I know the society have from time to time stated that Russell was a very successful businessman before he turned his hand to religion. The new DVD is more specific than I recall them having been before on this issue. It makes a point of saying that Charles Russell expanded the business and opened clothing stores independently of his father:
Charles Russell enlarged the business, eventually operating a number of stores by himself. By age 25 he possessed over $300,000, the equivalent of $7,000,000 today.
Is that true? I wonder what they base that on. I remember reading something in James Penton's Apocalypse Delayed that cast doubt on Russell's claimed business success. I think it called into question both the extent to which he expanded the business apart from his father, and the scale of the business. Does anyone have any more information about that?