Advertising Victorian trade cards sometimes provides surprising details about life in Victorian times. Such was the case for the merchant, Darlington, Runk & Co. Darlington, Runk & Co.- importer and dealer in fancy dry goods.
Mr. Runk, a well-known merchant in the dry goods trade, killed himself with a revolver in the stable at his country estate after sending his little son to the railroad station to meet a store messenger.
It seems that conservative Mr. Runk had fallen into a depression over stock dealings made in Mr. Darlington’s absence. Mr. Runk did not use his very handsome personal estate to do so, but the firm’s money in the amount of $80,000.
When Mr. Darlington returned, he was informed that $80,000 in accumulated bills had been paid. When it was discovered that such was not the case, Mr. Runk went directly to his country estate.
The Tragic Choice
Mr. Runk’s choice to commit suicide was tragic for a couple of reasons:
- His personal estate would’ve covered the losses
- The company would not have been seriously affected by the losses
It seems Mr. Runk’s remorse over having deceived his partner drove his decision; having been unable to make a clean breast of his transgression.
An interesting side note- at the time of Mr. Runk’s death, he was a director of the Penn Mutual Company. He carried a life insurance policy of $525,000.
Many more interesting Victorian trade cards with great graphics can be found in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.
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