JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
William Sternberg. Finis. The Bank of the United States, 1913-1930. No publisher or place of publication listed, though copyrighted by William H. Sternberg, 1931, and "distributed " by National Distributors. 23x15.5cm, 40pp. Highly decorated cover. Original wrappers. Provenance: the White House, and then the Library of Congress (stamped "by transfer/The White House, Jul 29 1931". Very Good copy, with the LC surplus/duplicate stamp on rear cover, and a 6mm perforated "LC" stamp at the very bottom of the title page.
I was about to say that not many books have started their lives with the word "Finis" starting the title--a quick check in WorldCat has proved this wrong, as there at least hundreds of books with this word in the title.
The cover art--perhaps by Sternberg?--is very striking, and as with lots of political art, could be understood without having to read it, a glancing view being pretty much enough to tell the story. The image features the Bank of the United States as a sort of 16-legged octopus, being fed money food from a merger/depositor pitcher, underneath which and perhaps keeping the whole thing afloat are a banker, lawyer, and politician. Sternberg evidently didn't think much of the BOUS' many acquisitions/mergers since it went into business in 1913, being particularly upset with the late 1920's movements. Anyway this is a pretty screedy diatribe, though it also seems to be an informed one.
A Series of Unfortunate Events led to an infamous run on the BOUS' Bronx branch, with 25,000 people showing up and wanting their deposits, all of which fed into the making of the Great Depression. The bank did not do well after the run.