222 U.S. 210 (1911), 72, Banker Brothers Company v. Pennsylvania

Docket Nº:No. 72
Citation:222 U.S. 210, 32 S.Ct. 38, 56 L.Ed. 168
Party Name:Banker Brothers Company v. Pennsylvania
Case Date:December 04, 1911
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 210

222 U.S. 210 (1911)

32 S.Ct. 38, 56 L.Ed. 168

Banker Brothers Company



No. 72

United States Supreme Court

December 4, 1911

Argued November 17, 1911




The relation of vendor and vendee, and not that of principal and agent, exists where the manufacturer sells goods to another under exclusive contract and delivers goods only on payment of draft attached to bill of lading.

In this case, held that goods manufactured in another state and delivered only in pursuance of contract, after payment of draft attached to bill of lading, are at rest and subject to the laws of the state while in the hands of the consignee before delivery by him to a purchaser from him, notwithstanding the consignee only ordered them after a contract with the purchaser had been made.

Where the relation of principal and agent exists between one selling goods in one state which are manufactured in another state and the manufacturer, sales made by the former within his own state are not interstate commerce transactions, but are subject to the taxing power of the state.

Where the transaction of sale of an article manufactured in another state is wholly intrastate, as between vendor and vendee, it does not become interstate and immune from state taxation because the purchaser pays freight from the place of manufacture or because the purchaser obtains a warranty direct from the manufacturer.

The facts, which involve the constitutionality of a statute of Pennsylvania taxing sales of automobiles, as enforced in this case, are stated in the opinion.

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The facts are stated in the opinion.

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LAMAR, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE LAMAR delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Banker Brothers Company, a corporation doing business in Pittsburgh, was charged, as retail vendors, with a tax of one percent on $351,000 on sales of automobiles to persons in Pennsylvania under a statute of that state. It denied liability on the ground that the sales were interstate transactions. A decision of that point involves the question as to whether Banker Brothers Company acted as principal or as agent of a New York manufacturer.

It appears that the George N. Pierce Company was engaged in the business of manufacturing automobiles in Buffalo, and in 1905 made a contract by which it agreed

to build for and sell automobiles to Banker Brothers Company at twenty percent less than list prices, deliveries to be f.o.b. Buffalo as soon as practicable after order for deliveries are received. Payments to be made in cash.

The Banker Brothers Company kept no...

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