Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the A. S. Beck Shoe Corporation dating back to the 1960's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company President and Secretary, was printed by the Columbian Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 7 3/4" (h).
The vignette features two male figures flanking the Beck crest.
Alexander Samuel Beck, the founder of the A. S. Beck Shoe Corporation, emigrated to the United States in 1888 from his native Hungary. In 1909, in partnership with a brother, he set up a retail shoe store at 363 Fulton Street, Brooklyn. The partnership was dissolved in 1914. Mr. Beck then opened up another shoe store, this one at 845 Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint. Six years later he owned a chain of thirteen shoe stores, which he eventually sold to the Diamond Shoe Corporation for $1,000,000.
In 1945 the enlarged business was sold to Saul Schiff and his associates. At its peak, the chain was composed of 147 stores in sixty cities in the East, South and Midwest.
There were 18 branch stores listed in the Manhattan telephone directory in 1932. But they had faded dramatically by the 1970s. There were only five in the 1972 directory. The company’s store at 128 W. 34th Street was the last survivor of the chain in Manhattan. It closed in 1982.