Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Archives International Auctions - US Feb 2017

Spread over two days, AIA's 38th Sale features banknotes, bond and share certificates, coins, security printing and related ephemera. Over 500 lots of worldwide scripophily are included in particular from China and US railway companies. For instance, lot 327 is a specimen bond from the New York Connecting Railroad Company.

This New York Connecting Railroad Company bond shows Hell Gate Bridge.
In 1942 Nazi Operation Pastorius landed secret agents on American soil. Their aim was to destroy the Hell Gate bridge and other strategic targets. The operation failed. 

In 1892, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), together with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, founded the New York Connecting Railroad Company (NYCRR). The latter company wanted a rail link between Astoria in Queens and Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan. A bridge over Hell Gate, a narrow strait of the East River, was needed to complete that section.

The PRR turned to civil engineer Gustav Lindenthal (1850-1935) and asked him to design the bridge for the NYCRR. Lindenthal was a pioneer in bridge construction. He designed lighter and cheaper bridges that did not need to support the full load of a train. Lindenthal accepted the assignment. Construction of the Hell Gate Bridge started in 1912. When the bridge was completed in 1916 it was the world's longest steel arch bridge (1,017 feet 6 inches, 310.1 meters) and included four railroad tracks. NYCRR's entire track was officially opened on Jan 17, 1918. 

The 1913 4.5% 1st Mortgage Gold Coupon bond specimen, lot 327 in the auction, is a new entry for the Coxrail database of US railway securities (cat. NEW-570 B-66). It differs in the following aspects: $1000 denomination, new color, but also the vertical format (click image to enlarge). 
The vignette is curious. When the bonds were issued 1913, the Hell Gate bridge was not built yet. Amazing how well the bridge on the bond resembles the resulting bridge that was to be finished three years later. 

Archives International Sale 38
Chinese, Asian, U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Scripophily & Coins

Auction details
  • Date : Feb 7 & 8, 2017
  • Place : Fort Lee, NJ 
  • Further info : see here, catalogue see there 


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