Fires: Their Causes, Prevention and Extinction; combining also a Guide to Agents respecting insurance against loss by fire
...And containing information as to the construction of buildings, special features of manufacturing hazards, writing of policies, adjustment of losses etc., etc.
Hardcover 8vo; , 290, viii, . Beveled cloth boards with great gilt bicep vignette. Bumped and worn at extremities including fraying to spine ends, cloth a bit mottled; intermittent soil consistent with frequent use. Occasional fingersoil and pencil notes to the endpapers and insert (appears to reflect changing regulations on slaughter houses, etc.) Previous owners' inscriptions to prelims. About Very Good overall. A 4-page "list of prohibited risks" specific to the Mechanics agency is tipped in between the copyright and dedication pages and evidently suffered some water damage before insertion. With one folding plan.
Copyright 1876, Moore's text was reproduced as a guide for agents of the Continental Insurance Company of New York City, with the imprint unstated on the title page. The text would be updated and rebranded for specific agencies--in this case, produced for the Mechanics Fire Insurance Company of Brooklyn, N.Y. March, 1881.
Aside from being a tremendous textual entertainment and wellspring of found poetry, in chronicling the nature and circumstances of liabilities, the book offers a portrait of late 19th-century industry and infrastructure. Within the assessment of risks associated with a very particular set of industries are descriptions of the physical architecture, labor and utilities involved--like electricity. The book further outlines some technical aspects of fire and the semantics of underwriting (don't say "Saw Mill" in the policy, say "a [building] with the privilege to be occupied as a saw mill"). It also accounts a good deal for "moral hazards" and variables, like gender, involved with risk assessment (schools for girls "are a somewhat better risk" than those for boys, "who are generally more mischievous and unruly"). See also: the complicity of rats in incendiarism, how to use stationery, and other important advice for agents.