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Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates: Finding Aid
priJLC_TRAN_Stocks  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Administrative Information
  • Access
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates
    Dates (inclusive): 1835-1976
    Collection Number: priJLC_TRAN_Stocks
    Collector: Last, Jay T.
    Extent: approximately 1,180 items in 6 binders, 4 flat boxes, and 7 oversize folders
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Prints and Ephemera
    Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: 626-405-3473
    Email: lastcollection@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates in the Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation consist of more than 1,100 railroad stock and bond certificates primarily issued by American railroad companies to individuals in the 19th and 20th centuries.
    Language: English.
    Note:
    Finding aid last updated on November 12, 2014.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item title, Call number]. Jay T. Last American Transportation Collection: Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History, which was donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the transportation ephemera was transferred to the Library in 2010.

    Background

    The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 185,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth and early twentieth century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

    Access

    The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please visit the Huntington's website: www.huntington.org.  

    Scope and Content

    The Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates in the Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation consist of more than 1,100 railroad stock and bond certificates primarily issued by American railroad companies to individuals in the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the earliest certificates in the collection was issued by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad on July 4, 1835, and one of the most recent items is a 1976 bond issued by the Canadian National Railway Company.
    The decorative details of specific documents vary across the collection, though many items contain engraved and lithographed designs and images. Visual decorations include ornate patterned borders, embossed corporate and gold seals, logos, and vignettes primarily depicting railroad locomotives and trains, as well as landscapes and views of the American frontier, eagles, Columbia, Native Americans, farmers, miners, political surveyors, wheat bundles, and portraits of political figures and railroad company executives. The certificates range in size from approximately 6 x 7 inches to 28 x 17 inches and some of the bonds still have coupons attached. Most of the printed certificates have been filled in by hand with the shareholder or bondholder's name, shares or bond information, and authorizing signatures of company executives, though some are unissued and blank.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Arrangement

    The collection is physically arranged according to the general size of the item with small certificates in six binders (approximately 685 items), medium-sized certificates in four flat boxes (approximately 400 items), and large and oversized certificates seven flat-file folders (approximately 90 items); within these groups, items are arranged alphabetically by company name.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Genres

    Business records.
    Business records -- United States -- 19th century.
    Business records -- United States -- 20th century.
    Legal documents -- United States -- 19th century.
    Legal documents -- United States -- 20th century.
    Bonds (legal records).
    Stock certificates.
    Stock certificates -- United States -- 19th century.
    Stock certificates -- United States -- 20th century.

    Subjects

    Railroad companies.
    Railroads -- Pictorial works.
    Railroads -- United States -- History -- 19th century.