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U.S. Supreme Court

Western Oil Refining Co. v. Lipscomb, 244 U.S. 346 (1917)

Western Oil Refining Co. v. Lipscomb

No. 168

Submitted March 23, 1917

Decided June 4, 1917

244 U.S. 346


It is the essential character of commerce which determines whether it is interstate or intrastate, and not the accident of through or local bills of lading.

Where commodities are in fact destined from one state to another, a rebilling or reshipment en route does not of itself break the continuity of the movement or require that any part be classified differently from the remainder.

Plaintiff, an Indiana corporation, for the purpose of filling orders taken by its salesmen in Tennessee, shipped into that state a tank car of oil and a carload of barrels and filled the orders from the cars through a traveling agent, who drew the oil from the tank into the barrels, or into others furnished by the customers, and made delivery to the latter, collecting the price at the time. The cars were billed to the plaintiff to a point in Tennessee where part of the orders was filled, and thence rebilled to the plaintiff to another point in that state where the remaining orders were filled and the supply of oil and barrels exhausted, this in pursuance of plaintiff's plan and intention at the time of original shipment that the cars should remain at the first place only long enough to fill the orders from there, and should then proceed to the second. Held that the movement of the goods to the first place and its continuance thence to the second were connected parts of a continuing interstate commerce movement to the latter, and that plaintiff could not be subjected to an occupation or privilege tax under the law of Tennessee because of the sales consummated at either destination.


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Page 244 U. S. 347

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