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Fire Insurance in the United States

Dalit Baranoff Fire Insurance before 1810 Marine Insurance The first American insurers modeled themselves after British marine and fire insurers, who were already well-established by the eighteenth century. In eighteenth-century Britain, individual merchants wrote most marine insurance contracts. Shippers and ship owners were able to acquire insurance through an informal exchange centering on London’s coffeehouses. […]

Insuring the Industrial Revolution: Fire Insurance in Great Britain, 1700-1850

Published by EH.NET (February 2006) Robin Pearson, Insuring the Industrial Revolution: Fire Insurance in Great Britain, 1700-1850. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2004. xiii + 434 pp. $100 (hardcover), ISBN: 0-7546-3363-2. Reviewed by Mark Tebeau, Department of History, Cleveland State University. Despite its rather obvious importance to modern economic development, the history of fire and property insurance […]

Risk and the Insurance Business in History

Published by EH.Net (May 2021) Jerònia Pons and Robin Pearson, editors, Risk and the Insurance Business in History. Madrid: Fundación Mapfre, 2020. 290 pp. ISBN: 978-84-9844-753-8. Reviewed for EH.Net by Chris Kingston, Department of Economics, Amherst College.   The history of insurance, as many authors have noted, has been relatively neglected by historians, including economic […]

Life Insurance in the United States through World War I

Sharon Ann Murphy The first American life insurance enterprises can be traced back to the late colonial period. The Presbyterian Synods in Philadelphia and New York set up the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers in 1759; the Episcopalian ministers organized a similar fund in 1769. In the […]

World Insurance: The Evolution of a Global Risk Network

Published by EH.Net (August 2013)?Peter Borscheid and Niels Viggo Haueter, editors, World Insurance: The Evolution of a Global Risk Network. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. xvi + 729 pp. $180 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-0-19-65796-4. Reviewed for EH.Net by Geoffrey Clark, Department of History, State University of New York at Potsdam. This massive volume on the spread […]

From Industrial to Legal Standardization, 1871-1914: Transnational Insurance Law and the Great San Francisco Earthquake

Published by EH.Net (December 2012) Tilmann J. R?der, From Industrial to Legal Standardization, 1871-1914: Transnational Insurance Law and the Great San Francisco Earthquake. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff, 2011. xviii + 350 pp. ?99/$136 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-90-04-21237-4. Reviewed for EH.Net by Robin Pearson, Department of History, University of Hull. Tilmann R?der of the Max Planck Institute for […]

Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America

Published by EH.Net (March 2012) Sharon Ann Murphy, Investing in Life:  Insurance in Antebellum America.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 2010.  xii + 395 pp. $65 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-0-8018-9624-8. Reviewed for EH.Net by Eric Hilt, Department of Economics, Wellesley College. The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed a transformation of the American economy that some historians […]

The Appeal of Insurance

Published by EH.NET (May 2011) Geoffrey Clark, Gregory Anderson, Christian Thomann, and J.-Matthias Graf von der Schulenburg, editors, The Appeal of Insurance. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. x + 247 pp. $50 (cloth), ISBN: 978-1-4426-4065-8. Reviewed for EH.Net by Sharon Ann Murphy, Department of History, Providence College. Perhaps reflecting twenty-first century concerns about risk […]

Asbestos and Fire: Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk

Published by EH.NET (August 2005) Rachel Maines, Asbestos and Fire: Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005. xiv + 254 pp. $34.95 (cloth), ISBN: 0-8135-3575-1. Reviewed for EH.NET by Mark Aldrich, Department of Economics, Smith College. In this brief, lively, and thoroughly researched essay Rachel Maines, who is in […]

Eating Smoke: Fire in Urban America, 1800-1950

Published by EH.NET (June 2004) Mark Tebeau, Eating Smoke: Fire in Urban America, 1800-1950. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press: 2003. xi + 425 pp. $49.95 (cloth), ISBN: 0-8018-6791-6. Reviewed for EH.NET by Dalit Baranoff, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University. Scott Tebeau’s well-researched monograph is the latest to tackle the complex story of fire in […]