Corporation Securities Co. of Chicago (Insull Company)


SKU: 2228ol
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Corporation Securities Co. of Chicago dating back to the 1930's. This document, which is signed by the company Vice President and Secretary/Assistant Secretary, was printed by the Republic Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 11" (w) by 7 1/4" (h).

This certificate's fantastic vignette features male allegory clutching a mightning bolt while sitting on a dynamo. An eagle flies in the foreground, while hydroelctric plant can be seen in the background.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    In September 1929, utilities giant Samuel Insull created an investment company to acquire securities of Insull Utilities Investments and other Insull operating and holding companies. The company, known as the Corporation Securities Company of Chicago - mailed a circular to potential investors, and despite the "Black Friday" stock-market crash five days later, faith in Insull was so strong that within a year the public had bought $100 million of the new securities.

    The Insull companies seemed immune to the problems that had flattened the rest of the economy. But behind the apparent prosperity lay desperation. The Insulls overvalued their companies, and when they announced a stock sale they included the expected proceeds from the sale itself as money on hand. They pushed out dividends as bait, announcing far in advance that Insull companies would pay a hefty dividend for the year. Although his two superholding companies (Middle West Utilities being the other) were losing money, the reports for two years were juggled to show profits. Frantic activity was maintained in the sale of stocks, including a merry-go-round of sales from one Insull agent to another to keep up a semblance of heavy trading.

    By late 1931, the Corporation Securities Company, was insolvent, yet Insull continued to take money out of it and sell shares in it. The "service charges" that the Insull holding companies charged their operating companies increased as more case became imperative.

    Late in 1931 the sliding became rough. When the huge Corporation Securities Company went into bankruptcy, its assets amounted to only $60,000.