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.
If the offer made by means of advertisements, circulars and the like shows an intent to assume legal liability thereby, such offer may on acceptance form a contract.1 In some cases the quotation of prices is so made as to indicate a promise to sell at such price; and such quotation is then treated as an offer if otherwise sufficient.2 Where
18 Schon-Klingstein Meat & Grocery Co. v. Snow, 43 Colo. 538, 96 Ac. 182.
19 Dunshee v. Standard Oil Co., 152 la. 618, 132 N. W. 371.
20 State v. Peters, 91 Me. 31, 3d Ail. 342.
21 Patton v. Arney, 95 la. 664, 64 N. W. 635.
22 Philp v. Knoblauch (1907), S. C. 994, 15 Scotts Law T. R. 61 [distinguishing, Harvey v. Facey (1893), A. C. 552].
1 England. Carlill v. Smoke Ball Co. (1893), 1 Q. B. 256, 67 L. T. N. S. 837.
Georgia. Robinson v. Leatherby Tie
& Lumber Co., 120 Ga. 901, 48 S. E. 380.
Indiana. Vigo, etc., Society v. Brum-fiel, 102 Ind. 146, 52 Am. Rep. 657, 1 N. E. 382.
Iowa. Tarbell v. Stevens, 7 la, 163.
Kansas. Seymour v. Armstrong, 62 Kan. 720, 64 Ac. 612.
Minnesota. Moorey v. Daily News Co., 116 Minn. 212, 133 N. W. 573.
Missouri. Anderson v. Public Schools, 122 Mo. 61, 26 L. R. A. 707, 27 S. W. 610.
2 Philp v. Knoblauch (1907), S. C. 994, 15 S. L. T. 61; Fairmount Glass Works v. Cruden-Martin Wooden Ware agreement. Thus an advertisement of a competition for designs for a building, competing architects to receive $500 each, and the successful architect to be engaged as architect, and superintendent of the building,11 and an advertisement that a certain sum would be paid to any person who was not cured of influenza after certain treatment with a prescribed remedy;12 each constitute offers. Time schedules,13 or freight schedules,14 may be such offers, if so worded as to show a definite intention to assume liabilit
A wrote to B, "I am offering today Plate Linseed for January-February shipment to Leith, and have pleasure in quoting you 100 tons at 41.3, usual Plate terms. I shall be glad to hear if you are buyers, and await your esteemed reply," and B replied by telegram: "Accept hundred January-February Plate 41.3 Leith per steamer Leith - Philp," and also replied by letter: "Your favor of yesterday came duly to hand and this forenoon we wired you as per enclosed copy, thus buying from you 100 tons Plate Linseed, January-February steamer shipment usual contract," it was held that the seller's letter was a plain offer and that the buyer's letter was a plain acceptance.3 In a letter written by a railway company, "referring to your call at our office last Saturday, relative to rate on about three million feet of logs," from one designated point to another, "we are willing to name you rate on logs," followed by a statement of rates, was held to be an offer which, on acceptance, became a contract.4 An offer may be made in the catalogue of state university;5 or of a private school; 6 by advertisement in a newspaper,7 such as an advertisement of a prize in a competition;8 in an official pamphlet of specifications issued by the United States Government;9 or by a circular offering a reward,10 in form so definite that acceptance may convert it into Co., 106 Ky. 659, 51 S. W. 196; Lawrence v. Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Ry., 84 Wis. 427, 54 N. W. 797.
3 Philp v. Knoblauch (1907), S. C. 994, 15 S. L. T. 61 [distinguishing Harvey v. Facey (1893), A. C. 552 upon two grounds; first, that the letter in Harvey v. Facey was evidently not intended as a promise but simply as a statement of the price at which the owner was ready to sell his property, while in Philp v. Knoblauch the use of the word "offering" and the request to hear if B would be a buyer, showed that A was offering to sell such goods; and second, upon the ground that in Harvey v. Facey, the offer dealt with realty, while in Philp v. Knoblauch a mercantile transaction was involved, implying apparently that a quotation of prices by a manufacturer or wholesaler is more than likely to be an offer to sell than a similar quotation of a price by an owner of land].
4 Lawrence v. Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Ry., 84 Wis. 427, 54 N. W. 797. [In this case, however, the railway and the shipper both assumed, in their subsequent correspondence, that a contract existed.]
5 Niedermyer v. University, 61 Mo. App. 654.
6 Horner School v. Wescott, 124 N. Car. 518, 32 S. E. 885.
7 Carlill v. Smoke Ball Co. (1893), 1 Q. B. 256, 67 L. T. N. S. 837.
8 Minton v. F. G. Smith Piano Co.,. 36 D. C. App. 137, 33 L. R. A. (N.S.) 305; Mooney v. Daily News Co., 116 Minn. 212, 133 N. W. 573.
9 Ward v. Dialogue, 64 N. J. L. 679, 46 Atl. 628. [It was stated, with authority of a patentee, that he would furnish his patented boiler at a certain price.]
10 Bank v. Griffin, 66 III. App. 577. See Sec. 115, 157.