Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express Items for Sale:

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Wells Fargo & Co. Express
Money Orders Sold Here "WINDOW" Sign

This sign was #16 on the 1914 Sign List that appeared in the Instruction Book that was issued during that year.

An enamelled 3-1/2" x 36" single face sign, it was known as the "window sign", because it was used below the Cashiers' window, wherever money orders were on sale. It is also called a "ribbon" sign by collectors today.

Very few window signs survived the ravages of time. This one is pictured in "Company Property . . ." on page 131. $1,500.

Wells Fargo & Co's Travelers Money Orders Enamel Sign, c1903

Wells Fargo & Co's Travelers Money Orders Enamel Sign, c1903

Wells Fargo & Co's Travelers Money Orders Enamel Sign, c1903.

Wells Fargo & Co.'s Money Orders had been in common use since 1885. However, this colorful sign announced a new monetary instrument.

These were not really Money Orders, which the purchaser mailed to someone else. These were to be used by the purchasers themselves while traveling. In 1912, their name was changed to "Travelers' Checks".

This single-sided sign measures 5" by 5". It's "call card" face is in excellent condition for its age. However, it has sustained rust damage at the top, along the edges, and on the back.

ONLY THREE of these signs have ever surfaced, and this is the BEST ONE of all!

THIS IS THE ONE PICTURED IN "Company Property . . ." on page 124! Add this stunning sign to your collection. $2,950.

"Strangers Must Be Identified" Poster. These posters were issued circa 1894. The company verified each customer's identity to avoid being held liable for delivering money and packages to the wrong person.

This one is on card stock, and measures 8-1/2 x 11 inches. Normal foxing on both sides. Someone three-hole punched the left side and the top left corner is loose. This one is SIMILAR to the one shown in "Company Property . . ." on page 106.

This poster begs to be framed with acid-free mats and UV museum-quality glass. $550.

Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Saturn Poster, c1888 Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Saturn Poster, c1888 Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Saturn Poster, c1888

Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express Saturn Money Order Poster, c1880.

This poster is similar to the one on page 19 in “Company Property . . .”, except much older, more ornate, and precise in its lettering and presentation of the planet. It offers Money Orders in various denominations that are "payable at over thirty thousand places," (not only at company offices, but at banks, stores, and railroad stations).

Few collectors have a Wells Fargo advertising poster in their collections, because so few posters have ever surfaced. Even fewer have been offered for sale in the market-place. They are real artworks from a bygone era, artworks which were destroyed as the newer versions replaced them.

This poster is in pristine condition -- it is mounted and framed with acid-free mats and museum-quality UV protective glass. The colors are vibrant. The poster itself measures about 11" x 14", and the frame measures 18" x 26". It demands and captures your attention. It makes a stunning addition to any Wells Fargo & Co's Express display.
$ 11,500.

Wells Fargo & Co. Coin Bag, c1880.

Very few collectors have ever seen these oversize coin bags, much less owned one. It is a perfect addition to your treasure box and shot gun display.

Also, this particular coin bag is not shown in “Company Property . . .”, since it had not surfaced at the time of publication. The "C" stands for "Coin," and the numbers were used to identify the shipment on a waybill.

Made of heavy canvas, it is in great condition and measures 10" x 16", capable of holding $1,000 face value of silver coins. $ 2,500.

Wells Fargo & Co. Express Standing Reward Poster, 1912. Standing rewards of $300 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of highwaymen were offered as early as 1877. Three hundred dollars in 1877 were worth about $6,000 in today's currency.

Standing rewards drastically reduced the need to print reward posters for individual highwaymen. This poster is in its original frame and original wood backing. Install eyelets and wire, then hang on the wall in your den. Note the stain at the lower right corner.

This is the poster that is pictured in “Company Property . . .” on page 107. $ 900.

Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Ocean to Ocean Poster, c1888

Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Ocean to Ocean Poster, c1888 Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Ocean to Ocean Poster, c1888 Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Ocean to Ocean Poster, c1888 Wells Fargo & Co's Ex Ocean to Ocean Poster, c1888

Wells Fargo & Co.'s Express "Ocean-to-Ocean" Poster, c1888.
This colorful poster announced the "Ocean To Ocean" services offered by the company upon the purchase of Erie Express, which was owned by the Erie Railroad. Wells Fargo also adopted the blue-and-white diamond logo from Erie Express, converting it to the familiar red-white-and-blue "Call Card" logo.

