National Bellas Hess Co., Inc.
National Bellas Hess Co., Inc.
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|Company||National Bellas Hess Co., Inc.
|Certificate Type||Common Stock
|Date Issued||July 15, 1930|
|Printer||American Bank Note Company
11 3/4" (w) by 7 3/4" (h)
||Show the exact certificate you will receive|
This company was founded in the late 1800s as National Cloak & Suit and renamed National Bellas Hess around 1910, as folklore has it. It was located between Washington, Morton and Barrow streets in New York City’s Greenwich Village. “We have no agents or branch stores,” it said in its 1920-21 fall-winter catalog. “We sell only direct from this catalog and anyone claiming to represent us is an imposter.” But what a catalog it was. The whole book was illustrated and included many color pages. There was no photography.
Many items of clothing seem quaint today — like sleeping caps, union suits, corsets and “knickerbockers “ (the short pants that schoolboys couldn’t wait to outgrow). Some were expensive. An embroidered crepe blouse went for $9.98. An “ultra smart style” woman’s suit could cost up to $47.95 — no small amount in 1920. Ladies’ shoes could be bought for around $4.98. Except for sweaters and work shirts, there wasn’t much for men. By 1928, the firm now known as National Bellas Hess had annual sales of $40 million, and this number grew by $17 million when it acquired a competitor: The Charles Williams Stores.
In 1966, Bellas Hess, now located in Kansas City, fought a bid by Illinois to force it to collect state sales and use taxes. The matter was litigated right up to the Supreme Court. And in May 1967, Justice Potter Stewart, writing for the 6-3 majority, wrote that a company had to have “nexus” with a state — i.e., a physical presence — to be liable for the use-tax burden. Failing that, states could not impose “the duty of use tax collection and payment upon a seller whose only connection with customers in the state is by common carrier or the United States mail,” Stewart wrote. He added: “The very purpose of the Commerce Clause was to ensure a national economy free from such unjustifiable local entanglements.”
The decision which led to a period of unprecedented mail order growth, was largely reaffirmed by the High Court in the 1992 Quill case. But that didn’t help Bellas Hess much. Trapped in the downward spiral that pulled in all the general catalogs, Bellas Hess entered bankruptcy in 1971 and eventually went out of business. But its name lives on in the landmark ruling - which is basically being shredded today.
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All of our pieces are original - we do not sell reproductions. If you ever find out that one of our pieces is not authentic, you may return it for a full refund of the purchase price and any associated shipping charges.
Are the certificates offered on your site genuine or reproductions?All of the certificates you see on our site are genuine pieces, we do not sell any reproductions.
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No. All of the pieces we sell are either canceled or obsolete and have collectible value only.
Are the images presented in your product listings of the exact piece I will receive?
It depends. We try to present images of the exact piece you will receive whenever possible. However, when we are offering quantities of a piece, this is impossible. Within every product page we detail whether or not you will be receiving the exact certificate listed, or if the image is a representative example of the one you will receive.
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We ship all orders via the United States Postal Service. Most domestic orders are shipped via Ground Advantage. USPS International, Priority and Express Mail, UPS and DHL services are also available, and costs are calculated during checkout. Current charges may be reviewed here.
Can I return my purchase?
Absolutely. You may return any merchandise, for any reason, within 30 days of the purchase date for a full refund of the purchase price.
We guarantee all of our pieces to be authentic. If you ever determine that a piece is not authentic, it may be returned for a full refund of the purchase price as well as any associated shipping charges.
If your order exceeds $35, and the shipping address is within the United States, shipping via USPS Ground Advantage is FREE!
We make every effort to ship out all orders within 24 hours of receipt.
We ship the majority of orders via the USPS, with domestic orders using the Ground Advantage service.
Shipping is calculated during checkout. Upgraded services such as Priority and Express Mail, as well as UPS and DHL options, are also available.
As soon as your order is shipped you will receive your tracking information via email.
OVERSEAS ORDERS PLEASE NOTE THAT WE DECLARE FULL ORDER VALUE ON ALL SHIPMENTS. CUSTOMER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL VAT/CUSTOMS CHARGES.
Our goal is to make sure every item you receive is exactly what you had in mind. If you not happy with your purchase, we’ll help you get it sorted in a timely and professional manner.
You can return anything we offer for an exchange, refund or store credit within 30 days of delivery. Return shipping costs may apply, and the item must be in its original condition and packaging.
Any shipping charges collected on the original order are not eligible for a refund.