Moon Sun Finance

In 1933, J M Funk published a pamphlet titled The Cycles of Prosperity and Depression which promoted the 56 year cycle in US economic activity. The concept gained some recognition during his lifetime, although it was overlooked by academia and mainstream economics. The 56 year cycle only survived into the modern era, because it was extensively covered in written works by a leading financial astrologer David Williams (1947, 1959, 1982). Otherwise J M Funk's important contribution to economic cycles would have been lost to humanity. By extrapolating from his cycle, J M Funk was one of the few people, who predicted the turmoils of the early 1930's and the recoveries in 1933 and 1935. Funk considered his 56 year cycle to be so important that it justified the presentation of numerous lectures and the publication of a pamphlet.


From Funk's work, major US financial panics tended to take place in a grid with 20 years on the horizontal and 56 years on the vertical. In the 100 years to 1930, this grid contained 6 years in which occurred 5 of the worst financial disasters in US history in 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 & 1929. 

US crisis
+ 20 1837
US Panic
May 10
 + 20 1857
US Banking Panic
Oct 14
+ 56 + 56 + 56
US Black Friday
Sep 19
+ 20 1893
US Black Wednesday
Jul 26
+ 20 1913
+ 56 + 56 + 56
US Black Tuesday
Oct 29
+ 20 1949
US recession
+ 20 1969

(a) This panic occurred in the following year. The New York stock market was closed on July 30, 1914 following the outbreak of WW I and it did not reopen until mid December.

Funk's concept was expanded into a more complete theory involving the 9/56 year cycle by McMinn (2004, 2006). This consists of a grid with intervals of 9 years horizontally and 56 years vertically, that has been linked to the timing of various phenomena - financial panics, earthquakes and Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes. This 9/56 year cycle was found to correlate exceptionally well with Moon Sun tidal effects.

The Correct Title of J M Funk's Pamphlet

Funk, J. 1933. The Cycles of Prosperity & Depression. Ottawa, IL. 14p.
NB: No publishing date was given in pamphlet, but from newspaper articles it appears to be early 1933.

This title was referenced from a copy of the pamphlet kindly provided by one of Funk's grandchildren.

There was some confusion about the actual citation of J M Funk's pamphlet in the writings of David Williams.

Williams, David. 1982.
Page 70          Funk, J M. 1932. Philocracy. (no publishing details available).
Page 233        Funk, J M. 1932. The 56 Year Cycle of American Business Activity. Ottowa.

Williams, David. 1959. 
Funk, J M. 1933. The Cycles of Prosperity & Depression. Ottumwa. Illinois.

Evidently J M Funk published another reference titled Philocracy in 1932, but alas a copy of this could not be obtained. 


Some Newspaper references

La Salle Post Tribune. January 1933

The Kankakee Bulletin Febraury 1933

The following gives the available information about J M Funk. It was kindly sourced from Harvey Hahn (primarily via Ancestry.com and Google Patents), as well as J M Funk's descendants. Their input was very much appreciated.

Full Name:

  James Morris Funk  (however, he signed his name as J M Funk)

  Dec 29, 1892 in Illinois

 Feb 25, 1941 in Ottawa, Illinois (aged 48)

Biography - J M Funk

Obituary - J M Funk

Family Information: 
He was the second of three sons of Charles and Julia Funk; 
Karl Funk, James M Funk & Quirk Funk (youngest - drowned in 1908)
  His father was a meat dealer who owned his own house in town in Ottawa at 1612 Champlain Street;
The Funk family (except for J M Funk) still lived at this address in both 1937 and 1939.

  J M Funk married in 1911 at age 18 to Florence, who was 20;
  They had four children:
James C Funk, Kenneth (Quirk) Funk, William R Funk & Eileen N Funk. 

James C Funk was born on May 11, 1911.

Kenneth (Quirk) Funk was probably born during the first three months of 1914,
based on calculations from the 1920 and 1930 censuses. He became a priest.

William R Funk was born on August 27, 1916 and died on October 13, 1987. 
William's wife died in the autumn of 2009.  

Eileen Funk appeared in a 1937 Ottawa city directory, issued when she was 17 or 18.
By the time of J M Funk's death in 1941, she had married and become Mrs John Pluta.

In 1917, J M Funk lived at RFD #30 (RFD = Rural Free Delivery postal route)
  In 1920, he lived in a rented home at 317 DeLeon St., Ottawa;
  In 1930, he lived in his own home (worth $5000) at 1610 Champlain St.

