R. G. Dun & Co. Credit Reports

R. G. Dun & Co. was the first successful American credit reporting agency, established in New York in the 1840s. The Dun credit reports on Lehman Brothers are extensive, with the first entry recorded in 1847 in Montgomery, Alabama. Regular updates charted the company’s growth through 1884 in New York City. The Dun credit reports, which document large and small businesses across the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s, and are an invaluable resource for the study of commerce in nineteenth century America.

Lehman Brothers credit reports, 1868-1869. R.G. Dun & Co. Credit Report Ledgers, Baker Library, Harvard Business School.
Transcription of Lehman Brothers credit reports

Emanuel & Mayer
Lehman Bros.

Grocers & Com’n Merchts [Commission Merchants]
133 (221) Pearl (118 Chambers) St.

Aug 8/68 [August 8, 1868] Estimated wor [worth] from 300 to 400m$ [$300,000 - $400,000]. Doing large bus [business] and sold to freely. Cr [credit] and standing good. 500. 504. 597.

June 11 ’69 [June 11, 1869] Consid [Considered] very prudent sfe [safe] men, not speculative in high cr [credit] & standing believed safely worth from 400 to 500m$ [$400,000 - $500,000]. Consid [Considered] good 504.500.5046.

Have been many years in bus. [business] in Montgomery Ala. [Alabama] & here some years. The elder brother being of Lehman & Frest [sic]: Liberty St. They have house in New Orleans La. [Louisiana] and in Montgomery Ala. [Alabama]. Were wealthy before the war, and are believed to be well off still. In Sept. 65 [September 1865] they claimed a cap [capital] in thr [their] 3 houses of 500m$ [$500,000], the majority of which belonged to the elder bro. [brother] Emanuel. We find from their previous history and their general standing here, that they are regarded here as a good house. Are estimated from 300 to 400m$ [$300,000 - $400,000] & in last report 500m$ [$500,000]. Are financial agents for state of Georgia & are regarded safe strong & reliable, not speculative. 5 00. 1896. 3145.

R.G. Dun & Co. Credit Reports
New York v. 319, p. 500G

Back to top