Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Vignoles-Rail Chair Company dating back to the 1910's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary, was printed by Corlies Macy & Co. and measures approximately 11 1/2" (w) by 8" (h).
The vignette features a train steaming down the tracks.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
The Vignoles-Rail Chair Company was incorporated in Delaware in 1913 and was based in Chicago, Illinois.
The company had a number of patents relating to the manufacturing of rail chairs and spikes. It does not appear that the company reached the commercial production stage.
The earliest rail chairs, made of cast iron and introduced around 1800, were used to fix and support cast-iron rails at their ends; they were also used to join adjacent rails.
In the 1830s rolled T-shaped (or single-flanged T parallel rail) and I-shaped (or double-flanged T parallel or bullhead) rails were introduced; both required cast-iron chairs to support them. Originally, iron keys were used to wedge the rail into the vertical parallel jaws of the chair; these were superseded by entirely wooden keys. The wooden keys were formed from oak, steam softened and then compressed with hydraulic presses and stored in a drying house. When inserted into the chair, exposure to the wet atmosphere caused the key to expand, firmly holding the rail.The wedge may be on the inside or outside of the rail.
Chairs have been fixed to the sleeper using wooden spikes (trenails), screws, fang-bolts or spikes.
They are now largely obsolete but can still be found on the London Underground and some sidings.