Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Diann Benti.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Prints and Ephemera
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: 626-405-3473
Email: lastcollection@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

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 January 6, 2014.

Administration Information

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.  

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 140,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth and early twentieth century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

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.

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.


Collection Contents

 

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates (small size)

Scope and Content Note

These six binders contain railroad stock and bond certificates that are 8x10 inches or smaller in size.
Binder  1

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, A-Ce by company

Binder  2

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, Ch-E by company

Binder  3

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, F-L by company

Binder  4

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, M-N by company

Binder  5

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, O-Sc by company

Binder  6

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, Se-Z by company

 

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates (medium size)

Scope and Content Note

These four flat-top boxes contain railroad stock and bond certificates that are between 8x10 inches and 11x14 inches in size.
Box  1

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, A-C by company

Box  2

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, D-K by company

Box  3

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, L-O by company

Box  4

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, P-Z by company

 

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates (large size)

Scope and Content Note

These seven oversize folders contain railroad stock and bond certificates that are larger than 11x14 inches in size.
Folder  1

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, A-B by company

OV Folder 2

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, C-G by company

OV Folder 3

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, H-M by company

OV Folder 4

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, N-O by company

OV Folder 5

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, P-R by company

OV Folder 6

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, S-T by company

OV Folder 7

Railroad Stock and Bond Certificates, V-Y by company