If a contract is ambiguous in meaning, the practical construction put upon it by the parties thereto is of great weight, even though the contract is in writing,1 and, ordinarily, is controlling,1 struction has lasted for a long period of time.3 If the contract can fairly be regarded as ambiguous the practical construction which is placed thereon by the parties will control, although without such practical construction another construction might have seemed more natural.4 The practical construction placed upon the contract by the parties is, at least, of great weight,5 although it is not always conclusive.6 The fact that the practical construction is placed upon the contract by the acts of the parties thereto a considerable period of time after the contract was made, does not prevent such practical construction from being given full effect.7 The practical construction by the parties may determine whether an ambiguous instrument is a partnership contract or not;8 whether the contract is one of consignment or sale; 9 whether the vendee of stock has an equal interest therein with the other parties;10 what undivided interests in land are transferred by a contract;11 what constitutes a "first-class place of amusement";12 what is "any extension of time";13 what right of inspection exists under a contract of sale;14 whether a buyer of a portion of a crop had the right to make inspection and selection of such crop,15 in accordance with what standard of weight or measure payment should be made;16 whether a contract of employment was entire or divisible;17 whether the instrument in question abrogates a preexisting contract or not,18 and whether the instrument in question is a binding contract or not.19 If a contract does not show clearly whether it was to terminate when the charter of the obligor expired, the fact that annual payments were made thereafter is to be considered as showing that the parties did not intend that the contract should terminate then.20 The conduct of the parties to a contract for the sale of automobiles may be considered in determining whether the party who agreed to take automobiles had bound himself to take more than enough to fill orders.21 A contract by which A permitted a railway company to make use of a branch track to A's coal mine for all purposes except "coal mine," is so far ambiguous that the practical construction of the parties may be considered in determining whether the railway company may transport coal which was not mined by A over such track in either direction.22 In some states, where it is doubtful whether a signature was intended to bind the agent or the principal, the subsequent conduct of the parties may be relied upon to show that it was intended to bind the principal and not the agent.23

30 Ormon v. Potter, 46 Colo. 54, 102 Pac. 893. 31 See Sec. 2305 et seq.

32 Payne v. Commercial National Bank, 177 Cal. 68, L. R. A. 1918C, 328, 169 Pac. 1007.

33 Payne v. Commercial National Bank, 177 Cal. 68, L. R. A. 1918C, 328, 169 Pac. 1007.

1 United States. Chicago v. Sheldon, 76 U. S. (9 Wall.) 50, 54, 19 L. ed. 594; Interstate Land Co. v. Land Grant Co., 41 Fed. 275; Pacific, etc., Co. v. Leete, 94 Fed. 968, 36 C. C. A. 587; Fitzgerald v. Bank, 114 Fed. 474, 52 C. C. A. 276; Manhattan Life Ins. Co. v. Wright, 126 Fed. 82; Cook v. Foley, 152 Fed. 41, 81 C. C. A. 237; Bunday v. Huntington, 224 Fed. 847, 140 C. C. A. 415; In re Thomas, 231 Fed. 513; Bransford v. Regal Shoe Co., 237 Fed. 67, 150 C. C. A. 269.

Alabama. Jefferson Plumbers & Mill Supply Co. v. Peebles, 195 Ala. 608, 71 So. 413; Birmingham Waterworks Co. v. Hernandez, 196 Ala. 438, 71 So. 443; Mobile County v. Linch, - Ala. - , 73 So. 423.

Arkansas. Bobbins v. Kimball, 55 Ark. 414, 29 Am. St. Rep. 45, 18 S. W. 457; Watkins Medical Co. v. Williams, 124 Ark. 539, 187 S. W. 653.

California. Hill v. McKay, 94 Cal. 5, 29 Pac. 406; Kennedy v. Lee, 147 Cal. 596, 82 Pac. 257; Woodard v. Glen-wood Lumber Co., 171 Cal. 513, 153 Pac. 951.

Colorado. Wyatt v. Irrigation Co.,

18 Colo. 298, 36 Am. St. Rep. 280, 33 Pac. 144.

District of Columbia. Consaul v. Cummings, 24 D. C. App. 36; Harten v. Loffler, 29 D. C. App. 490.

Florida. Scotch Manufacturing Co. v. Carr, 53 Fla. 480, 43 So. 427.

Illinois. Turner v. Osgood Art Color-type Co., 223 111. 629, 79 N. E. 306; McLean County Coal Co. v. City of Bloomington, 234 111. 90, 84 N. E. 624; Clemens v. Crane. 234 111. 215, 84 N. E. 884; Gillett v. Teel, 272 111. 106, 111 N. E. 722; Sholl v. Peoria & P. U. Ry. Co., 276 111. 267, 114 N. E. 529.

Indiana. Board of Commissioners v. Gibson, 158 Ind. 471, 63 N. E. 982; Vandalia R. Co. v. Terre Haute Vitrified Brick Co., 183 Ind. 551, 108 N. E. 953; Smith v. Miami County, 6 Ind. App. 153, 33 N. E. 243.

Iowa. Pratt v. Prouty, 104 Ia. 419, 65 Am. St. Rep. 472, 73 N. W. 1035; In re Lamb, 140 Ia. 89, 18 L. R. A. (N.S.) 226, 117 N. W. 1118; Henry v. Mason City & Ft. D. R. Co., 140 Ia. 201, 118 N. W. 310; Nicholls v. Wetmore, 174 Ia. 132, 156 N. W. 319; Comptograph Co. v. Burroughs Adding Machine Co., 179 Ia. 83, 159 N. W. 465.

Kansas. Baxter Springs v. Power Co., 64 Kan. 591, 68 Pac. 63.

Kentucky. Dalzell v. Dalzell, 170 Ky. 297, 185 S. W. 1107.

Louisiana. Metcalfe v. Green, 140 La. 950, 74 So. 261; Croom v. Noel, 143 La. 189, 78 So. 442.

Massachusetts. Strong v. Carver Cotton Gin Co., 197 Mass. 53, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 274, 83 N. E. 328; Mark v. Stuart-Howland Co., 226 Mass. 35, 115 N. E. 42; Schurman v. Improved Plastic Slate Roofing Co., 227 Mass. 129, 116 N. E. 530.

Michigan. Switzer v. Mfg. Co., 59 Mich. 488, 26 N. W. 762; McVickar v. Denison, 81 Mich. 348, 45 N. W. 659.

Missouri. Laclede Construction Co. v. T. J. Moss Tie Co., 185 Mo. 25, 84 S. W. 76.

Nebraska. Rathbun v. McConnell, 27 Neb. 239, 42 N. W. 1042; Latenser v. Misner, 56 Neb. 340, 76 N. W. 897; Fiscus v. Wilson, 74 Neb. 444, 104 N. W. 856; School District v. Davis, 76 Neb. 612, 107 N. W. 842; Katz-Craig Contracting Co. v. Cozad (Neb.), 162 N. W. 490.