[Judaica; Medical History Profiling:] Proposals and rates of the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities. Incorporated March 10, 1812. Charter perpetual. Capital $500,000. All paid in and invested in well secured first mortgages and ground rents. Directors. Hyman Gratz, President ... Walnut Street, Philadelphia.


Scarce pamphlet and the earliest publication we can find issued by this life insurance company, the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities. The company’s President was Hyman Gratz (1776 – 1857) Merchant and philanthropist.“ In 1798 he joined his brother Simon in partnership as wholesale grocer, and later turned his attention to life-insurance. In 1818 he was elected director of the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities, and twenty years later was elected president of the company.” A Philadelphia native, Gratz was strongly involved with Pennsylvania Academy for Fine Arts, the Congregation Mickveh Israel of Philadelphia,  and the first Jewish Publication Society of America. Gratz College is named after him and was funded through his philanthropy. (Jewish Encyclopedia online)

The publication publishes tables and an interesting sample “Form of an Application for Life Insurance” questionnaire, e.g., asking if prospective customers have been “vaccinated, or had the small-pox? and is he a sober and temperate man?” or “Does he intend to reside North of the Southern boundary of Virginia or Kentucky” or “Has he at any time been afflicted with gout, asthma, scrofula, convulsions, palsy, apoplexy, consumption, or any disease of the lungs or throat whatever, or any other disease likely to impair his constitution or shorten life?” The final leaf of text reprints a circular signed in type by Gratz at its conclusion.

The second director’s name, William Parker’s, is struck out and replaced in contemporary manuscript with the name of F. Hopkinson. A small printed cancel is beneath: “Actuary — William B. Hill.” Other directors named are: J.K. Mitchell, M.D. William Kirkham, I. Pemberton Hutchinson, John Moss, R.M. Patterson, M.D. Henry J. Williams, Edwin M. Lewis, Samuel F. Smith, S.A. Mercer, Charles Dutilh, and Dexter Stone.

OCLC returns, AAS, Yale and Moravian Archives.


Description: [Judaica; Medical History Profiling:] Proposals and rates of the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities. Incorporated March 10, 1812. Charter perpetual. Capital $500,000. All paid in and invested in well secured first mortgages and ground rents. Directors. Hyman Gratz, President ... Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Philadelphia: “U. States” Book and Job Printing Office, Ledger Building, 1845. 8vo., 22, [2] pages. Pamphlet; removed; leaves separating with original wrappers; Good.

[3730066]

Price: $100.00

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