Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What a great weekend searching for my next treasure

As you may have guessed by now, I am on a mission. Search high and low every flea market and antique centers for long forgotten certificates. This weekend I have solicited the help of my brother and his son on Saturday and my son on Sunday to share my adventures. 

As I continue to repeat here on VintageStocksandBonds.Blogspot.com, treasures are an elusive beast. Starting early, leaving the house at 6:40am to meetup with my brother, Saturday was a bust at the first flea market at Columbus, New Jersey. Very few vendors and most selling new items. If you are planning to go, make it on Sunday as it is the largest flea market I have ever attended in New Jersey. We decided to head over to Englishtown, New Jersey and again, nothing of interest unless you include the skateboard purchased by my nephew for parts. With a quick, late day visit to the Golden Nugget in Lambertville, New Jersey bringing the round trip total mileage for Saturday at 145 miles round-trip. Home by 2:30pm.

Sunday was more than a different day, it was a new, exciting road-trip that again started very early in the morning, leaving the house at 5:40am with my son with the goal to drive 5 plus hours into upstate New York. Canada was only another hour and 15 minutes up the road. We planned on arriving when the 1,000 vendor antique center at Ontario Antiques opened their doors at 10:00am. What a drive. I enjoy spending time with my son and daughter and on this trip gave me a chance to spend over 10 hours driving around looking for antique centers with my son. We talked about everything imaginable and even shared the driving so I could catch a small cat nap. 

I did find a number of certificates at the 1,000 booth antique center. None that were either interesting or priced right for me. We made a decision to take a break for lunch and then instead of going to the next mega center, we decided to take advantage of the location and take a wandering route home around the finger lakes and visited seven more centers. 

It was during this leg of the journey that we stopped at the Rustic Relic located in Canandaigua, New York just after lunch. Quick shout out to Mac's Philly Steaks, well done. Although I am told by my bride, that ordering a cheese steak is not the best choice. In my defense, I only ordered an eight inch sandwich instead of the full 16 and washed it down with bottle of water. At the Rustic Relic I met the mom and daughter running the small establishment. It was organized in the perfect style with just a little clutter to make it inviting. After a few minutes I noticed tucked into the back of a curio cabinet near the counter, a plastic sleeve containing an issued, uncanceled bond of the Montclair and Greenwood Lake Railway Company 1875 in mint condition. This is an amazing example that I plan on adding to my personal collection that makes the whole trip worth while. We arrived late at home exactly at 9:00pm after finishing the round trip total mileage for Sunday at 523 miles round-trip.

Montclair and Greenwood Lake Railway Company 1875

I'll save you the math problem, totaling the miles traveled at 668 and seeing some amazing scenery in the process. My family is planning a return trip to the area for our next vacation. If we would have just driven straight through we could have easily reached Indianapolis, Indiana after leaving New Jersey passing through Pennsylvania and Ohio and making it half way across Indiana.  I will rationalize the cost of fuel as time spent with my family talking about current affairs and staying connected whether it is garage sales with my daughter or antique centers with my son, it is time well spent. 

Here is my plug for the best show in America dedicated to the collection of Stocks and Bonds. I am exhibiting at the upcoming National Stock Certificate and Bond Show presented by Bob Shell on January 25-26, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel - Dulles Airport, 2200 Centerville Road, in Herndon, Virginia.

Hope to see you there. If you have any questions about your certificates, as I really enjoy hearing where you found them please send me an email at vintagestocksandbonds@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meet me at the Allentown Paper Show

October 6th & 7th

After many years of crawling around old antique stores, visiting every flea market within three hours from my home and browsing each garage sale even if the drive by proved lacking, I now have put a stake in the ground. I have decided to attend the upcoming Allentown Paper Show at Agricultural Hall in Allentown not as a buyer, wandering the halls, but from the other side of the table.  This is the first time, most of my collection has ever seen the light of day. 

Under the my stage name, Vintage Stocks and Bonds, I procured a large booth in the main hall. My first quandary was what quality items could I possibly offer for sale for what is expected to be 1,400 discerning buyers to this great event. After searching every box and pile around the house, I found postcards, sheet music, artwork, tickets to the 1932 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from 1932 and admission tickets from the 1876 and 1893 Worlds Fair in amazing condition, odds and ends ephemera and of course, stocks and bonds from America to around the globe. If you are looking for a great deal on a blueberry, in green, I have one for sale at a great price. One of my many interesting items for sale at the show is an uncancelled original Central Transportation Company stock from the 1880's issued to George Pullman and signed on the back by Robert Todd Lincoln in perfect condition.

These coupons are good as a reminder and save you a dollar at the door.

Plan a day visiting and make sure you spend time at the Farmers Market just next store.  The address, for GPS is Allentown Fairgrounds 1929 Chew Street, Allentown, PA. Please contact me at vintagestocksandbonds@yahoo.com if you have any questions or are interested in a particular item.

See you at the Allentown paper Show.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another challenge - Highest percentage of ownership

Another trip, another interesting find. Listed below is the Citizens Passenger Railway Company serial number 33 issued in 1919 to the Fidelity Title & Trust Company Trustee. When I find railroad stocks and bonds, my first place to check is coxrail.com. After a quick review, I determined that it is CIT-225 based on the green stamp in the lower left corner, listed but not yet reported on coxrail.com. I sent Terry Cox an image (300 dpi) and he noticed something else interesting. This certificate was issued for all but five shares issued for 3,995 of an outstanding 4,000 shares. That represents 99.875% of ownership of the railroad.

This is a rare certificate with a maximum number of certificates issued to this one and five more if the others were for one share each. I am reminded of a great quote from Terry Cox's April 2008 Newsletter "As best I can tell, rarity can do little but imply how long buyers may need to wait to find another example of the same certificate. If the period between buying opportunities is important, then rarity is a good thing to know." I think a major flaw inherent determining rarity is that they are based on items for sale and not certificates that are part of a collector's inventory. Therefore, I do not expect a perfect rarity scale anytime soon. As you can see from the image below, this certificate has a fairly common appearance. So now for my challenge to other collectors.

Does anyone posses a certificate with a greater portion of outstanding shares at the time the certificate was issued?

Citizens Passenger Railway Company - 1919 for 99.875% of ownership

I need to add some clarity about my trips in search of that next great treasure. This certificate was the results of one of two trips to South Jersey as far south as the town of Salem. My discovery occurred only after trolling through over a dozen antique stores and flea markets. At one of the antique shops, I did spend a few minutes speaking with Mike from the Royal Port Antiques. Although he only had some old receipts, Mike mentioned that more items are expected soon so I left him my card. Royal Port Antiques is fairly new with very interesting items displayed on multiple levels situated in an old barn. I mention this shop because it is in a remote area of the state that could yield some very worthy certificates. I look forward to hearing from him.

Most of the other antique shops I visited were in multi-vendor buildings offering the typical wide variety of merchandise varying from early American furniture to a massive array of smalls to yesterday's junk. As for my search, I guess they would not be called treasures if they appeared in every place I checked. As I have mentioned in my prior postings encouraging starting conversations with proprietors about vintage stocks and bonds, most have not seen any for many months. On my recent trips, besides the Citizen Passenger Railway Company, the one exception compared to what I usually find with recently dated overpriced certificates far from interesting, was a small camping association from the 1910s. Sadly the price kept me from adding it to my collection.

Stay tuned for my next blog entry on a recent research project based on the history of corporations in the United States.