Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 09:05:54 EDT
From: Bapopik
Subject: Business terms (from FORBES, 1925)

This is part of a continuing series of posting some of these things
before this apartment catches fire.

BLACK MONDAY--In Forbes, 15 Dec. 1925, pg. 29, col. 3. It's usually Black
FRIDAY and BLUE Monday--not Black Monday nor Blue Friday.

FLAT TOP--Forbes, 15 October 1925, pg. 70, cols. 2-3, has "Market Is Again
Making 'Flat Top.'" A modern medical term might be "flatliners." "'Flat top'
simply expresses the failure of the general averages to make a sustained
movement in either direction..."

DIRECT-BY-MAIL ADVERTISING--An ad in Forbes, 1 October 1925, pg. 956, col. 3,
is for "DIRECT-BY-MAIL ADVERTISING." The OED has "direct mail advertising"
from 1930.

SUPERIORITY COMPLEX--Forbes, 1 October 1925, pg. 894, col. 1, has an article
about the young technical graduate called "That 'Superiority Complex.'" OED
has this from 1929.

BUGS (small cars)--We discussed the return of VW Beetle "bugs." Forbes, 15
September 1925, col. 2, has "Very small cars, patterned after the English
Austin 'bugs' but equipped with special Continental motors giving fifty to
sixty miles to the gallon, will be offered the American public next year, a
trade rumor has it."

CREEPING BULL MARKET--Forbes, 1 August 1925, pg. 631, col. 1: "A PHRASE of
ancient vintage in the financial district best describes the stock market of
recent weeks. In the old days Wall Street used to call such an affair a
'creeping bull market.' Having crept along cautiously..."

FIVE MINUTES--"Five minutes" often means "just a second"--it's never five
minutes nor just a second. It's in Forbes, 1 September 1925, pg. 756, col. 3.

PICTURE/LOOK IS WORTH 1,000/10,000 WORDS--OED has "a look is worth 1,000
words" from 1921 and "a picture is worth 10,000 words" from 1927. Forbes, 1
July 1925, pg. 444, col. 2, has "A Demonstration Is Worth 10,000 Words."
David Shulman told me he recently found "a look is worth a thousand words"
from an 1840s Elton's comic book of popular sayings.

RICH MEN'S BULL MARKET--Forbes articles in the 1920s scare me--you could
reprint them today! Like the article by B. C. Forbes, 15 November 1925, "The
Wall Street Boom--How Long Will It Last?" (No more than five years, buddy.)
An article on booms of other years, 15 November 1925, pg. 60, col. 3, has:
The same conditions had become evident in 1904, before the so-called
"rich men's bull market" was swept into sudden and violent liquidation by
Thomas W. Lawson's publication (he also wrote the 1888 pamphlet on baseball
slang called THE KRANK--ed.), in December, of his full-page advertisement
advising sale of the over-bought Amalgamated Copper shares in particular and
of all other stocks in general. Wall Street long ascribed the complete
collapse of the excited "Brooklyn Rapid Transit boom" of 1899, in which all
speculative shares had participated, to the sudden death on May 11 of Governor
Flower, the avowed promoter of the rise; but 16 per cent. call money had
shaken the Stock Exchange long before that date. The "rich men's panic" and
prolonged reaction of 1903 has been very commonly attributed to Mr. J. P.
Morgan's "undigested-securities" interview at the end of March...
("Brooklyn Rapid Transit boom" and "rich men's panic" and "undigested
securities" are usually not sister works for J. P. Morgan--ed.)