Tuesday, August 29, 2017

You Just Can't Have Too Many Guttenberg Bibles

John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. dominated American finance during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  For example, in 1892 he arranged the merger of Edison General Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric to form a little company he called General Electric.  He was instrumental in the creation of the United States Steel Corporation, International Harvester and AT&T.  He is credited with directing the banking coalition that stopped the Panic of 1907.  He was the leading financier of the Progressive Era.  He's been called America's greatest banker.  And then he got tired of banking and started collecting 'stuff' and traveling.  In 1913 while visiting Rome he died at the age of 75 and left his entire fortune estimated at $80 million to his son J.P. Morgan (John Pierpont) Jr.  A lot of the 'stuff' he collected is exhibited at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.  Part of the museum is the Morgan house and the other part is his library and study.  He collected ancient artifacts and paintings and books and books and books.  He collected Bibles and Bibles and Bibles.  He had 3 Guttenberg Bibles.  One of those Bibles is in the display cabinet in the lower corner in the picture of his library.  I spent a good part of last Saturday wandering around the Morgan Library & Museum.  It was pretty amazing.  But you know what?  I didn't see one comfy chair in either his library or his study.  Perhaps he just wasn't that kind of a guy.




4 comments:

Tom Walker said...

Thank you, Mary. Much here that I didn't know. As for comfy chairs, he probably was a stand-up guy.

Anonymous said...

Your brother makes me chuckle! On to comfy chairs...books without a comfy chair? That's is a sadly lacking library/study in my book!

Mary Walker Baron said...

Anonymous and Tom - Apparently he was a stand up kind of guy who clearly didn't want others to curl up with a good book either.

Tom Walker said...

I find myself liking him less as we go on here, but I still like his library. If only it had some chairs.