graphic illustrated business envelope showing the Bogert & Durbin building Chestnut Street, Philadelphia  postmarked  Registered November 1897. Ex-Siegel Sale Dr. William H Johnson Collection, Lot 2135, Closed $160.

            Edward Billings Hanes, a native of Providence Rhode Island was among the stamp dealers and collectors who during the 1890's purchased the remaining sheets of the Providence, Rhode Island Postmaster Provisionals 1845-1847. When they were all gone he negotiated to obtain the now defunct plate and intended to reprint the stamps seeing a demand in the collecting community. To avoid fraud like that of the notorious Boston Gang twenty years earlier he place on the verso or gum side in capital letters BOGERTDURBIN so that each stamp had at least one letter of this imprint on the back. Perhaps what led to the success of this enterprise was the reputation Leon W. Durbin has established as a Postmaster provisional stamp expert in 1869 some 18 years prior to his death. Now that the new company Bogert & Durbin enjoyed the past reputation Durbin had already established the firm met with great success in liquidating the 171 sheets of reprints they issued.

        Above: Providence Rhode Island Provisional reprinted by Bogert & Durbin 1898. There were 171 sheets printed of this plate they obtained. Ex-Siegel Sale 948, (December 13, 2007): Lot 110
Above : Bogert to Henry Chapman, Jr., postmarked January 25, 1900. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections, Special Collection : The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive.

Bogert retired as a corporate officer in 1900.

Above : Bogert & Durbin postmarked November 8, 1904, Philadelphia to P. D. Collins, New York City. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.

In 1904, Bogert was Member No. 73 in the Stamp Collectors Association.        He was also a member of the Canadian Philatelic Society.

        Above : Bogert & Durbin postmarked Registered January 5, 1905 sent to Luther Brown Tuthill, South Creek, North Carolina, a famous dealer in Confederate money. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.

Above : Bogert & Durbin label gives both the Philadelphia and New York addresses, cover postmarked Registered April 19, 1906 with six Scott #230 1 cent Columbian stamps on an uprated 4 cents postal stationer . Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.


Bogert died January 23rd 1907 just 3-1/2 weeks before his 65th birthday.


In 1910, Bogert & Durbin was sold to The United States Stamp Company.




Leonidas W. Durbin (1849-1887) was born on August 18, 1849, in Rising Sun, Indiana. From 1861-1865 he served in the Quartermasters Office during the Civil War. In 1865 he entered the banking house of Gaylord, Leavenworth & Co., of St. Louis, Missouri. He moved from St. Louis to Philadelphia in April 1869 to join the firm of Mason & Co.


His stamp dealership was located at 129 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA; Burlington, New Jersey. He was formerly from St. Louis, MO. Stamp dealer partner with Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., to run the stamp department of Mason & Co. 


 L. W. Durbin stamp dealer in St. Louis, MO, who ran an advertisement in Mason’s Magazine published on the cover. His photograph is published as figure 45 in Mason’s Photographic Gallery of the Coin Collectors of the United States No. 1. 


The second partnership of Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., which was to fund a Coin and Stamp Depot in New York was first met with a mishap when the gentleman Leon W. Durbin, of St. Louis, Missouri, had a near fatal accident with a dumb bell being struck in the head at his temple with a near fatal blow. 


    Wishing to increase his business, and move to more spacious quarters, Mr. Mason admitted Mr. George H. Wells of Boston, Mass., as an equal partner, and removed to Edward Cogan’s old coin store, Tenth and Arch streets, and in 1868, bought out his partner, and admitted L. W. Durbin as a full partner. This change was made to secure a partner having a knowledge of the postage-stamp business, and also to enable Mr. Wells, who was an architect and builder, to engage in constructing a block of houses on land he had purchased for that purpose.



While still in St. Louis early 1869 Durbin published an article on the history of the St. Louis Bears or Postmaster provisional stamps, American Journal of Philately (April 20, 1869) ; 48. He reports having met Kershaw who engraved the plate over twenty years earlier. 





        Above : James M. Kershaw's advertisement in the St. Louis Business Directory, for 1847, when John M. Wimer (1810-1863), was Postmaster at 87 Chestnut Street. 

John M. Wimer courtesy 
Siegel Auction Galleries superb catalogue edition of March 28, 2012, pages 133-135.

