This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Under some statutes certain types of offer are made irrevocable.1 A statute which makes bids upon public works irrevocable and which provides that a deposit shall accompany each bid, prevents a bidder who has made such deposit from revoking his offer and withdrawing his deposit before the bids are opened.2 Such statutes, however, usually limit their operation to the forfeiture of the deposit, and do not attempt to impose a contractual liability upon the bidder in addition to the forfeiture of the deposit. It is assumed that under such a statute a bid can not be withdrawn so as to prevent the formation of a contract;3 and accordingly mistake or fraud is in-yoked as ground for rescission. The concrete question, however, is usually as to the right of the bidder to recover his deposit which is made to ensure his entering into a contract in case his bid is accepted.
1 Langdell's Summary of Law of Contracts, Sec. 178.
2 Pollock on Contracts (Williston's edition), pp. 7, 8.
3 Mathews Slate Co. v. New Empire Slate Co., 122 Fed. 972; O'Brien v. Boland, 166 Mass. 481, 44 N. E. 602.
4 O'Brien v. Boland, 166 Mass. 481, 44 N. E. 602.
See to the same effect, Guyer v. Warren, 175 III. 328, 51 N. E. 580.
5 Mansfield v. Hodgdon, 147 Mass. 304, 17 N. E. 544.
6 McMillan v. Ames, 33 Minn. 257, 22 N. W. 612.
1 Baltimore v. J. L. Robinson Constr. Co., 123 Md. 660, L. R. A. 1915A, 225, 91 Atl. 682.
2 Morgan Park v. Gahan, 136 111. 515, 26 N. E. 1085; Baltimore v. J. L. Robinson Constr. Co., 123 Md. 660, L. R. A. 1915A, 225, 91 Atl. 682; Wheaton Building & Lumber Co. v. Boston, 204 Mass. 218, 90 N. E. 598.