Friday, May 12, 2017

Spink auction includes historic London Underground share certificate

Spink announced details of their upcoming Bonds and Shares of the World sale. The auction will feature nearly 800 lots of world wide scripophily ranging from the 17th century till present. Several memorable items are awaiting a new owner such as this early London Underground stock certificate.

London's "underground" railway opened in 1863. It became the world's first metro system in 1890 when traffic started on its electrified underground line. In 2015 the Underground carried over 1.3 billion passengers serving 270 stations. The system counts over 400 escalators. It's longest continuous tunnel is 27.8 km long (East Finchley to Morden via Bank). Total length 402 km (250 miles).

London Underground share certificate 1912
The Underground Electric Railways Company of London Limited
certificate for "A" Ordinary shares, issued 1912
printed by Waterlow & Sons Ltd, London
double-click image to enlarge

In 1863 the Metropolitain Railway (MR) opened the world's first underground railway between Paddington and Farringdon Street. The world's first deep level electric railway was opened in 1890 by the City and South London Railway (C&SLR). It ran between Stockwell and King William and became known as the Tube.
The American financier Charles Tyson Yerkes (1837–1905) who also played a major role in developing Chicago's mass-transit systems formed in 1902 the Underground Electric Railway Company of London (UERCL)The UERCL, a holding company for underground lines, became known as the Underground Group.
There was another American banker that also tried to make its entrance into the London Underground field. John Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) wanted to build the Piccadilly, City and North East London Railway, a competing subway. But Yerkes was able to prevent that.
Before World War I, except for the MR, mergers had brought all lines, including the C&SLR, under control of the Underground Group. In 1933 the London Passenger Transport Board took control of all the city's ground transport services. That incorporated both the Underground Group and the MR.
In the Second World War tube stations were used as air-raid shelters. The Central Line was even converted into a fighter aircraft factory with its own railway system. Stations like the Piccadilly line, Holborn - Aldwych branch, were closed to store the treasures of the British Museum. 
The London Passenger Transport Board was nationalised in 1948 and became the London Transport Executive.

Details of the auction
  • Dates: 19 May 2017
  • Location : London
  • More info : see here 

ps : The International Bond & Share Society has its scripophily bourse scheduled the next day in London. 

Suez Canal bond from 1885 showing map, sphinx and pyramids
Lot 58 in Spink's auction is a 500 Francs bond from the
Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez, dated 1885.
Engraved by Stern, Paris, the certificate shows a  bird's-eye view of the Suez Canal.
Click image to enlarge.

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