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Railroad stock and bond certificates

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2094

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a large number of blank stock and bond certificates printed by railroad companies from the 1840s to 1907. Folder 1 contains certificates from the following companies: Cairo, Vincennes and Chicago Railway Company; Chicago, Indiana and Southern Railroad Company; Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Rail Road; Cincinnati and Indiana Railroad Company; Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago Railway Company; Cincinnati, Lafayette, and Chicago Railroad Company; Cincinnati, Sandusky and Cleveland Railroad Company; Cincinnati, Wabash and Michigan Railway Company; Cleveland and Toledo Rail Road Company; Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway Company; Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway; Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railway Company; Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad Company; Columbus, Springfield and Cincinnati Railroad Company; Detroit, Monroe and Toledo Railroad Company; Indiana, Illinois and Iowa Railroad; Kanawha and Michigan Railway; Lake Shore Railway Company; Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway Company; and the Little Falls and Dolgeville Railroad Company.

Folder 2 contains certificates from these companies: McKeesport and Belle Vernon Railroad Company; Michigan Central Railroad Company; Michigan Southern and Northern Indiana Railroad Company; Michigan Southern Rail Road Company; New York and Fort Lee Railroad Company; New York and Northern Railway Company; Northern Indiana Rail Road Company; Peoria and Eastern Railway Company; St. Joseph, South Bend and Southern Railroad Company; Schoolcraft and Three Rivers Railroad Company; Susquehanna and Clearfield Railroad Company; Swan Creek Railway Company; Syracuse, Chenango and New York Railroad Company; Syracuse and Utica Rail Road Company; Syracuse, Ontario and New York Railway Company; Toledo and Michigan Belt Railway Company; Toledo and Ohio Central Railway Company; Utica and Schenectady Rail Raod Company; and the White Water Railroad Company.

This collection also includes the following items in folder 3: a circa 1881 blank stock certificate for the Illiana Coal Company of Scotland, Illinois; four municipal bonds from the City of Philadelphia issued from 1860 to 1871; two Cleveland and Toledo Rail Road Company stock certificates issued in July 1854; two Cleveland, Painsville and Ashtabula Rail Road Company certificates from October 1852; and a stock certificate from the Michigan Central Railroad Company issued in September 1908 and sold in November 1910.

The Indiana interurban electric railways stock certificates collection (OB177) is also part of this collection and includes blank stock certificates ranging from early 1900s to 1927 from the follwing Indiana lines: Indianapolis, Crawfordsville and Danville Electric Railway Company; Indianapolis and Louisville Traction Railway Company; Indianapolis and Martinsville Rapid Transit Company; Indianapolis and Northwestern Traction Company; Indianapolis Traction and Terminal Company; Indianapolis and Western Railway Company; Inter-State Car Trust Equipment Company; Louisville and Northern Railway and Lighting Company; Terre Haute, Indianapolis and Eastern Traction Company; Winona Interurban Railway; Winona Railroad Company; and the Winona Service Company.


  • circa 1840-1927

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

In 1827, regular and permanent railroad service for the public was introduced by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Within a few years, dozens of local railroad lines had been built and by 1850, over 9,000 miles of track had been laid down. Investment in railroads grew along with the increase in mileage and individual companies, with much of the new capital coming from private investors and capitalists like Jay Gould, J.P. Morgan, and Cornelius Vanderbilt. Many of the private investors were farmers, tradesmen, and merchants who lived along the projected route. Railroad stocks grew from a few shares in the 1830s to millions by the mid-1860s and were the highest percentage of listed stocks and bonds issued on the New York Stock Exchange until World War I.


Harvard Business School. "Railroads and The Transformation of Capitalism: New Levels of Capitalism: Finance." Historical Collections. Accessed August 24, 2021.

Stanford Computer Science. "Rise of Monopolies: History of American Railroads." Accessed August 24, 2021.

Stover, John F. Iron Road to the West: American Railroads in the 1850s. New York: Columbia University Press, 1978.


0.1 Cubic Feet (3 folders, 1 medium oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as donations from Kenneth W. Rendell in 1994/01 and 1994/11.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

OB177: Indiana interurban electric railways stock certificates collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/08/24 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2021/08/24 by Laura Eliason.
Railroad stock and bond certificates
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.