ONLY TWO of these posters have ever surfaced. Sadly, this is the lesser of the two, being torn into four pieces. On the "plus" side, it has been professionally mounted and framed in acid-free mats and museum-quality glass. Measures 19" by 22". In pristine condition at auction, this poster would bring dollars north of $12,000. This is an excellent opportunity to add a stunning poster to your collection. The poster measures 11-1/2" by 14-1/2". The frame measures 19" x 22". $1,950.

San Francisco Harbor Photo. Carleton E. Watkins probably stood on Telegraph Hill around 1865 and photographed this tranquil scene of three-masted ships in San Francisco's harbor. The steam-powered Oakland Ferry is seen, along with Yerba Buena Island.

Watkins went bankrupt in 1875, and his studio was acquired by I.W. Taber, who continued the production of photographs and stereoviews. This photograph is most probably Taber's period print of a Watkins negative.

Original photo in heavy card stock. "B 862 San Francisco Bay" and "Taber Photo San Francisco" identify this one of many scenes around San Francisco. The 1906 earthquake destroyed Taber's studio and all his work. However, this one survived! Measures 7-1/2"" by 9-1/4". $400.

Blue-and-White Office Sign

Blue-and-White Office Sign Blue-and-White Office Sign

Wells Fargo & Company Blue-and-White Office Sign, c1898.
Early versions of this sign date back to the early 1880's. In 1898, the company changed "CO.'S" to "CO." on all of its property items.

These signs identified the locations of main offices, and were gradually replaced over the years by the colorful "call card" enamel signs. Many offices used both types of signs, along with a six-foot black-and-gold wood sign.

Both faces of this enamel sign are intact. However, over the years, the edges and flange have suffered the damage shown. Measures 14" x 28". THIS IS THE ONE PICTURED IN "Company Property . . ." on page 125! $1950.

Railway express Agency KIT BOX

Railway express Agency KIT BOX Railway express Agency KIT BOX

Railway Express Agency Messenger's Kit Box, c1930.
Kit boxes were used by express messengers from the early days of Wells Fargo. See the book, "Company Property . . .", page 139, and study the myriad items that were needed in the course of a day's business. By the 1930's, the size had diminished notably, as seen here. No longer was space needed for a shot gun, a lantern, or oak rollers.

Recently, one of these same kit boxes was mistaken for a treasure box on one of the Pawn reality TV shows. Like-new condition, this was purchased years ago from a retired REA messenger. Some hardened sealing wax in the bottom of the box. Measures 9-1/2" x 12" x 9" high. $950.

Stereograph, W F & Co Ex office, Montgomery St., San Francisco, c1865. Looking south from Sacramento St., the Wells Fargo office is on the right (nearest corner), in the Parrott Building at California St. No signage is visible. Two wagons and express packages are at the curb.

An insurance company is across the street. Shirts are made to order next door, and ferry tickets are for sale in the foreground. The horse-drawn street car tracks run down the middle of the street. The Omni Hotel resides at this site, today. Very nice condition. No printing on the reverse side. $300.

Train Order Case.
These wood and metal cases held the train order blanks and carbon papers that countless railroad station agents used to pound out train orders on the "train order mill."

Measures 9-1/2" high by 10-1/2" wide by 12-1/2" deep. Seldom seen. A "must" for a collector of railroad depot items. $300.

Hitch Weight, c1898. This "Domed" hitch weight was used to prevent the Day Wagon horses from wandering off while the Driver was busy elsewhere. It was placed on the ground and attached to the "bit ring" of the harness with a strap. In later years, hitch weights were flat, which allowed them to be stacked for storage.

This earler one is shaped like a dome. Very few are known to exist. Cast iron, about 34 pounds. Measures 5" high by 8" diameter. $2,250.


W F & 
        Co Ex Agency Appointment of O.C. Hacker, 1907

W F & Co Ex Agency Appointment of O.C. Hacker, 1907

W F & Co Ex Agency Appointment of O.C. Hacker, 1907. This letter appoints Hacker, the agent at Kent, Ohio, to the Warren, Ohio office. Two original photographs show Hacker at work later on in his Dayton, Ohio office in 1913. His story, and his photograph outside the Dayton office is pictured in “Company Property . . .” on page 22. The interior office photograph has not been published. The letter is pictured on page 23. $950.

W F & 
        Co Ex Agency Appointment of O.C. Hacker, 1907

Small Display Case, c1930. One glass shelf and two mirrored non-locking access doors in the rear. The top glass has been replaced. Minor wear to wood base. Perfect for displaying small items at home or at a show. Measures 10" tall, 11" wide, and 35" long. Arrange for pick up in Southern California. $250.

