Friday, April 26, 2013

Parrett Navigation company on eBay

" An Act for improving the navigation of a portion of the River Parrett, 
and for making a navigable canal from the said river to Barrington, 
all in the county of Somerset ... provision is also intended to be made, 
to alter or increase the rates, tolls, or duties, by the said Act authorised to be taken. 
Dated this 15th day of October 1836."

excerpt from The London Gazette
Tuesday November 29, 1836

share certificate of the Parrett Navigation company with wax seal
The Parrett Navigation
share certificate, 1837
double-click image to enlarge

River Parrett
The River Parrett flows through the counties of Dorset and Somerset in South West England. From its source, located near Chedington in Dorset, to its mouth in Bridgwater Bay, the Parrett travels a distance of about 37 mi (60 km). The fall of the river between Langport and Bridgwater, about 10 miles (16 kilometers),  is only 1 foot per mile (0.2 m/km). As a result the river is prone to flooding in winter and during high tides.  More than 1200 years ago, the river formed a boundary between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Wessex and Dumnonia. Many approaches have been tried since the medieval period to reduce the incidence and effect of floods and to drain the surrounding fields.

down stream part of Parrett river
detail from map of Somerset, ca. 1646, by Janssonius
double-click image to enlarge
original map can be seen

Navigation on the Parrett river
The 1836 Parrett Navigation Act authorised improvements to the River Parrett between Burrow Bridge and Langport, rebuilding of the river bridge at Langport, which had obstructed navigation up-river from there for many years, and construction of a canal to Westport. Canal tolls were charged for use of the canal, and there was a toll for trade passing under the rebuilt bridge.

William Gravatt, who had worked on the Thames  Tunnel with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was the engineer for the construction of the Westport canal. Gravatt  also devised the dumpy level, a surveying instrument. 

The Parrett Navigation company raised 10500 Pounds by the issuing of shares. As the cost of the works exceeded the budget, a second Act of Parliament was obtained in 1839, allowing the company to raise another 20000 Pounds but also to increase tolls. However local merchants opposed the bill. A petition against the act was found to be forged. In 1840 the canal was open for first usage. The company was succesfully from the start. The incoming cargoes brought coal and timber. Grain and stone were exported via the canal.

share certificate from the Parrett Navigation company 1839
Parret Navigation
shares certificate, 1839

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Scripophily.Fi - Auction 15

Scripophily.Fi online and mail auction 15
Syvänniemen Puuteollisuus-Osake-Yhtiö
Syvänniemi Holz-Industri-Aktien-Gesellschaft
English: Syvänniemi Wood Products Company
double-click to enlarge

  • Date: 14 - 28 April 2013
  • Place: not applicable, this is an online event
  • Further info, see here


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book : Edouard Empain

Edouard Empain, Belgian captain of industry, is known for building the Paris Métro and the district of Heliopolis in Cairo. In this book, author Jacques Simar brings us the story of Baron Empain and an overview of the industrial empire that Empain built up all over the world.

cover of the book Edouard Empain - de l'empire industriel .. aux titres de collection

double-click to enlarge image

from left to right:

Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi
The Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company
Chemins de Fer du Congo Supérieur aux Grands Lacs Africains
Compagnie de Chemin de Fer Métropolitain de Paris


Edouard Empain ( 1852 - 1929 )

  • Title : Edouard Empain, Esprit Fécond, Entrepreneur Conquérant, English : Edouard Empain, a first rank entrepreneur from Belgium
  • Author : Jacques Simar
  • ID : no ISBN number, published by The Scripophily Center, 2013, see here
  • Languages : French, but a good summary in English and Dutch is provided
  • Number of pages : 107
  • Images : about 100 color images

  1. Premières années et premiers défis 1852 - 1881  (English: first years and first challenges)
  2. Développement de l' empire 1879 - 1929 (development of the business empire)
  3. Le système Empain ( the Empain system )
  4. La collection des titres Empain ( the collection of Empain scripophily )
  5. Summary in Dutch
  6. Summary in English
  7. Remerciements (Thanks)
  8. Annexes : sociétés du groupe Empain ( Appendices : companies of the Empain group )
  9. Source des illustrations ( source of illustrations )
  10. Notes
Chapter 2, being the largest one, gives us an overview of the activities and realizations of Empain's  companies in the Ottoman Empire, Chili, Syria, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, China, Belgian Congo and, of course, Belgium, France and Egypt.

The book is richly illustrated with images of shares and bonds of companies active in railways, banking, metal works, electric power, gas distribution, chemical industry, tourism and hotels, canals, real estate, shipping and mining. Several of the certificates depicted are very rare.

What else is there in the book ? Well, the work includes also : 
  • an overview diagram of the Empain family dynasty
  • several maps : routes of the Tramways du Caire, the concession of the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oasis company, the railway network of Belgian Congo, routes of the Lung-Hai railway in northern China
  • long term stock charts of companies
  • classifications of the companies in the Empain group by country and in chronological order

A reference catalogue as well
Chapter 4 contains a reference catalogue section. Included are the stocks and bonds of the Empain companies surfaced in scripophily so far.  More than 500 securities from about 110 companies are represented  and ordered by country. Interesting, each entry contains a value indication between 1 and 5.

A book that fits in your laptop bag. Top !
Still available from the publisher, see here, at 30 Euro.


NB : 
What is your favorite share depicted in the book ?
Mine is the 500 Francs bond from 1895 issued by the Tramways de Kischinew.

Friday, April 5, 2013

HWPH - Auction 29 and 30


HWPH Auction 29 - Part 1

HWPH Auction 29 - Part 2 - 50 Highlights
image: Company for Smelting down Lead, with Pit-Coal and Sea-Coal
also known as the London Lead Company or Quaker Company
certificate for 10 Shares, 1731, London
double-click image to enlarge


HWPH Online Auction 30
image: Centennial International Exhibition
Centennial Board of Finance200 shares of 10$
Philadelphia 1875

  • Date: 20 April 2013  - Auction 29 ;  22 April 2013 - Auction 30
  • Place: Auction 29, Würzburg, GERMANY 
  • Further info, see here


Monday, April 1, 2013

Archives International Auctions - Spring auction 2013

Archives International Auctions Part XIV
US and worldwide banknotes, scripophily and security printing ephemera

  • Date : 16 April 2013
  • Place : Fort Lee, NJ, USA
  • Further info : see here