North American Company

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    The North American Company was a holding company incorporated in New Jersey on June 14, 1890, and controlled by Henry Villard, to succeed to the assets and property of the Oregon and Transcontinental Company. It owned public utilities and public transport companies and was broken up in 1946, largely to comply with the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

    Its headquarters were at 60 Broadway in Manhattan.

    Holdings

    In 1889 New Jersey passed legislation to facilitate the control of other companies by another corporation with a goal of encouraging trusts to convert into holding companies and relocate to that state. To take advantage of these expanded corporate powers, in 1890 Oregon and Transcontinental, which was an Oregon corporation, re-incorporated as a holding company in New Jersey and became the North American Company.

    By 1940, North American was a US$2.3 billion holding company directly and indirectly heading up 80 companies. It controlled ten major direct subsidiaries in eight of which it owned at least 79%. Three of the ten were major holding companies:


    Four of the ten direct subsidiaries were operating companies:


    The remaining three of the ten direct subsidiaries were:

    • North American Utility Securities Corporation
    • West Kentucky Coal Company
    • 60 Broadway Building Corporation


    At various times during its existence, North American also owned substantial interests in these other companies as well:

    The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company: Formed in 1896 as a subsidiary of the North American Company. By 1929, it operated within North American Company along with Wisconsin Electric Power Company, which became the consolidated name of the two operating companies in 1938. It now belongs to Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC)

    Capital Transit: Formed on December 1, 1933 in Washington, D.C. from merger of Washington Railway, Capital Traction, and Washington Rapid Transit. North American owned it through its holding company subsidiary, Washington Railway and Electric Company, which in turn was the holding company for the merged lines, owning 50% of Capital Transit.

    • Potomac Electric Power Company
    • Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company
    • