October 16, 2009

Help with Blank Generic Certificates

I've been cataloging railroad certificates for twenty years, but have encountered only a handful of blank certificates. Why so few?

A large number of printing companies produced blank stock certificates. I call them "generic certificates" and they were usually adorned with images that might have been used by different kinds of start-up companies. Typical images included railroads, mines, oil wells, eagles, and flags.

A long-time German correspondent just sent me this lithographed example with a freight train moving right to left. Collectors have no doubt seen images like this a thousand times.

This certificate got me wondering how many more blank certificates might be out there. I simply don't know. I'm guessing that most were discarded a century ago.

I would appreciate hearing from you if you own ANY completely blank generic certificates. (With the possible exception of certificates with oil-related vignettes, all varieties of generic certificates were used at one time or another by railroad companies.) Please send 200 dpi scans to my regular email address reachable via the Coxrail web site.

October 01, 2009

Mario Boone's 43rd Auction

I received Mario Boon'es wonderful new catalog a couple days ago. This will be the 43rd Boone auction and will be held in Antwerp, Oct 24 followed by Europe's largest stock and bond bourse the next day.

This sale will again feature a nice selection of U.S. railroad issues (about 55 certificates), including several certificates not commonly seen. My particular favorites include:

The Gilpin Tramway Co. (Historic Colorado line near Central City and very hard to find.)
Staten Island Rail-Road Co (Featuring a signature by Jacob Vanderbilt.)
Union Pacific Railway Co. (1880s 10-share proof.)
St Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway Co. (Another hard-to-find issue with a great vignette.)
Niagara Falls & Lake Ontario Rail Road Co. (1853 bond featuring a view of Niagara Falls.)

Contact Mario at The Scripophily Center (0032-(0)-9-386-90-91) for a copy of this full-color catalog as soon as possible. I am not convinced that prices for these rarities is going to get any cheaper.