This paper was published as a Faculty Working Paper (no. 214 Part 2 of 2 parts) for the Lubin Business School, Center for Applied Research, December 2004.

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Many questions are raised about the generally accepted accounting principles that guide the preparation and reporting of financial information by contemporary companies, especially those publicly-owned companies that must disclose financial information on a regular basis. Such questions raise another question which motivated this historical study: "What was the nature and extent of financial information reporting in The Wall Street Journal before there was an organized, specified body of accounting principles—before GAAP?" A series on accounting topics titled Studies of Value, which began publication on January 4, 1900, was the source of this study. This is an initial exploratory historical study that is based on a content analysis of a sample of articles in the series published in 1900. The results of the analysis are presented and summarized in relation to expectations for accounting information.