That Time a Real Estate Developer Scammed Investors With an Extra Apostrophe

(via) The odd-looking Newby-McMahon Building in Wichita Falls, Texas tells a fabulous story about early 20th century real estate speculators getting scammed by a developer. According to widespread local legend, they thought they were investing in a 480 foot high skyscraper when in actual fact the plans they’d signed off on had the finished building at just 480 inches tall. Though they’d confused their feet and inches symbols, they got exactly what they’d paid for. YouTuber Tom Scott tours the diminutive building – which is actually really cool – in this short video. As he points out, primary sources to prove the veracity of the story are elusive, but if true…what a consequential apostrophe!

There are 2 comments
  1. From a typography perspective, the symbol for feet and inches are actually the prime ? and double prime ? respectively, not technically apostrophes. Not that important but it is a story about details. 😉

  2. Thanks! I had no idea that was even a thing. Always thought it was an apostrophe!