Stockholders' exemption from liability for corporate debts is a modern invention. It was not until 18x1 that New York extended that exemption to stockholders in manufacturing corporations.' Massachusetts did not grant it until 1830.2 England did not allow it to stockholders in business and manufacturing cornpanies until I855. s As President Eliot of Harvard has pointed out, this privilege of limited liability is "the corporation's most precious characteristic."'
William W. Cook,
Watered Stock Commissions Blue Sky Laws Stock without Par Value,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol19/iss6/1