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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS



Here, We Answer your Emails, and offer our OPINION of your Wells Fargo items.

So, let's get started -- Contact us with your questions!
Email   Westbound1849@gmail.com    or Call:    951-404-3069

Baggage Cart Plate Belt Buckle Book Banks Brass Sign
Co. vs. Co.'s Coin Bag Seal Envelope Guard Badge
Lead and Wire Sealer Mexico Guide Book Movie Poster Order Hoop & Fork
Rate Cutter Sealing Lamp Shot Gun Stock Telescope


Order Hoop & Fork
Q:
I was told that these sticks were used to pass messages
to stage drivers to allow the stage coach to proceed without stopping.
Is that true?
Order Hoop & Fork
A:
Sometimes the story behind the relic is worth more than the relic, itself !!!
The "Order Hoop," and (later) "Order Fork," were used to pass Train Orders to the
Engineer and Conductor of the train passing thru the station.
Indeed, it usually allowed the train to proceed without stopping.

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Coin Bag Seal
Q:
This coin bag was tied up as shown. Is this authentic?
Coin Bag Lead and Twine Seal Coin Bag Lead and Twine Seal Coin Bag Lead and Twine Seal
A:
Yes! After 1902, a commercial "Porter Bag Sealer" was used to tie and crush a "Lead and Twine Seal" on the bag. In this case, an earlier "Lead and Wire" sealer was used to impress "W. F. & Co. EX" on one side of the lead, and the Messenger's employee number, "4762" on the other. In this case, the "To-From" tag that should be attached to the twine is missing.

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Guard Badge
Q:
Real or Fake?
Guard Badge2.jpg
A:
Since company agents, messengers, and guards were not law enforcement officers,
the company did not issue chest badges. So, this badge is a fake.

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Sealing Lamp
Q:
This (wax) sealing lamp came with some express wax seals and other items
that were all marked and well-used. Why wasn't this lamp marked by the express company?
Sealing Lamp2.JPG
A:
Most agents and messengers simply used a kitchen match to melt sealing wax, so this lamp was probably
purchased locally by the agent. Other "housekeeping" items that were purchased locally are too
numerous to list here, but include such things as cleaning implements, soaps, horse salves, and oils.

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Shot Gun Stock
Q:
I was advised NOT to buy a shot gun with
"Wells Fargo Express" engraved into the stock. Why not?
A:
Shot guns were not treated with "kid gloves," so cracked stocks were easily replaced.
Marking a property item was intended to discourage theft. Since stocks were easily replaced, the company
marked the trigger housing, or between the barrels. However, many repairs were made whenever
possible, such as those shown below: Brass plates with screws, twine with lacquer, and soldered wire.
Repairs on Shotguns

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Co. vs. Co.'s
Q:
I have Wells Fargo books marked "Co.'s Express,"
and some marked "Co. Express." What is the difference?
WF Tariff Book WF 1914 Directory
A:
In 1852, "Company" referred to a group of investors. It was their enterprise, hence the possessive "Co.'s."
In 1898, the possessive form was dropped, and replaced with "Co." If an item is marked "Wells Fargo & Co.,"
it was common to all services: Banking, Express, and Staging.
The company rarely used the name, "Wells Fargo & Co. Bank."

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Baggage Cart Plate
Q:
I collect farm equipment, and I found these old
builder's plates. Are they from a Wells Fargo stagecoach?
Baggage Cart Plate
A:
No, they are from a "Platform Baggage Cart." The Whitman Agricultural Co. manufactured
hundreds of baggage carts for Wells Fargo & Co. Express, to be used at all railroad depots.

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Belt Buckle
Q:
This belt buckle is copyrighted 1975
by Wells Fargo. Is it a reproduction?
Brass Sign
A: Not really. In 1975, Wells Fargo Bank ordered these sterling silver buckles,
which were then sold in their museums.
Therefore, the buckle is truly an authentic "Wells Fargo collectible".
However, since the buckle was not issued by the
company before 1919, it is considered a "Bank buckle," or a "tie-in."
The same goes for "Bank treasure boxes,"
which have been ordered by the Bank at various times.

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Envelope
Q:
I found this old envelope in a trunk. Is it worth anything?
Wilcoxin Cover
A:
Yes, it is! "Covers," or postage franks like this were sold to the public, and were an important part of the
company's Letter Express business. This service competed successfully with the U.S. Post Office Department!
To determine the value, take the cover to a philatelist and ask for an opinion.

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Lead and Wire Sealer
Q:
This tool impresses "WF&CoEx" and "453"
on the lead discs. What was it used for?
Lead and Wire Sealer
A:
Each messenger was issued a "lead and wire sealer." It was used to crush the lead seal that
was threaded through the seal holes of a lock on a treasure box.
The imprint was the messenger's employee number, which was also on his cap badge and (wax) seal.

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Mexico Guide Book
Q:
This W F & Co Ex travel book is dated in the late 1930's.
I thought that company stopped doing business in 1918.
Mexico City Guidebook
A:
Yes, in the United States. However, it continued to do business in many foreign countries, including Mexico.

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Movie Poster
Q:
I have this old movie poster.
Is it valuable as a Wells Fargo collectible?
Movie Poster
A:
Yes, it is! However, it is considered a "tie in," since it was not issued to the express employees before 1919.
Framed, and hung on the wall in your den, it makes an excellent companion to a collection of authentic express items.

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Telescope
Q:
I saw a brass telescope at a show. It was
stamped, "W F Co Ex". Did they have telescopes?
A:
No, the company did not issue telescopes. The company issued
only the items that were needed to get the "job" done.
Their "job" was the same as that of UPS and Fed Ex employees today -- to move valuable items safely,
from origin to destination. Nobody needs a telescope to move valuables from place to place.

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Brass Sign
Q:
I found this old brass sign.
When and where was it used?
Brass Sign
A:
This was called a "#2 Metal Sign," and measured 4-1/2" x 8".
It was used from 1914 thru 1918 to solicit sales of Money Orders.
It was placed in "branch offices where a larger sign would be objectionable."
Occasionally, we have signs available for sale: Click here!

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Rate Cutter
Q:
Someone told me that this is an authentic
Wells Fargo "rate cutter." What exactly is that?
Rate Cutter
A:
A "rate cutter" was used to cut away the paper-margin of a Money Order,
which could be issued in various denominations.
By cutting away the "$100," which was printed in the margin,
a dishonest person could not fraudently "raise" the amount
of a $10 Money Order to $100. Since the "going rate" for various Money Orders
was printed on the cutter, it earned the name, "rate cutter."

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Book Banks
Q:
I have some Wells Fargo
"book banks." Are they worth anything?
Rate Cutter
A:
Yes, they are, but only to "Bank" collectors. "Express"
collectors generally shy away from post-1918 Bank items,
which lack the "romance" and "action" of stagecoaches,
treasure boxes, firearms, and highway robbers.

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Email: Westbound1849@gmail.com

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