This Business Directory contains a very lengthy "History of St. Louis" which devotes most of the text to the "Flood of 1844". The author fills the pages with much detail and is clearly proud of his city. Yet, oddly enough he fails to brag about the Postmaster's Provisionals, not a single word. However, we do find in the Missouri Republican, November 5, 1845, the following public announcement:

LETTER STAMPS. Mr. Wimer, the postmaster, has prepared a set of letter stamps, or rather marks, to be put upon letters, indicating that the postage has been paid. In this he has copied after the plan adopted by the postmaster of New York and other cities. These stamps are engraved to represent the Missouri Coat of Arms, and are five and ten cents. They are so prepared that they may be stuck upon a letter like a wafer and will prove a great convenience to merchants and all those having many letters to send post paid, as it saves all trouble of paying at the post-office. They will be sold as they are sold in the East, viz.: Sixteen five-cent stamps and eight ten-cent stamps for a dollar. We would recommend merchants and others to give them a trial.

        The following week the same paper added the cost of ninety cents worth of stamps would cost one dollar. Just when postage was reduced by the U. S. government allowing for the use of envelopes to wrap a sheet letter the general public may not have found these new provisional stamps appealing at such a premium.


        Above : Advertisement in the St. Louis Business Directory, for 1847, shows the address of the Old Post-Office before the infamous flood of 1844 that destroyed many buildings and businesses.

Above : Siegel Auction Galleries superb catalogue edition of March 28, 2012, pages 133-135.

        The earliest known mention of the St. Louis Postmaster Provisionals is found in Stamp Collectors' Magazine, Volume 1 (1863) : 152, and 172 citing Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper

Above : Frank Leslie circa 1877.

Frank Leslie (1821-1880), an immigrant from London, England arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848 working as an engraver producing illustrations for Gleason's Pictorial. In 1853, he moved to New York engraving for P. T. Barnum. In 1854, Frank Leslie’s Ladies’ Gazette of Fashion and Fancy Needlework, with good woodcuts by Leslie & Hooper, a partnership which dissolved that year. The New York Journal soon followed, with Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (Leslie’s Weekly), The Boy’s and Girl’s Weekly, The Budget of Fun and many others. Apparently, in 1863, it was Frank Leslie, an engraver, who seems to be the real discoverer of the St. Louis Provisionals in the infancy of postage stamp collecting in America and his notice was afterwards published in England's Stamp Collectors' Magazine, November issue of 1863. It is unfortunate that such a great and important discovery should by chance be made by a highly skilled engraver which during the period surrounding the Boston Gang certainly puts a cloud on the subject. One is left wondering asking themselves : "Will the real engraver of the St. Louis Provisionals please stand up?" At least, the St. Louis Postmaster Provisionals seem to appear to be the creation of Kershaw at the behest of Wimer in 1845 and reissued at the outbreak of the Civil War. The extant covers of the 1840's that bear them (no pun intended) are addressed to pro-slavery southern states in Virginia and found in the Kentucky hoard. A speculative guess would make such a stamp more acceptable to southerners during the Great Rebellion than the Washington 3c issues by the United States government. Or, the stamp engraved by Kershaw in 1845  may have been revived by Wimer when he defected to his native state of Virginia during the war using them as safe substitutes for pro-slavery states functioning as ad hoc provisional Confederate stamps. This was very clear.  The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum curator has given us the following on this subject:

 "During the five months between the US Post office's withdrawal of services from the seceded states and the first issue of Confederate postage stamps, postmasters throughout the Confederacy used temporary substitutes for postal payment. Postmasters had to improvise and used various methods to apply confirmation of postage to mailed covers, ranging from the creation of their own adhesive postage stamps to the marking of letters with either rate-altered hand-stamps or the manuscript indication "Paid." The improvised stamps and pre-paid covers are known to collectors as 'Postmaster Provisionals', so-called because they were used 'provisionally' until the first Confederate general postage stamp issues appeared. Some Confederate post offices would subsequently experience shortages in postage stamps and would revert to the use of Provisional stamps and hand-stamps. There are many dozens of types of Provisional stamps and hand-stamps from different towns and cities about the Confederacy. In some circles, Postmaster Provisionals are referred to as 'locals' since they were intended only for use from the town in which they were issued" 

De La Rue & Co. of London was contracted to make plates for the CSA, but the difficulty in transporting across the Atlantic during war revealed they needed an English engraver in America who through various covert steps could deliver plates surreptitiously. 

The St. Louis Bears erect affrontant holding a large medal upon its edge an inscription with the motto : UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL a very aptly suitable expression for the cause. This may well account to the varieties one finds among them. Coincidentally Wimer was killed in January 1863 shortly afterwards it appears that Frank Leslie hypothetically made the discovery through his CSA contacts and published about the stamps in his newspaper. 

