Wright’s Savings Bank Life Tables 1871 & 1872 Fact Sheet

Wright’s Savings Bank Life Tables 1871 & 1872 Fact Sheet


Cambridge Sketches describes the creation of Wright’s Life Insurance Valuation Tables as such: “The situation was this, and Mr. Wright saw it clearly: the presidents of the companies were excellent men,—as honorable and trustworthy as the presidents of our best national banks,—and they knew how to organize and conduct their companies in all business matters, but of life insurance as a science they knew as little as they knew of Greek. . . After two or three interviews with Elizur Wright the presidents of the companies came to the conclusion that he was exactly the man that they wanted, and they commissioned him to draw up a revised set of tables and rates which could serve them for a uniform standard. This work occupied him and two of his daughters for a full year, for which he was compensated with the paltry sum of two thousand dollars.”

Years later (1871) Elizur Wright wrote a second edition revised and enlarged and this is the edition which the library has in its collection along with “Savings Bank Life Insurance with Illustrative Tables Analyzing the Premiums per $1000 of 268 policies showing the Insurance, self-insurance, and surrender value of each for every policy year by the actuaries rate of mortality at 4%,” 1872.

The 1871 book is in terrible shape and cannot effectively be re-bound as it is so delicate. It appears that it was signed to a John W. Winder by Walter C. Wright (Elizur Wright’s son). The plan for this book is to create a specially designed clam shell box to prevent further exposure to dust and sunlight and to preserve this book for years to come. The cost for cleaning the book and creating a clam shell box is $125. The 1872 actuarial book appears to be signed to Elizur Wright’s daughter by Elizur Wright himself. This book is in significantly better shape than the 1871 book and should be able to be repaired for around $200. You can either adopt one of the books to repair or both of the books. To repair both it will cost $325. To adopt these books, email Meagan Stefanow at mstefanow@insurancelibrary.org


1871 book, held together carefully by string


Cover of the 1872 actuarial tables


Title page of 1872 book


Inscription in 1872 book