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.
The party prescribing a form of acceptance may waive such form, and accept any other method of acceptance as sufficient. Such waiver occurs where an acceptance not made in the prescribed form is communicated to the offeror and is received by him without objection.1 If an offer is made for a written contract to be signed by A and B, and B assents but does not sign, A's declaration of his willingness to act under such contract is a waiver of B's signature.2 Even if a written order for goods contemplates a written acceptance, the actual delivery and receipt of the goods constitutes acceptance.3 If an offer is given for value and is to be accepted in a certain way or by a certain time, the offeror has been held to waive such method of acceptance if, by his own act, he makes it impossible for the offeree to accept.4 As applied to offers for value, this is, no doubt, correct. The propriety of applying it to offers not for value is doubtful. Where the party prescribing the mode of acceptance voluntarily makes it impossible for the adversary party to accept in the prescribed mode, he has been held to waive such form, even though the offer was not for value. Thus where A offered to B to sell cattle, the offer to be accepted by B at an appointed interview on the following day, if at all, and B was present at the appointed time and place, but A was absent, it was held that B might accept by sending for the cattle the next day.5 Where a written formal acceptance of rights and benefits under a statute was required, allowing a railroad company to act thereunder and to exercise such rights, waives such requirements.6
16 Poel v. Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co., 216 N. Y. 310, 110 N. E. 619.
17 Farrell v. Greenlee County, 15 Ariz. 106, 49 L. R. A, (N.S.) 380, 136 Ac. 637.
18 Farrell v. Greenlee County, 15 Ariz. 106, 49 L. R. A. (N.S.) 380, 136 Ac. 637.
1 Perry v. Iron Co., 15 R. I. 380, 2 Am. St. Rep. 902, 5 Atl. 632.
2 Serhant v. Gooch Milling & Elevator Co., 96 Neb. 754, 148 N. W. 911.
3 National Cash Register Co. v. Dehn, 139 Mich. 406, 102 N. W. 965.
4 Holmes v. Mylea, 141 Ala. 401, 37 So. 588; Sizer v. Clark, 116 Wis. 534, 93 N. W. 539.
5 Omer v. Farlow, 46 111. App. 122.
6 St. Paul, etc., Ry. Co. v. Green-algh, 139 U. S. 19, 35 L. ed. 71; St. Paul, etc., Ry. Co. v. Wenzel, 139 U. S. 23, 35 L. ed. 73 (at least so as to prevent the railroad company from escaping liability).