An offer once made is not to be regarded as open for acceptance indefinitely. Whether it remains open for any length of time and if so, for how long, depends on the following considerations:

3 England. Hyde v. Wrench, 3 Beav. 334.

United States. Minneapolis & St. Louis R. R. v. Columbus Rolling Mill, 119 U. 8. 149, 30 L. ed. 376.

California. Niles v. Hancock, 140 Cal. 157, 73 Ac. 840.

Kentucky. Shaw v. Ingram-Day Lumber Co., 152 Ky. 329, L. R. A. 1915D, 145, 153 S. W. 431.

Minnesota. Lewis v. Johnson, 123 Minn. 409, L. R. A. 1915D, 150, 143 N. W. 1127.

Missouri. Egger v. Nesbitt, 122 Mo. 667, 43 Am. St. Rep. 596, 27 S. W. 385.

Montana. Glenn v. S. Birch & Sons

Construction Co., 52 Mont. 414, 158 Ac. 834.

Pennsylvania. Henry v. Black, 213 Pa. St. 620, 63 Atl. 250.

4 Sprague v. Hosie, 155 Mich. 30, 130 Am. St. Rep. 558, 19 L. R. A. (N.S.) 874, 118 N. W. 497.

5Zearing v. Crawford, 102 Ark. 575, 145 S. W. 226.

6 Western Timber Co. v. Kalama River Lumber Co., 42 Wash. 620, 85 Ac. 338.

7 Sanders v. Wheel Co., 151 Ky. 257, 151 S. W. 674.

8 J. C. LyBle Milling Co. v. Rumph - Ark. - 203 S. W. 850; Paramore v. Campbell, 245 Mo. 287, 149 S. W. 6. See Sec. 150.

(1) The circumstances under which the offer is made may indicate that acceptance must be made at once if at all;1 as where the parties are in personal communication.2 In such cases the offer lapses if it is not accepted at once.

(2) If no time for acceptance is fixed by the terms of the offer, and the circumstances under which the offer was made, show that it was the understanding of the parties that some time must be given for acceptance, an acceptance, if made within a reasonable time and before revocation, completes the contract,3 even if the offeror, as in case of an offer of a reward, has placed an undisclosed limitation of such offer to the day of the offer.4 A delay in acceptance beyond a reasonable time causes the offer to lapse, and a subsequent attempt to accept, is of no legal effect.5 No formal withdrawal of the offer is necessary if it remains unaccepted after a reasonable time.6 If a contract is to take effect on A's approval, A must give notice of his approval in a reasonable time to make the contract valid.7

1 Vincent v. Oil Co., 165 Pa. St. 402, 30 Atl. 991 (and a reasonable time to investigate can not then be allowed).

2 John8ton v. Fessler, 7 Watts (Pa.) 48, 32 Am. Dec. 738.

3 United States. Ryan v. United States, 136 U. S. 68, 34 L. ed. 447.

Arkansas. Kempner v. Cohn, 47 Ark. 519, 58 Am. Rep. 775, 1 S. W. 869; Emerson v. Stevens Grocer Co., 105 Ark. 575, 151 S. W. 1003.

Iowa. Gough v Loomis, 123 la. 642, 99 N. W. 295.

Louisiana. Riley v. Union Sawmill Co., 122 La. 863, 48 So. 304.

Michigan. South Branch Cheese Co. v. American Butter & Cheese Co., 191 Mich. 507, 158 N. W. 158.

4 Sullivan v. Phillips, 178 Ind. 164, 98 N. E. 868.

5 United States. United States v. P. J. Carlin Construction Co., 224 Fed. 859, 138 C. C. A. 449.

Connecticut. Peck v. Edwards, 90 Conn. 669, 98 Atl. 325; Saraceno v. Carrano, 92 Conn. 563, 103 Atl. 631.

Iowa. Ferrier v. Storer, 63 Ia. 484, 50 Am. St. Rep. 752, 19 N. W. 288.

Illinois. Koeffler v. Davidson, 66 111. App. 542.

Louisiana. Riley v. Union Sawmill Co., 122 La. 863, 48 So. 304; Union Sawmill Co. v. Mitchell, 122 La. 900, 48 So. 317; Harang v. Ragan, 134 La. 201, 63 So. 875.

Maine. Mitchell v. Abbott, 86 Me. 338, 41 Am. St. Rep. 559, 25 L. R. A. 503, 29 Atl. 1118.

Michigan. Hawley v. Jelly, 25 Mich. *94.

Minnesota. Graff v. Buchanan, 46 Minn. 254, 48 N. W. 915; Bowser v. Fountain, 128 Minn. 198, 150 N. W. 795.

Nebraska. Omaha Loan & Trust Co. v. Goodman, 62 Neb. 197, 86 N. W. 1082.

New Jersey. McCracken v. Harned, 66 N. J. L. 37, 48 Atl. 513.

New York. Chicago & Great Eastern Ry. v. Dane, 43 N. Y. 240.

Texas. Cunyus v. Hooks Lumber Co., 20 Tex. Civ. App. 290, 48 S. W. 1106.

West Virginia. Hanly v. Watterson, 39 W. Va. 214, 19 S. E. 536.

6 Bowen v. McCarthy, 85 Mich. 26, 48 N. W.

7 Robinson v. Peru, etc., Co., 1 Okla. 140, 31 Ac. 988.

The doctrine of lapse does not apply to an offer which both offeror and offeree unite in treating as in force.8 An offer remains in force as long as it is treated by both parties as being in force, even though what would otherwise be a reasonable time, has elapsed.9

While the foregoing cases treat the offer as lapsing automatically with the expiration of the time for which it remains open, and as then ceasing to exist, it seems to have been assumed that lapse merely conferred upon the offeror the right to withdraw his offer, even after the offeree has communicated his acceptance.10 Accordingly, the failure of the offeror to notify the offeree within a reasonable time after receiving the notice of acceptance, that he rejects such acceptance and revokes such offer, makes such contract valid, although the acceptance was not communicated or even mailed until the offer had lapsed.11 It has also been said that the lapse of time may justify the offeror in treating the delay as equivalent to a rejection.12