A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 30, 2012
High Finance

"High finance” means financial transactions that involve large sums of money. The term “high finance” has been cited in print since at least 1858, but began to be used with frequency in Wall Street reports of the 1880s.


The Free Dictionary
high finance
n.
Financial transactions or institutions that are extensive in size or scope.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
high finance n. finance concerned with large sums of money.
1905 McClure’s Mag. XXV. 48 In other words, we could eat our cake and have it, too—which is one secret of high finance.
1934 L. Mumford in W. Frank Amer. & Alfred Steglitz ii. 50 Advertising, insurance, and high finance, the divine trinity that rules the world of industry.
1936 Discovery Sept. 280/2 It is not big guns nor even high finance that ultimately rules the world.

Chronicling America
27 April 1858, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, pg. 6, col. 5:
In the way of grand crashes and rascalities in “high finance,” France shows nothing to compare with England and America.

Google Books
10 August 1861, The Living Age, “A French View of the Southern Idea of Direct Trade,” pg. 381, col. 1:
“Does the ‘commerce of exportation’ in England and France possess a more ‘robust’ confidence than ‘high finance,’ and will it be ready to give long credits to the planters of the South? Assuredly not.”

Chronicling America
19 December 1880, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 3, col. 5:
In the stalls are elegant ladies, the ladies of the high finance, a few ladies from the noble Faubourg, and here and there, resplendent in fictitious charms and diamonds that are the reverse of fictitious, the members of the Old Guard, ...

Google Books
October 1883, The Manhattan, pg. 310, col. 1:
Nor are royalty and high finance shut out from furnishing their quota to the plenishing of these chaotic precincts.

Chronicling America
19 March 1884, The Sun (New York, NY), pg. 2, col. 4:
Diplomacy, jurisprudence, high finance—here is an assortment that ought to please.

29 March 1888, New York (NY) Times, “Gould and the Judiciary,” pg. 4:
While Mr. GOULD was pursuing archaeological researches at Alexandria his son GEORGE sought an interview with the counsel in order to ascertain whether, to use the expression employed in practical politics and high finance, “this thing couldn’t be fixed.”

9 June 1891, New York (NY) Times, “Is this “bluff”?, pg. 4:
Whether this is high finance, whether it is plain honesty, is a matter for the people to form their own opinion about.

OCLC WorldCat record
In the highlands of high finance
Author: Udo J Keppler
Publisher: N.Y. : J. Ottmann Lith. Co., Puck Bldg., 1907 September 11.
Edition/Format:  Image : Graphic : Artwork reproduction : English
Summary: Illustration shows Edward H. Harriman, in the Scottish Highlands, standing with arms and sword raised next to a diamond-shaped rock labeled “Flim Flam Finance” balancing on a pointed base; Harriman is confronting Theodore Roosevelt and his band of Scotsmen, William H. Taft, Charles J. Bonaparte, Frank B. Kellogg, James R. Garfield, and Milton D. Purdy.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Wall Street boy, or, High finance
Author: Allan Montgomery; Street and Smith Publications.
Publisher: New York : Street & Smith, ©1911.
Series: Alger series, no. 180. 
Edition/Format:  Book : Fiction : English

OCLC WorldCat record
High finance: address delivered at annual dinner American newspaper publishers association, Apr. 27, 1916.
Author: Otto Hermann Kahn
Publisher: 1916.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
High finance in the sixties : chapters from the early history of the Erie Railway
Author: Frederick C Hicks; Charles Francis Adams; William McKean Brown Memorial Publication Fund.; et al
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press ; London : H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1929.
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Monday, January 30, 2012 • Permalink