Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Missouri Trolley Added

click on image to enlarge

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

click to enlarge
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.