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This study has a two-fold purpose. First, it seeks to determine the importance of financial accounting information to railroad investors (and speculators) in 1880s America. Second, a further goal is to ascertain what financial accounting information was readily available for use by these investors. Based on a comprehensive search of books of the era, the 1880s were a time of expanding advice for railroad securities holders that required the use of financial accounting information. Furthermore, new information sources arose to help service investors' needs. Statistics by Goodsell and The Wall Street Journal were two such sources. This article reviews these publications along with the ongoing Commercial and Financial Chronicle and Poor's Manual of the Railroads of the United States. Each of these sources helped railroad investors to follow contemporary advice of gathering financial accounting and other information when investing.



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