Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Businessmen
He also gave a psychological prophetic glimpse of the insidious sealskin sacque.
In Seventeen Hundred and Ninety, a ship from the Pacific brought a hundred otterskins to New York. The skins were quickly sold to London buyers at exorbitant prices
The nobility wanted sea-otter, or ``Royal American Ermine,'' as they called it. The scarcity boomed the price. Ships were quickly fitted out and dispatched. Boats bound for the whale fisheries were diverted, and New Bedford had a spasm of jealousy.
Astor encouraged these expeditions, but at first invested no money in them, as he considered them ``extra hazardous.'' He was not a speculator.
Until the year Eighteen Hundred, Astor lived over his store in Water Street, but he then moved to the plain and modest house at Two Hundred and Twenty-three Broadway, on the site of the old Astor House. Here he li