[New York: Stumpf & Steurer, 1898]. 88pp. plus three advertising leaves; 23pp. Guide: Original color-printed wrappers, ribbon tie. Extremities worn, backstrip chipped old vertical crease to front wrapper and first few leaves. Occasional light tanning and soiling. Very good. Insert: Stitched as issued. Near fine. Item #WRCAM55934
Extensively illustrated guide for attendees of the 24th annual convention of the American Bankers' Association, now the largest financial trade group in the United States. It features all one would expect from a convention guide: the conference program; current officers of the national organization, along with those of the state organizations under the ABA umbrella; up-to- date bylaws; and copious advertising from banks, attorneys, paper mills, safe companies, and adding machine manufacturers. The principle content highlights the work of the Protective Committee of the ABA, which conducted ongoing operations against thieves, burglars, forgers, and swindlers who preyed on banks. Included are photographs and brief biographies of forty-two of the most important criminals.
The Protective Committee retained the Pinkerton's National Detective Agency to assist with these effects, and their accompanying insert provides details on how the two organizations' combined efforts combated crime. Their most important catch was no doubt Max Shinburn, here listed as "Maximillian Schoenbein" (though he was also known as Mark Shinburn, Mark Baker, Zimmerman, and as many as fifty other aliases). Shinburn was "the most successful burglar of the age, known as the 'King of Burglars'" (p.60). Having worked for lock and safe companies under yet another alias, Shinburn perfected his burglary skills. He cracked safes and broke into banks, but also effectively laundered the money he stole, and was notoriously hard to catch and hold onto, engineering several escapes from custody and prison. After one prison break in the 1860s, he was able to save up adequate funds from his burglaries to purchase a baronetcy in Belgium. He lived a life of aristocratic ease until he ran out of money and had to return to the U.S. to rebuild his fortune. The Pinkertons and agents of the American Bankers' Association finally arrested him in New York on June 28, 1895. "Shinburn again Caught" in NEW YORK TIMES (June 30, 1895).