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William Swift Dalliba and American Express

William Dalliba's role in expanding AE's brand into specialized offices for travelers in Europe.


Featuring hundreds of exhibits from more than 70 countries, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair Columbian Exposition was a pivotal event in American Express’ history, due in large part to the resourcefulness of one employee, William Swift Dalliba.

While impeccably managing all of the express activities related to the event, Dalliba also made acquaintances with hundreds of European business owners, manufacturers, government officials and other luminaries. Not only did he clinch a contract with the French government to carry its parcel post business to and from the United States; but he also had the foresight to realize that the company’s growth potential in Europe went far beyond its express services.

Dalliba convinced his superiors that the business opportunities in Europe were well worth exploring. He traveled to Europe in 1894, renewing relationships and pitching the company’s express, money order and travelers cheque businesses to shippers, hoteliers and merchants. By 1895 he had established an American Express office in Paris; and by the turn of the century the company had offices in London, Southampton, Liverpool, Hamburg, Bremen, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Naples and Genoa.

Establishing a network of offices that spanned the Atlantic enabled the company to seize a number of major business opportunities that arose with the ensuing expansion of travel and trade between the United States and Europe.

Owner/SourceAmerican Express
Linked toWilliam Swift DALLIBA

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