American Express Co. signed by J. C. Fargo - Autographed Stock CertificateInv# AG1401 Autograph
Stock signed by James C. Fargo as President, engraved by American Bank Note with the great 'Safety and Dispatch' vignette of the company's dog mascot.
James Congdel Fargo (1829-1915) The son of James Fargo, James Congdel Fargo entered the employ of Wells & Co. (in which his brother, William George Fargo was a partner) at Buffalo in 1844. In 1866 after becoming agent and manager of the firm’s successor, the American Express Co., Fargo went to New York as General Superintendent and Manager. In 1881 he became President of the company as well as President of Westcott Express Co. and National Express Co. As president of the American Express Company James C. Fargo was well off and well known. It is not surprising that he felt insulted when he could not get checks cashed during a trip to Europe in 1890. The European bankers were steadfast as Fargo was not known to them, they would not cash his checks. Would Americans always have a cash problem when traveling in Europe?
Marcellus F. Berryn, an employee of the American Express Company set out to find a solution. He wrote later: "There’s one thing every person does in a distinctive way. That is writing his signature. Therefore the foolproof device for taking money to strange places must carry the signature of the bearer. It must declare that it will be cashed only when a second, and matching, signature is added before witnesses." On July 7, 1891, Berry was granted four copyrights for what he called "the travelers cheque," and William C. Fargo got the first one. He had no difficulty when he wanted fifty dollars a few weeks later in Leipzig, Germany. In 1891, American Express sold $9,120.00 worth of travelers checks, and the amount has risen every year. During 2000, sales of American Express Travelers Cheques increased to $24.6 billion.
The American Express Company (Amex) is a multinational financial services corporation headquartered at 200 Vesey Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. The company was founded in 1850 and is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company's logo, adopted in 1958, is a gladiator or centurion whose image appears on the company's well-known traveler's cheques, charge cards, and credit cards.
During the 1980s, Amex invested in the brokerage industry, acquiring what became, in increments, Shearson Lehman Hutton and then divesting these into what became Smith Barney Shearson (owned by Primerica) and a revived Lehman Brothers. By 2008 neither the Shearson nor the Lehman name existed.
In 2016, credit cards using the American Express network accounted for 22.9% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the United States. As of December 31, 2019, the company had 114.4 million cards in force, including 54.7 million cards in force in the United States, each with an average annual spending of $19,972.
In 2017, Forbes named American Express as the 23rd most valuable brand in the world (and the highest within financial services), estimating the brand to be worth US$24.5 billion. In 2020, Fortune magazine ranked American Express at number 9 on their Fortune List of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2020 based on an employee survey of satisfaction.
In 1850, American Express was started as an express mail business in Buffalo, New York. It was founded as a joint-stock corporation by the merger of the express companies owned by Henry Wells (Wells & Company), William G. Fargo (Livingston, Fargo & Company), and John Warren Butterfield (Wells, Butterfield & Company, the successor earlier in 1850 of Butterfield, Wasson & Company). Wells and Fargo also started Wells Fargo & Co. in 1852 when Butterfield and other directors objected to the proposal that American Express extend its operations to California.