The Century, 1847-1946

By Century Association | Go to book overview

Finances of the Century

FROM its very beginning a hundred years ago, The Century Association consciously made an effort to maintain an organization to which men of limited means could afford to belong, where artists, authors and so-called amateurs would be on an entire equality--no conspicuous patron, no favored class. It has sought to have a comfortable establishment, but never a luxurious one.

As compared with other clubs of similar standing, we have attained a measure of success in keeping our dues low, but after acquiring our present building we have been obliged continually to raise them, thereby excluding from our membership many otherwise eligible men who would have enriched our club life and helped us to carry out our corporate purpose to promote the advancement of art and literature. The cause of raising the dues has been largely the increase in taxes and payroll.

To quote from Louis Lang's manuscript reminiscences ( 1847-1891): "The expenses were ridiculously small since we members did the work ourselves." Our first President, Verplanck, liked strawberry festivals with music. " Verplanck proposed an improvised Twelfth Night entertainment. . . . The parlors looked well-decorated." In the early days there seems to have been little or no musical talent among the members. The proposal to buy a piano was hotly debated: " Josiah Lane was desperately against a piano."

As it was in the beginning, so it is today--a large part of the necessary work needed to carry on the organization has been done by the members themselves instead of by employees. Its members have enjoyed working for the Century.

In 1847 the initiation fee was $20.00 and annual dues were $20.00, to be paid in quarterly installments. Receipts in 1847 were $2,435.00, of which $1,600.00 were the initiation fees paid by 80 members; in 1848, receipts were $1,770.00; in 1849, $1,860.00; in 1850, $2,750.00, of which $850.00 was indicated as having been borrowed. In 1851, the

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The Century, 1847-1946
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • The Century, 1847-1946 1
  • The Century, 1867-1886 25
  • The Century, 1907-1926 80
  • The Century, 1927-1946 102
  • The Century and American Art 154
  • Poets and the Century 184
  • Memoirs of Centurian Architects 205
  • The Century Library 226
  • The Committee on Admissions 232
  • Finances of the Century 238
  • Drink and Food 259
  • Billiards and Cowboy 273
  • The Year 1947 279
  • Centennial Celebration 282
  • Founders, Officers, Honorary Members 299
  • An Album of Centurions 303
  • Centurions: 1847-1946 363
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