Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reference catalogue : Cox's North American Railroads

Front cover of Terry Cox's catalogue of North American railroad securities
2nd Edition, 2003
double-click image to enlarge

  • Title : Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads - Guide with prices, second edition
  • Authors : Terry Cox
  • ID : ISBN 0-9746485-0-7, published by TCox & Associates Inc., 2003
  • Languages : English
  • Number of pages : 546
  • Images : about 225 black and white images 
  • Indexes : alphabetically, additional index on the key words and phrases from the chapters
  • Still available, see here.

This superb reference catalogue covers stocks and bonds from companies that built, or planned to build, railroads in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica and other Carribean Islands. 

Included are: mainline railroads, short line railroads, narrow gauge railroads, horse railroads, tourist railroads, electric railroads, street railroads, traction railroads, subways, tramways. The edition lists about a phenomenal 18000 different certificate entries with price indication. Several "Quickfind Charts" help you to find certificates from companies that issued tens of varieties.

I bought the 1st edition of the book, I believe it was in 1998. When in 2003 the 2nd edition appeared I purchased that one as well without the slightest hesitation. Though I am not a collector of these railroad certificates, I have used the books exhaustively. Just look at the images of both editions, you'll see the fold and cracks in the front covers. Why? Well, the book contains so much more and useful stuff for any  collector of American shares and bonds in general.

What is a CUSIP number ? Do you know the difference between cumulative preferred stock and assessable stock? The answers on these questions and many more are given in the book. You will find information on quantities of certificates, price evolutions, terminology, security engraving, lettering on securities, denominations, paper, underprints and overprints, scams, rarity, autograph aspects, a list of 300 biographical entries, and more ..

Chapters preceding the actual catalogue section :
  • Purpose of this guide
  • Background on stock certificates
  • Background on bond certificates
  • Background on railroad-related certificates
  • Miscellaneous information about certificates
  • General information about railroad companies
  • Revenue stamps and imprints
  • A discussion of prices
  • Use this price guide to your benefit
  • What about selling your certificates
  • Explanation of catalog numbering system
  • Categories of information recorded
  • Selected references
  • How to help correct and expand this guide
  • Glossary of common terms used on stocks and bonds
  • Autographs found on railroad stocks and bonds

The book is only a part of a bigger project realized by the author : Coxrail is the online version including a  searchable database on the catalogue entries. Here you find new additions, images, updated price information, serial numbers recorded and again lots more for the railroad scripophily enthusiast. Terry Cox is also working on a third edition, as you can see here , but that meticulous and time-consuming labour is still in progress. 


Further information : Terry Cox's Coxrail 

1st edition, 1995
double-click image to enlarge

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