Mostly straw-yellow surfaces fading to pale violet. The obverse field shows considerable prooflike reflectivity. Intended as a check or receipt. One known issued (counterstamped "54"). This is one of the classic rarities in the Illinois series. James Foster, Jr. & Co. were opticians at 46 Clark Street, Chicago. The following is from History of Chicago : Its Commercial and Manufacturing Interests and Industry by I.D. Guyer (1862):
"Optics is the science which treats of the nature of and the laws of the phenomena of light and vision. The Optician, to be successful in his trade, must be a man of scientific attainment -- must possess artistic skill and genius; all of which qualifications we can most truly claim for the well known and long established firm of Messrs. James Foster, Jr., & Co., of Cincinnati, who have recently established a branch of their house in Chicago, under the management of Mr. Louis Boxrlin, the junior member of the firm. We are proud to welcome to our city the representative of so scientific and important a branch of business from one of the oldest and best commercial houses of Cincinnati . . . "
"Among the leading articles comprising their well selected stock, we may mention Marine Glasses, Opera Glasses, Telescopes, Microscopes, Spectacles, Drawing and Surveying Instruments, including Burt's Solar Compass, every description of Field Instruments for Civil Engineers, such as Levels, Transits, Theodolites, etc ; also some of the best Philosophical Apparatus, perhaps, that has ever been brought to this city."
"In 1836, Mr. James Foster, Jr., the senior partner, commenced in Cincinnati the manufacture of Mathematical and Philosophical Instruments, since which time he has steadily increased his operations, until now he takes rank with the first house of this kind in the United States. Mr. F. is a practical scientific workman, having spent a life time in its study. This firm are [sic] prepared to furnish every description of apparatus for school or higher scientific institutions, from the plain Electric Machine to the best Astronomical Clock, and the most complicated Galvanic Apparatus."
1864-65 Illinois State Gazetteer and Business Directory: "Chicago . . .Opticians . . . Foster James Jr. & Co., 46 Clark." 1867-68 Bailey’s Chicago Business Directory: the firm "Foster James, Jr. & Co., 46 Clark." Is classified under the following headings: "Barometers . . . Marine and Field Glasses . . . Mathematical instrument manufacturers . . . Opticians"
From the Stephen L. Tanenbaum Estate. Earlier ex: George Fuld; Dennis Forgue; Joseph Kuehnert; and Steve Hayden. The Fuld plate specimen.