• Sales Methods of 222 Life Insurance Field Men, Told by Themselves (1923) 222 snippets on sales tactics used by life insurance agents in the 20’s. Some of these are real hardcore – anything to get in the front door. Some on the other hand are still in common use today. A very interesting and indepth look into on-the-ground sales tactics used in those times.
  • Ontario Insurance Agent’s License (1928) A nice frameable 8.5X11 document mounted on a cardboard backing. Interestingly, today insurance agents in Ontario do not recieve any paperwork for their licensing – it’s all done online.
  • Insurance Society Magazine (1884) This is one of my favorite pieces. It’s a Canadian insurance society magazine chock full of ads, articles, and editorials. The assets under administration and similiar numbers are a hoot. There’s even an article on the Ontario Mutual Life Assurance Company, apparently a real up and coming little mutual company with surplus of over $32,000! No, I didn’t forget any zeroes. That little insurance company eventually became The Mutual Life Insurance Company, which became Clarica, which recently merged with Sun Life. I have friends and family that still work today under the Sun banner at the old Mutual Life/Clarica head office building.
  • Life Insurance as a Life Work, Hugh D. Hart (1926) This seems to be a essay on working as a life insurance agent and talks about having to ‘know oneself’. Not sure what the point is, but there you go. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of copies of this one floating around as there’s no way this was ever on a 20’s best seller list :).
  • Met Life Premium Receipt Book 1929 In the old days when selling insurance was REAL tough, agents used to visit clients once a week or once a month and actually collect the premiums from the client. How weird is that – have your agent ring the door bell every month looking to collect $1.11? I bet it was no picnic for the agent either. All kidding aside, this booklet showing premiums received from the client and initialled by the agent harkens back to when ‘agent’s were much more than just salespeople and in fact were official ‘agents’ of the company.
  • Met Life Weekly Premium Receipt Book (1937) The same as the previous booklet, but the agent has stepped up his visits from monthly to weekly.
  • Early Life Insurance Marketing Brochures (circa 1915) These three brochures are a real glimpse into marketing in the early 1900’s. One brochure is by Sam Jones. The fact that he’s a reverend isn’t overdone, but it’s absolutely mentioned in the brochure. Another of the brochures compares and contrasts life insurance with government bonds; a wee bit short on factual information.
  • National Benefit Life Insurance Company, Annual Statement 1918 It’s been an awful long time since I’ve been unable to find *any* information related to a subject on the internet. But here’s one company that seems to have disappeared entirely. There’s a company by this name currently residing in New York (it appears to underwrite the life insurance operations of Primerica in the state of New York), but it changed it’s name to National Benefit Life Insurance Company in the last few decades so it’s not the same company. Goes to show you can’t believe everything you read, the annual statement was clearly labelled as ‘Old-Strong-Reliable’.
  • The Pelican This is the sales magazine for representatives of the Mutual Benefit from June 1936. They had a sales convention at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, this edition covers that convention in detail. Plenty of pictures from the times in this publication. (note: With the demise of the Mutual Benefit I believe this document is what is called an orphan copyright. Nobody owns the copyright anymore as far as it can be ascertained, which means I can duplicate it here without fear of trampling on someone’s copyright)
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