1914 Thomas Edison Signed Stock Certificate

Sold For: $2,133

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1444

Item Year: 1914

Category: Historical/Political

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Stock certificate, dated May 20, 1914, signed by Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), American inventor. The certificate, for 376 shares of common capital stock in The Edison Portland Cement Company, has been issued to Thomas Edison and is signed on the front by "W. Mallory," president of the company, and "H. F. Miller," the company's treasurer. Edison has flawlessly signed the reverse of the certificate in blue fountain pen (grading "10") in acknowledgment of the transfer of forty shares to H. M. Phillips. The attractive design of the certificate features an engraved portrait of Edison on the front, with the name of the company displayed above within a banner motif. Numbered 1726 and stamped "Cancelled" on the front. The Edison Portland Cement Company, founded in 1902, was one of Edison's greatest failures. Edison started the company because another of his enterprises, a process for refining iron ore using magnets and huge crushing rollers, had failed and Edison couldn't bear to sell the equipment for scrap. So instead, he used the machinery for making cement. Unfortunately, there was little demand for his product, so in true entrepreneurial fashion he decided to create one by building cement houses. Not surprisingly, there was even less demand for cement houses, so, naturally, he began producing a line of cement furniture. When that too failed, Edison finally admitted defeat and moved on to other projects. Incredibly, the Edison Portland Cement Company, which even went so far as to publish a book titled The Romance of Cement , somehow remained in business for over thirty years despite losing millions of dollars and filing for bankruptcy twice. Today, this scarce stock certificate is one of the few tangible artifacts commemorating that ill-fated business venture. Included with the certificate is the attached stock book record sheet as well as receipt for the certificate signed by the company's treasurer. The certificate (11.5 x 8.25 inches) displays three vertical folds and a few extremely minor creases. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600.
SOLD FOR $2,133

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