It is said by Lord Coke that a seal is wax on which an impression has been made, and that the wax without the impression would not constitute a seal.10 But the common law has everywhere in recent times much relaxed this rule. Everywhere to-day any substance as, for instance, a wafer 11 attached as a seal to a document would be held sufficient. So an impression made upon the paper as in the case of the seals ordinarily used by notaries and corporations would be sufficient.12 It
6 Co. Litt, 229, repeated in 2 Black-stone Comm. 297.
72 Com. 305.
8 Cromwell v. Grunsden, 2 Salk. 462; Taunton v. Pepler, 6 Maddock, 166; Jeffery v. Underwood, 1 Ark. 108. See also Cooch v. Goodman, 2 Q. B. 581, 697; Shepp. Touch. (Preston's ed.), 56 b. Cf. McDill's Lessee v. McDill, 1 Dull. 63,1 L. Ed. 38; Osby v. Reynolds, 260 111. 576, 581, 103 N. E. 556.
9Rutland v. Paige, 24 Vt. 181; Vermont Accident Ins. Co. v. Fletcher, 87 Vt. 394, 89 Atl. 480.
10 Institutes, Book III, 169.
11 Tasker v. Bartlett, 5 Cush. 359. Apparently the relaxation was first brought about by presuming from the recitals in the deed that an impression with the finger was made on the wafer.
12 In re Sandilands, L.K.6C.P. 411, 412; National Provincial Bank v. Jackson, 33 Ch. D. 1, 11; Hendee v. Pinker-ton, 14 Allen, 381; Royal Bank v. Grand seems logically difficult starting from these recognized extensions of the early rule to deny validity to any written or printed addition to a document which was in fact intended as a seal, since ink is superimposed on the paper and an impression is also made on it; and many courts seem prepared to accept this consequence. Thus a scroll or scrawl has been held enough." So the word "seal," 14 or the letters L. S. (standing for locus sigitti).15
Perhaps the extreme limit was reached in a Pennsylvania case 16 where it was held that a horizontal dash less than an eighth of an inch long was a sufficient seal. A few courts, however, still maintain a stricter rule; and while not denying the sufficiency of wafers or of such impressions on paper as are made by notaries' seals, decline to accept as seals a mere written or printed word or device.17 In many States
Junction Co., 100 Man. 444, 97 Am. Dec. 115; Beardaley v. Knight, 4 Vt. 471, 479.
13United States v. Stephenson's Exec., 1 McLean, 462; Anderson v. Wilburn, 8 Ark. 155; Williams v. Greer, 12 Ga. 459; Harden v. Webster, 29 Ga. 427, 429; Eames v. Preston, 20 111. 389; Trasher v. Everhart, 3 G. &. J. 234; Line v. Line, 119 Md. 403, 86 Atl. 1032; Thompson v. Poe, 104 Miss. 586, 61 So. 656; Michenor v. Kinney, Wright, 450; Parks v. Duke, 2 McCord, 380; Whitley p. Davis' Lessee, 1 Swan, 333, 335; Jones v. Logwood, 1 Wash. (Va.) 56. But see Adam v. Kerr, 1 B. & P. 360.
14 Jackson v. Security Mut. Life Ins. Co., 233 111. 161, 84 N. E. 198; Quincy Horse Ry. Co. v. Omer, 109 111. App. 238; Jeffery v. Underwood, 1 Ark. 108; Comerford v Cobb, 2 Fla. 418; Bacon v. Green, 36 Fla. 325, 18 So. 870; Pierce v. Lacy, 23 Miss. 193; Groner v. Smith, 49 Mo. 318; Lorah v. Nissley, 156 Pa. St. 329, 27 Atl. 242; McClam-roch, etc., Co. v. Bristow, 94 S. C. 252, 77 S. E. 923; Philip v. Steams, 20 8. D. 220, 105 N. W. 467; Whitley v. Davis' Lessee, 1 Swan, 333; English v. Helms,
4 Tex. 228; Conner v. Autray, 18 Tex. 427.
15Jacksonville, etc., Nav., Co. v. Hooper, 160 U. S. 514, 40 L. Ed. 515, 16 S. Ct. 379; G. V. B. Min. Co. v. First Nat. Bank, 95 Fed. 23,36 C. C. A. 633; Bertrand v. Byrd, 4 Ark. 195; Hastings v. Vaughn, 5 Cal. 315; Lang-ley v. Owens, 52 Fla. 302, 42 So. 457; Stansell v. Corley, 81 Ga. 453, 8 S. E 80S; Ankeny v. McMahon, 4 111. 12; Lorah v. Niasley, 156 Pa. St. 320, 27 Atl. 242; Osborn v. Kistler, 35 Ohio St. 99; McKain v. Miller, 1 McMull. (S. C.) 313; Buckner v. Mackay, 2 Leigh, 488. But see Woodbury v. United States Casualty Co., 284 111. 227, 120 N. E. 8.
16Hacker's Appeal, 121 Pa. 192, 15 Atl. 500, 1 L. R. A. 861.
17 Woodbury v. United States Casualty Co., 284 111. 227,120 N. E. 8 (letters [L. S.I held insufficient at common law and therefore in another State where the instrument was executed the law of which was not proved); McLaughlin v. Randall, 66 Me. 266 (scroll insufficient); Manning v. Perkins, 86 Me. 419, 29 Atl. 1114 (printed word [seal] insufficient); Bates v. New York statutes have declared that written or printed additions to the paper are sufficient.18
Under statutes which allow the use of a scroll or scrawl for a seal, all kinds of informal written or printed susbtitutes for sealing are permissible; as, for instance, the written or printed word seal.19 As long as the question whether an instrument was under seal depended on whether a piece of wax impressed with the obligor's seal was attached, intention
Central R. Co., 10 Allen, 261 (facsimile of corporate seal printed on document insufficient. This was held sufficient in Woodman p. York, etc., R. Co., 60 Me. 649); Bishop v. Globe Co., 136 Mass. 132 (printed word [seal] insufficient); Providence, etc., Co. v. Crahan Engraving Co., 24 R. I. 176, 62 Atl. 804 (written scroll containing the word seal, insufficient); Beardaley v. Knight, 4 Vt. 471 (written word seal insufficient).
18 Alabama, Code (1907), Sec.3363. An instrument purporting to be under seal has the same effect as if a seal were affixed.
California, Civ. Code, Sec. 193. A scroll or the word seal after the signature is sufficient.
Colorado, Mills Stat. (1912), Sec. 824. A scroll is enough.
Connecticut, Gen. Stat. (1918), Sec. 5742. The word seal or the letters L. S. are sufficient.
Florida, Camp. Laws (1914) Sec. 2484. A scrawl or scroll written or printed is sufficient.
Georgia, Code, Sec.5. A scrawl or any other mark intended as a seal shall be held as such.
Idaho, Rev. Stat. (1908), Sec.Sec. 13, 5989. Impression on the paper is enough, or a scroll, or the word seal.
Illionis, Jones & Addington's Stat. (1913), Sec. 2223. A scrawl, affixed by way of a seal, has the same effect as a seal.
Michigan, Comp. Laws (1916),