"THE ALL-POWERFUL INFLUENCE OF CREDIT": SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF PRENDERGAST'S FIRST BOOK, CREDIT AND ITS USES, 1906
PRENDERGAST, William A. Credit and its Uses. New York: D. Appleton, 1906. Octavo, original maroon cloth. $600.
First edition of the first book by Prendergast, the powerful New York City Comptroller and chairman of the state's Public Service Commission, with 24 folding and full-page charts and forms.
Prendergast, one of the most influential figures in New York's 20th-century financial history, served as City Comptroller (1910-17) and chairman of the state's Public Service Commission (1921-30). In Credit and its Uses he details "the all-powerful influence of credit" and as Comptroller built on its principles by enacting administrative changes that "increased accountability… reduced short-term borrowing and saved approximately $1.5 million a year" (Revell, 156). Prendergast, who fostered a "new water supply of the City of New York and the extension of its rapid transit system… was mainly instrumental, also, in establishing the pay-as-you-go policy in New York City finance" (New York Red Book, 200). A founder and secretary of the National Association of Credit Men, he became "one of the stormiest political figures in city and state politics… a lifelong Republican save for his espousal of President Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive party in 1912. In that year Prendergast made the nominating speech for Roosevelt at the 'Bull Moose' convention… Essentially a businessman in government, he favored the virtues of efficiency, hard, speedy work and economy… as City Comptroller he… left the city's finances in excellent condition to withstand the turbulent years of WWI" (New York Times). Containing 12 full-page and 12 folding charts and forms. With five rear leaves of publisher's advertisements. Small owner inkstamps to preliminaries. Bookseller ticket.
Interior fine, only faint soiling to bright gilt-lettered boards. A fine copy.