Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Book : Dow Jones by Peter Jones

Dr. Peter D. Jones brings the stories behind the companies that formed the Dow Jones average in 1884, as well as the ones that were included in the DJIA as the index grew over the decades. The book deserves a place in any scripophily library. Let's have a closer look.


  • Title : Dow Jones by Peter Jones - A History of Dow Jones Stock Averages since 1884
  • Author : Peter D Jones
  • ID : ISBN 978-1-09830-506-2, published by BookBaby, 2020
  • Language : English
  • Number of pages : 350
  • Images : almost on every page, in color except for vintage photos, page wide images of stock certificates
  • Indexes : large index section spanning 11 pages each with 4 columns of keywords 

Peter Jones introduces the reader into the world of scripophily and the history of the Dow Jones stock market index. The book continues with the stories of companies that were included in the Dow Jones index.

The United States Steel Corporation entered the DJIA in 1907 after it bought the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, one of the initial index components. This $100,000 bond once belonged to industrialist Andrew Carnegie. He sold his share in US Steel to banker J. P. Morgan for $225 million. Carnegie was paid in 50-year gold bonds like the one shown here. The buyout was the largest industrial takeover in United States history. It made Carnegie the richest American.  Image courtesy : Peter Jones  

The publication consists of the following chapters :
  1. Scripophily - what is it ?
  2. Dow Jones Company and its averages
  3. First Transport average 1884 - 11 stocks
    • Chicago and Northwestern Railway, Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad, Lake Shore and Michigan Southern RW, Louisville and Nashville RR, Missoure Pacific, New York Central RR, Northern Pacific RR, Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul RR, Union Pacific RR, Pacific Mail Steamship, Western Union Telegraph 
  4. First Industrial average 1896 - 12 stocks : 
    • American Cotton Oil, American Sugar Refining, American Tobacco, Chicago Gas, Distilling and Cattle Feeding, Laclede Gas Light, National Lead, North American Co, Tennessee Coal Iron and RR, US Leather, US Rubber, General Electric 
  5. Second DJIA 1916 - 20 stocks, including :
    • American Beet Sugar, American Can, American Car and Foundry, American Locomotive, American Smelting and Refining, AT&T, Anaconda Copper, Baldwin Locomotive, Central Leather, BF Goodrich, Republic Iron and Steel, Studebaker, Texaco, Utah Copper, Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing 
  6. Third DJIA 1928 - 30 stocks, including : 
    • Allied Chemical, Atlantic Refining, Betlehem Steel, Chrysler, General Motors, General Railway Signal, International Harvester, International Nickel, Mack Truck, Paramount Publix, Postum (General Foods), Radio Corporation of America, Sears Roebuck, Standard Oil (EXXON), Texas Gulf Sulfur, Union Carbide, Victor Talking Machine, Woolworth, Wright Aeronautical 
  7. 30 longest surviving DJIA stocks, including :
    • Procter and Gamble, Honeywell, United Aircraft, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Chevron, Goodyear, ALCOA, Johns-Manville, International Paper, Owens-Illinois Glass 
  8. Ten largest US companies
    • Apple, Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Pfizer, Facebook 
  9. Appendices
    • Corporate structures
    • Richest people in US
    • How DJIA is calculated
    • 1884 DJTA railroad locations

The Nash Motors Company was in the DJIA30 from 1928 to 1930 and from 1932 to 1936. The company, founded by former General Motors president Charles W. Nash, pioneered with car heating and ventilation systems, unibody construction and seat belts. Nash Motors became American Motors Corporation (AMC). Image courtesy : Peter Jones

By bringing the story of America's large industrial companies in easy digestible chapters, the author also tells us the history of modern industrial America. Besides writing about successful entrepreneurs, inventions, technological advances and progress in society, Peter Jones also discusses union disputes, dishonest business practises, environmental abuse, etc. Yes, lots to be amused about.

Peter Jones is also the author of these numismatic books : Colonial History in Your HandsCommemorative Coin TalesThe First Medals of AmericaThe First Coins of America and Notable Notes. A description of these can be found here

This Google Inc. share shows the facsimile signatures of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Peter Jones' book is one of the few scripophily works that also highlights modern technology stocks such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google. Google was not included in the Dow Jones. Why can be read in the last chapter. Image courtesy : Peter Jones

A hard cover, it measures 11 x 8.5 inches (28 x 21,6 cm). You can purchase the book from the author himself. Mail your address and a check for $79 (includes US mailing) to : Peter Jones, Box 1, Windham Center, CT 06280. International mail typically costs about $50 extra.

I especially liked the author's personal anecdotes in several chapters.