Monday, December 28, 2015

New arrivals for Christmas 2015

Two additions with great vignettes by the American Bank Note Company. They are available for trade or sale.
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Monday, October 5, 2015

Nice Short-term Gain

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The Freunde Historishcher Wertpapiere (F-H-W) auction no. 108 ended  Oct 3, 2015. Among the lots sold was this Litchfield, Carrollton & Western Rail Road. I know a little about this piece since I consigned it in the Archives International Auction of May 7, 2015.This piece sold with buyers premium for $472.00. The buyer of this piece saw more value than other American collectors did since he or she consigned it to F-H-W. Check the auction results in the F-H-W action here. A fellow collector mentioned to me that sending rare pieces to Europe would mean that US collectors won't have access to them possibly for decades. With prices like this I think more piece will be going across the pond.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I know I said it before

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I don't like cancelled certificates and I have given my reasons in earlier posts. But this one I had to add to my Missouri Collection. It is the first one to show up in Terry Cox's database and the price I considered cheap. So if a hoard shows of it will not hurt me financially. It also has an error which makes it a little unusual. You don't see many errors on certificates. The capital structure of the company was $500,000 not $5000 as printed on the certificate. If is wasn't a rare Missouri piece it would not be in my collection.

History: Finding any information on this company is a challenge. I did find it was charted May 9, 1883 and re-charted May 20, 1889. All it's stock consisting of 5000 shares was owned by the Lindell Railway Co. of St. Louis Mo.The line consisted of 9.2 miles of single track road in the city of St. Louis.

reference: Poor's Manual 1895

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Don't believe the title

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With work and my other hobby interest this blog has been dormant for awhile. Hopefully it will pick up a little. This piece is my latest Missouri piece. A beautifully engraved stock specimen from the American Bank Note Company.

History of company: This company's name is somewhat of a misnomer. It really had nothing to do with constructing railroads in Missouri or anywhere else. It was in reality an investment company.It was a corporation organized under the laws of New York and Missouri in 1896. It's purpose was to reorganize the failed Omaha and St. Louis Railway which was sold in foreclosure in Jan. 27, 1896 into a new company. This new company was the Omaha and St. Louis Railroad Company.

reference: Poor's Manual 1899.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Missouri Trolley Added

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A nicely engraved piece by the Western Bank Note & Engraving Co. of Chicago. The engraving company was owned by the American Bank Note Company since 1901.This preferred certificate is not as scarce as the common shares with Cox showing 11 for this certificate in his database. It is an uncancelled example.

History of Road: The Kansas City Railways was formed on July 5, 1914 to run the street railway properties of the Kansas City Railways & Light Co. The latter company was reorganized in Jan. 1916 with the electric lighting and heating properties taken over by a new corporation the Kansas City Light & Power Company. All the railway lines were sold in foreclosure in February, 1916 to the Reorganization Managers and transferred to the new company (Kansas City Railways) which took possession on February 15, 1916.
A statement in 1915 by the KCRW & Lt Co. was given that its principal controlled line the Metropolitan Street Railway was placed in receivership in June 1911. The reason given was not because default of interest but in disagreements with the city regarding franchises.
At its peak the Kansas City Railway company operated 370 miles of track in Kansas City Mo, Kansas City Kansas, Independence, Rosedale and other areas outside of those cities. The company owned 750 motor cars and trailers. It served a population of about 400,000 and an area coverage of 81 square miles.
The new company ran into a series of crippling strikes with its workers from 1917-1918. The last of these strikes turned violent and destructive. When the strikes ended the company's revenue had fallen to a point were the company could not pay its operating expenses. Two thousand suits were filed against the company by its suppliers. It eventually defaulted on the interest payments on its first and second mortgages bonds. The company again fell in the hands of a receiver in Oct 1920. The company was reorganized in 1925 as the Public Service Company.


  1. Moody 1918-Public Utilities-Fourth Section
  2. The Streetcar Strikes of 1917-18 by Bill Onasch 
  3. Electric Railway Journal September 18, 1920
  4. The Manual of Statistics; Stock Exchange Hand-Book 1916


Friday, May 1, 2015

Give Me Uncancelled

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Even though I have maybe 2 or 3 cancelled certificates my preference is always to collect non cancelled certificates. Some collectors ask me why limit my collecting by always looking for that uncancelled piece. There are two reasons. Some certificates are beautifully engraved works of art and I just don't like holes, cutouts, blocks outs or any of the other damaging procedures done to a certificate when it is cancelled.

The second and most important to me is shown in the image at left. This example is of preferred shares of the Norfolk & Western Railroad Company. These orange underprint variety are relatively common and listed in Cox as (R4) with quantity of 15 in the database. Last sale price $20. This hoard has appeared now on eBay with 55 new all cancelled certificates. I have seen a number of hoards appear and 99.99% were all cancelled. I feel better paying a premium for a rare or scarce certificate when it is uncancelled. It's no guarantee that I won't get burned in the future but I like my chances when it is uncancelled.I don't think Terry will keep the (R4) rating now or that $20 selling price.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Archives International Latest Auction

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There are over 600 lots for the Scripophily collector in this auction which is held on May 7th, 2015 at Fort Lee New Jersey. It looks like there are 245 lots for the US railroad collector including some rare and unique Texas certificates.There are a few Missouri rails that look interesting to me. I have consigned a few items myself so I am hoping for a great auction. Link to auction

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Rare Addition

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Not your typical railroad certificate. It is of the Memphis, Clarksville, & Louisville Railroad Company dated 1858. It's the only one listed in Cox and with a (R7) rarity code. Unusual piece since the certificate was mostly hand written. I paid a fair price for it and it is available to sell or trade.