The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding of early investment practices and the role financial and other information played in those practices. The primary method employed is to examine early books on investing published in the U.S. Early authors described stock market operations including manipulations of security prices by the bulls and the bears. Their solution to this manipulation was to educate investors and provide company information, mostly through directories and manuals. This study shows that financial and other information was thought by the authors to be critically important at the time that the securities markets were first called upon to provide capital to the railroad industry, the first modern business in America.

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