Wells Fargo & Co. Express Service Button, c1915. These colorful five-year Service Buttons were issued to employees between 1915 and 1918. Perfect for your coat lapel, especially if you happen to be working for Wells Fargo Bank for five or more years.

The button is hallmarked, "C.A. Winship, Masonic Temple, Chicago". It feaures a threaded post, with a round threaded nut, to affix it to the coat lapel buttonhole.

A gold bezel, available at most coin shops, can convert this service button into an attractive piece of jewelry for a lady. Enameled brass, about the size of a U.S. dime. $225.

Wells Fargo & Co. Express Messenger Magazines. This magazine was the “house organ” for the company during its final years. These issues were published monthly from September, 1912 through August, 1916 and are in near-mint condition. These two blue-grey binders and a June, 1918 issue (also included) are pictured in “Company Property . . .” on page 89. Each turn of a page reveals a wealth of information about the company and the property items that it used. For example, on page 1 of the first issue, the Semi-Centennial Medal is pictured and described. The magazines’ pages revealed dozens of property items for “Company Property . . .” Discover all of them yourself, and perhaps a few that we missed! Forty-nine issues total. $850.

Western Union Telegraph Forms Box

Western Union Telegraph Forms Box

Western Union Telegraph Forms Box, c1900.
This box held the blank forms used by the public to fill out various telegrams. The station agent would then use the "telegraph key" to transmit the message. A blue-and-white enamel sign is always on the front of these forms boxes, but occasionally, one sees just the sign for sale. Excellent condition. Best one known. Measures 4" x 10" x 9" high. $950.

Wells Fargo & Co Express Christmas Address Labels.

Five in all, these labels were offered to customers free of charge. One “Do Not Open” sticker is included. $50.

Hotel Vancouver China Hotel Vancouver China. This demitasse cup, and two small plates, are Royal Doulton English bone china. They were purchased years ago at the Hotel Vancouver, in British Columbia. The original Hotel Vancouver was built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad at its western terminus. At one time, the Canadian National Railroad bought the hotel, and this china sports the similar logo of the "Queen Elizabeth" pattern of the corresponding Canadian National Railroad china. Extra-fine condition. $125.

Vegetable Crate Label. These labels were used by Wells Fargo & Co. of Arizona, a subsidiary of the main company that was NOT consolidated into the American Railway Express Company in 1918. Probably used in the 1940’s. Very rare -- only one known to exist. Note the adaptation of the Call Card logo. This label is in mint condition, and it deserves to be professionally mounted, framed, and added to an exquisite Wells Fargo collection. This one is shown in "Company Property . . ." on page 149. $500.

Telegraph Sounder
Telegraph Sounder. These classic aluminum and brass J.H. Bunnell telegraph sounders clicked away the hours in thousands of railroad depots and telegraph offices throughout the USA for decades. "N.Y.R.S. 2884 Inspected" is stamped on the bottom. Perfect working condition.
Mexico City Guide Book.
Mexico City Guide Book.   Soft cover, circa 1937, 96 pages with references to sightseeing tours around Mexico City, the messengers' duties, and a fold-out map of the city. The company continued to do business in Mexico until around 1937. Provenance value! THIS IS THE ONE pictured in Company Property, on page 36.



Railroad Dining Car China Documents   In the 1970's, Stephen S. Sandknop was a Catholic priest and pastor of a college in Canton, Missouri. His passion was railroading, especially collecting dining car china. Known to collectors as “Father Steve,” he is the first known collector to begin a reference guide for railroad dining car china. He passed away in 1976.

Fr. Steve’s book, NOTHING COULD BE FINER, was neither dated nor copyrighted, but his reference to The Railroadiana Express dates this edition as late 1974 or early 1975. This was his first BOUND edition, and the first edition where his mimeographed hand drawings were replaced by actual photographs. A few pencil marks, and the binding is loose, but repairable.

“Nothing Could Be Finer” -- First Edition 74 pages, Soft Cover: $65


Sounds of 1401. This 33 rpm recording contains sounds of the famous Southern Railway 4-6-2 locomotive 1401, which is on display at the U.S. National Museum in Washington D.C. This locomotive pulled the funeral train of President Franklin D. Roosevelt part of the way from Warm Springs, Georgia to Washington, D.C. in April, 1945. The recording is about seven inches in diameter, and contains sounds of the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy,” Pennsylvania Railroad 4-6-2, and New York Central 4-6-4 locomotives. $30.


"Wells Fargo & Co's Express" is the most romanticized company in the West.

Authentic "Wells Fargo"  antiques will always increase in value.
Fake so-called "Wells Fargo Express" junk will always be junk.

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