From June 5, 1910
THE PET ECONOMIES OF WELL KNOWN MILLIONAIRES: Peculiar Characteristics of John D. Rockefeller, His Son, Paul Morton, Andrew Carnegie, August Belmont and Others (PDF)
Apparently some of the most famous millionaires were frugal in certain pet areas. J.D. Rockefeller, Jr it seems was an awful tipper. “He does it,” the article says, “but with a painful effort.”
When Mr. Rockefeller, Jr., goes into a downtown restaurant for lunch he eats quite a lot and gives the impression of having a jolly time. The moment comes for paying. Mr. Rockefeller pays cheerfully enough.
Then a sad expression steals over his face, and slowly, reluctantly, he lowers his hand into his pocket, there is a struggle seen going on there, and the hand comes out clutching a nickel. This coin is impressively placed in the centre of the waiter’s hand… On exuberant occasions he parts with a dime…
There is a story that one time when Mr. Rockefeller had laid a shining nickel in the centre of the big, black hand of a negro waiter, the darky, not knowing who his tipper was, had hesitated, looked around, and then whispered softly: “Here — take it back, boss! I ‘spose you need it more than me.”
I’m pleased to discover that my spellcheck is unfamiliar with the word “darky”.
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