DescriptionSilver Presentation Railroad Pass for the Traveler's Protective Association Convention, Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, Colorado Midland Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, 1890. Beautifully engraved silver pass with mountain scenery in the Colorado Mountains. The pass depicts a train exiting a tunnel, trees on the mountains, an engraved Toltec Gorge at the lower left, and the TPA emblem at the center top. At bottom of pass is faintly signed and with only half of the inscription Bedd and Colorado Gold and Silver Manufacturing Company, Denver "Pure Colorado Silver." Fantastic RARE pass. Engraved lettering, reading "T. P. A. Convention Denver, Colorado 1890. Pass bearer, Denver & Rio Grande R. R., Colorado Midland R. R., Union Pacific R. R." Measures approximately 3.25" x 2".
In January 1882, at a Chicago hotel, a small group of traveling men chanced to meet and discuss the problems that confronted the salesman. The importance of these problems, and the necessity for cooperation in solving them, caused these men to invite a number of other salesmen to a meeting at the Lima House, Lima, Ohio, on February 12, 1882. At that meeting, attended by twenty-four traveling salesmen, a temporary organization known as "The Traveling Men's Club" was formed. The next meeting of this group was held at Bellefontaine, Ohio on June 24, 1882, at which time a permanent organization was effected, a constitution and bylaws adopted, officers elected, and objectives set out. This was to be known as "The Travelers Protective Association of the United States." The objectives of this association were to provide for its members the securing of special concessions from hotels, railroads and other transportation agencies and to trace grievances reported by the members. Membership dues were set at $1.00 a year, and increased to $2.00 three years later. No other benefits were provided. The organization grew steadily and was fairly successful in attaining its objectives, but the expenses were far greater than the organization's income. At the annual meeting each year a deficit was reported, and usually paid by voluntary contributions from the active members. At the annual meeting in Atlantic City in 1889, the deficit was of such an amount that the members realized another year would see the end of the group, for even the most dedicated members could not continue to make up this deficit each year. It was decided, however, to meet at Denver, Colorado in 1890. Prior to this meeting a group of men in St. Louis, headed by George S. McGrew, known as "The Travelers Club of the City of St. Louis," decided to try to keep the organization alive by taking out a new charter, adding accident insurance to its objectives, and increasing the dues. Articles of Association were filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis on May 30, 1890, and this group attended the Denver Convention with a confident belief that they would be privileged to take a leading part in giving life to a new organization, built upon the foundation of the old. The St. Louis group offered to take over the deficit of approximately $2,200.00 in return for moving the headquarters from Chicago to St. Louis, and acceptance of the proposed plan of granting insurance benefits to its members. The offer was accepted by the Convention, and on June 3, 1890 it was decided to use the charter obtained by the Missouri members and reorganize as a fraternal benefit association under the name of "The Commercial Travelers Benefit Association of the United States." A pro forma decree of incorporation was issued on June 7, 1890 by the Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, and duly recorded; also filed in the office of the Secretary of State of Missouri and a charter issued on June 11, 1890. Not wishing to lose the identity of the original organization, members petitioned the Court to amend the charter to change the corporate name to "The Travelers Protective Association of America," and this was granted effective July 23, 1890. The name has remained the same, and in addition the organization has been well known by its initials, as the T.P.A. of A.
Reference: The group's website: www.tpahq.org
Condition: Very fine, with very light creases, and evidence of cleaning at an earlier time
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)
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