76The leading case illustrating this point is Cundy v. Lindsay, 3 A. C. 450. In this case it appeared that one Alfred Blenkarn hired a room which had side windows on Wood street. He wrote an order to Messrs. Lindsay as from "37 Wood Street." He signed this letter without any initial representing a Christian name, and wrote it so that it appeared to be "Blenkiron & Co." There was a firm, in good credit, of W. Blenkiron & Son carrying on business at 123 Wood street. The goods were sent addressed to "Messrs. Blenkiron & Co., 37 Wood Street," where they were obtained by Blenkarn. He sold the goods to various innocent purchasers, among others to Messrs. Cundy who resold them in the regular course of business. Messrs. Lindsay brought this action against Messrs. Cundy for conversion, and were held entitled to maintain that action. Similarly in Newberry v. Norfolk & Southern Ry. Co., 133 N. C.45, 46 S. £. 356, it appeared that there were two persons named respectively Arthur B. Alexander and Alfred Alexander. The former, who was notoriously insolvent, ordered goods from the plaintiff, signing the order "A. Alexander." The seller shipped the goods, supposing they were ordered by Alfred Alexander, who was a man of means. It was held that no title passed to Arthur Alexander and the plaintiff was entitled to reclaim his goods. See also School Sisters v. Kusnitt, 125 Md. 323, 93 Atl. 928; Brighton Packing Co. v. Butchers' Ac. Assoc., 211 Mass. 398, 97 N. E. 780; Phelps v. McQuade, 220 N. Y. 232, 115 N. E. 441; Mercantile Nat. Bank v. Silverman, 148 N. Y. App. D. 1, 132 N. Y. S. 1017. Compare Perkins v. Anderson, 65 Iowa, 398, 21 N. W. 696; Samuel v. Cheney, 135 Mass.278,46Am.Rep.467. In the case last cited goods were ordered by a fraudulent person under the name of A. Swannick. This was the name of a reputable dealer in the same town. The goods were sent directed to A. Swannick. The carrier took them first to the reputable dealer who refused them, and then delivered them to the fraudulent person who had written the order. The carrier was not held liable. In this case, however, the court professed to decide nothing in regard to title, and the numerous cases in regard to the liability of a carrier for misdelivery must be carefully scrutinized before any weight is conceded to them upon the point herein discussed. Although it is well settled that a carrier is generally liable for deliverng goods of another, and by this false representation obtains possession of goods, the seller agreeing to sell to the alleged principal, no title passes. The alleged principal gets no title because he never agreed to buy, and the agent gets no title because the seller never agreed to transfer title to him.77 If, however, a fraudulent buyer, though attaching to a letter ordering goods, a name which is not his own, chooses a purely fictitious one, title to goods sent will pass and a bona fide sub-purchaser will acquire an indefeasible title,78 But if S sells goods to B, erroneously supto any other person than the owner or the person to whom they are billed, and though it might, therefore, seem a safe assumption that where a seller has shipped goods in accordance with an order, the carrier's liability would depend on whether the seller in fact shipped the goods to the person to whom delivery was made by the carrier, the case of Singer v. Merchants' Transportation Co., 191 Mass. 449, 77 N. E. 882, 114 Am. St. Rep. 635, shows that every court at least would not assent to the assumption. In that case the plaintiff, a shoe dealer in Boston, named Louis Singer, delivered cases of goods to the defendant for transportation to Springfield, Illinois, marked L. Singer, Springfield, Illinois. There was in Springfield, Illinois, a dealer in goods of the kind shipped, named Lena Singer. She did business under the name of L. Singer, and was so known to the defendant's representatives, and goods had been received for her over the defendant's line nearly every week addressed to L Singer. The shipper in fact intended to address the goods to himself; he did not know there was any person by the name of Lena Singer or L. Singer in Springfield, Illinois. It was held that the contract of the defendant was to deliver the goods to L Singer, Springfield, Illinois, and that the defendant had performed this contract and was not liable to the plaintiff,
Louis Singer, for the loss of the goods; nor was it held material that the plaintiff for five years had sent goods six or seven times a year addressed in the same way. It will be observed that in this case the title to the goods was unquestionably in Louis Singer, and that in consigning them to L. Singer he intended to consign them to himself. It is, therefore, evident that a decision that a carrier is not liable as for a misdelivery does not necessarily involve the conclusion that the person to whom the goods were delivered was the owner or the person intended to be the consignee. To similar effect is Porter v. Oceanic S. S. Co., 223 Mass. 224, 111 N. E. 864. On the same principle where a check payable to "Max Roth" was sent by the drawer to Cleveland instead of to New York,and in Cleveland fell into the hands of a Max Roth for whom it was not intended, who indorsed and collected it, it was held that the drawee bank could charge the payment against the drawer. Weisberger Co. v. Barberton Bank Co., 84 Ohio St. 21, 95 N. E. 379, 34 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1100 (criticised in 60 Am. L. Reg. 443).
77 Hardman v. Booth, 1 H. & C. 803; Kingsford v. Merry, 1 H. & N. 503; Hollins v. Fowler, L. R. 7 H. L. 757, 763, 795.
78 King's Norton Metal Co. v. Ed-ridge, 14 T. L. R. 98; Smith Typewriter Co. v. Stidger, 18 Colo. App. 261, 71 Pac. 400; Alexander v. Swackhamer, posing him to be purchasing as agent for C, but without any representation or pretence on the part of B that he is buying as agent for another, the contract is valid and the title to the goods passes to B.79