Work Information:
In 1917, he was a salesman for an oil company in Kansas City, Mo;
  In 1920, he was a yard clerk in the railroad yards;
  In 1930, he may have been an aviation engineer (census taker's
    handwriting is not completely legible)
In the 1937 Ottawa city directory, he was listed as 'aero dynamic eng'.
In the 1939 Ottawa city directory he is listed as 'elec wkr'.
A 1941 newspaper article on his death mentioned that he was employed by
Advanced Aluminum Co of Chicago.

Other Information:
He was a private for 3 years, perhaps in the state militia (prior to 1917).
  His WWI draft registration (1917) indicated that he was 6 ft 1 with a slender build,
brown eyes and dark hair.
  Although claimed a draft exemption in 1917, on the 
1930 census he indicated that he had military service in WW I.

Reference Sources:
United States Censuses: 1900, 1920, 1930. (Funk not found in 1910 census).
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.
Illinois Statewide Death Index 1916-1950.

J M Funk Patented Several Inventions:
For example:

1,327,543 Specification of Letters Patent. Patented Jan. 6, 1920
Application filed October 16, 1918.  Serial No. 258,363.

To all whom it may concern:
  Be it known that I, JAMES M. FUNK, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of Ottawa, in the county of La Salle and State of Illinois, have invented a new and Improved Aeroplane, of which the following is a full, clear, and exact description. The invention relates to the stabilizing and controlling of aeroplanes by means additional to ailerons and the like. ...

Patent number 1,327,543 can be looked up at
http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm or
http://www.google.com/advanced_patent_search to find full details.

Harvey Hahn did research on name variants (J M Funk, James M Funk, and James Morris Funk) in Google Patents (except for patent numbers, dates, and classifications, the U.S. Patent Office has NO indexes for anything prior to 1976). He established that there were more patents awarded to Funk.  Here is as complete a list in order of their invention, that is, patent application dates:

Applied  Patented  Pat No Title (Assignee)
19160927 19180101 1,252,339 Aeroplane
19181016 19200106 1,327,543 Aeroplane (1/2 to Thomas H. Belrose, Ottawa, IL)
19300908 19350305 1,993,158* Air moving apparatus 
(Pat Ofc error: George D. Roper Corp; corrected to J. M. Funk 19350618)
19310202 19350903 2,013,237* Gas-fired hot air furnace 
(George D. Roper Corp, Rockford, IL)
19350829 19351126 D97,601 Design for an air propeller for electric fans 
(Marathon Electric Mfg Corp, Wausau, WI)
19380117 19390214 D113,347 Design for an impeller
(Airmaster Corp, Chicago)
19390520 19430323 2,314,696 Air conditioning & circulating apparatus
(Lonergan Mfg Co, Albion, MI)
19391106 19420505 2,281,874 Air conditioning & circulating apparatus (Lonergan Mfg Co, Albion, MI)
19400219 19420721 2,290,423 Air moving apparatus (Aluminum Castings Corp, Chicago)
19400725 19420526 2,284,141 Suction fan unit (Advance Aluminum Castings Corp, Chicago)
19400903 19420324 D131,699 Design for an air circulating propeller (Reynolds Electric Co, Chicago)
19410117 19421201 2,303,832  Axial blower
* James M. Funk, Rockford, IL (Same person?  Temporarily lived/worked there?)

Please note: Of his 12 known patented inventions, half of the patents were awarded posthumously.

You can find all of J M Funk's patents at

Disclaimer: Genealogical research often can deal only in probabilities and possibilities rather than in absolute certainties; thus, although the information here about J M Funk is believed to be correct and based on solid documentary evidence, it may contain inaccuracies.

Funk, J M.
1933. The Cycles of Prosperity and Depression. Ottawa. IL. 14p.
McMinn, David. 2006. Market Timing By the Moon & The Sun. Twin Palms Publishing.
McMinn, David. 2004. Market Timing By The Number 56. Twin Palms Publishing.
Williams, David. 1947. Rhythmic Cycles in American Business.
Henry George School of Social Sciences. New York. Apr 16.
Williams, David. 1959. Astro-Economics. Llewellyn Publications Ltd. 54p.
Williams, David. 1982. Financial Astrology. American Federation of Astrologers. 224p.