Promissory Note

A written promise on the part of one person to pay another or order a stated sum of money at some future time. (See " Note.")

Prompt Shipment

A Chicago Board of Trade term calling for shipment within ten business days.

Proprietary Company

"Controlling company" is the usual term, and is explained under " Operating Company."

Pro Rata Rate

(As used in insurance.) A rate is based on a year's period of time. A "pro rata rate" is the proportion of the yearly rate which the period of time that policy is in force bears to one year.

1 Some wit once said that a " promoter " would furnish the ocean if some one else would furnish the ships.


A description, generally printed, but sometimes typewritten, setting forth the plan of some enterprise about to be undertaken. It differs from a "circular" in its use among bankers as being more a detailed description of some issue of securities and of the property covered by them, and for distribution among what are known as "underwriters" or the few who are invited to share, to a certain extent, in the profits resulting from the sale of the issue when offered to the public at some later time. The description of the same securities and property, when offered for general sale to the public, would be called a " circular," although perhaps this fine distinction in the meaning of the two words is not always strictly followed. The two words are used to a certain extent interchangeably.

Protest Waived

See " Protest."

Provisional Certificates

This is an English term for our "interim certificates."

Provision Pit

See " Pit."


All investors or speculators not in the business of buying and selling securities for others, or who do not make speculation a business. "The investing public; "those upon whom the banker and broker depend for their patronage.

Public Accountant

The same as an "auditor," to which refer.

Public Debt

See "United States Public Debt."

Public Depository

Any banking institution lawfully selected to accept deposits of public money. The institution (one or more) in which the funds of a State are deposited is of this class.

Public Deposits

As used in the Bank of England weekly statements; Government deposits.

Public Funds

In reality, bonds issued by a Government (and the Government debt is so termed in Great Britain), but by usage in America also bonds of States, cities, counties, towns, etc.

Public Loan

Interest-bearing Government indebtedness.

Public Service Corporation

Railway, street railway, gas, telephone, electric light, water companies, etc.

Public Utilities Companies

Same as last subject.

Purchased Line (Or Lines) Mortgage

A railroad may purchase all, or the controlling interest in, one or more other lines of railroad, which roads in themselves, perhaps, were not of very high standing until purchased by the company first mentioned. There may be some reason why the purchasing company cannot issue more bonds of its own for the needs of the purchased line (or lines) and, therefore, may issue a mortgage directly upon the purchased line (or lines) itself, but the mortgage may bear the name of the owning railroad, but, in case of default in the interest or principal the owner could only look to the property actually mortgaged for his protection. Of course, the terms of such mortgages vary greatly, but, as a rule, a "purchased line mortgage " is only a mortgage upon the line actually purchased and not any obligation of the parent company, unless guaranteed by the same.