Above : John Menninger Reagan (1818-1905).

The Confederate States Postmaster John Menninger Reagan (1818-1905) advertised in New York newspapers soliciting engravers to help make postage stamps for the CSA. It seems very probable and tenable that Frank Leslie was in direct contact and may have been involved with some of the CSA postage stamps including the St. Louis Provisionals. We owe a debt to Durbin for his report on meeting James M. Kershaw the engraver of the first plates. 

 



Durbin ran the stamp department for one year ending on April 1, 1870. In April 1869 Leon W. Durbin becomes a partner taking control of the stamp department of the Magazine in May teaching him the ropes to establish himself on the east coast in Philadelphia, close to New York. 



He retired from Mason & Co., in 1870 establishing his own stamp dealership at Philadelphia, which he held until his death in 1887. He also served as the Treasurer of the American Philatelic Association.



On October 11, 1875 he married Elizabeth J. Burgess at  the M. E. Church, Philadelphia. 


Durbin was Superintendent of the Union Sabbath School; President of the Literary Aid Society; Board member of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA); Masonic Lodge at Burlington, Lodge 22; member of the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F); member of the Templars of Honor and Temperance, serving two years as the Grand Worthy of Pennsylvania.


After leaving Mason & Co., he remained in the Philadelphia area residing in Burlington, New Jersey. 


In 1880’s he traded as Durbin & Hanes, Foreign Stamps, 128 South Seventh Street, Philadelphia, and advertised in The Stamp World.


After the death of Rowland Hill sometime in 1881 there began a heated debate over who invented the postage stamp and Durbin sided with Rowland Hill (1795-1879), while others believed it was James Chalmers (1782-1853). In 1887, W. R. Fraser in his article "The Adhesive Stamp," The Stamp, June (1887) ridiculed Durbin for giving credence to Rowland Hill over James Chalmers.


        Above : L. W. Durbin trade card.




Above : Philatelic Monthly, published by L. W. Durbin. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.



Durbin & Hanes Philatelic Monthly, complete volume 5 bound in a single book form sold to collectors wishing to have the whole year complete in one handy volume.Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.


Durbin's trade card similar to contemporaries like J. W. Scott. This one depicting a young miss Liberty is perhaps a caricature of his wife Elizabeth. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.



He published Homer's History of U. S. Envelopes



Above : Durbin's business envelope postmarked November 16, 1882, Philadelphia addressed to Prof. F. Bicker, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.



            Above: Edward B. Hanes (-1923), from Providence, Rhode Island was a founding member of the Rhode Island Philatelic Society in 1882.




        Above : Durbin & Hanes business envelope Scott #U192b issued 1874-1886.

Durbin & Hanes Stamp Catalogue


His firm continued as Durbin & Hanes after his death. 



            Above: Cover sent by Soutar's Bazaar, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, postmarked 1891 to Durbin & Hanes. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.


He published Postage Stamp and Postal Card catalogs, several editions of the Excelsior Stamp Album, and his magazine The Philatelic Monthly.



He died of consumption on August 13, 1887 at his home in Burlington, New Jersey. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth and their two children. Rev. Mr. Gifford gave his eulogy in which he wrote : 


“This is a great loss to the family, a great loss to the church, and a great loss to the community. He was wise in counsel, kind in spirit, full of faithfulness to his God and the church. The fact that a man of this kind has been taken from us is the cause of this sadness and sorrow.”


The business continued as Bogert & Durbin, 722 Chestnut Street, Pennsylvania,  until Durbin's widow shares were bought out on December 7, 1891, by Edward B. Hanes and Rudolphus R. Bogert, incorporating as Bogert & Durbin in 1891.



Bogert & Durbin, Philatelic Monthly changed the logo of Britannia after 1891. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library and Museum Collections.


Bibliography :


Philatelic Fortnightly, Vol. 1, No.7 (August 1, 1887) : 3

Winner, Coin & Stamp Journal, Vol. 1, No. 5, May (1875) : 4

Mason’s Coin & Stamp Collector’s Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 1, January (1869) : 6, 19, 23 (PHOTO No. 45); L. W. D., St. Louis, MO. Bibliography : Mason’s Coin & Stamp Collector’s Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, November (1868) : 82;

The Curiosity World, Vol. II, No. 1, November 1 (1887) : page 2 column 3 obit.

Pete Smith, “American Numismatic Pioneers : An Index to Sources,” Asylum Vol. XXII, No. 3, Consecutive Issue No. 87, Summer (2004) : 304; 





Comments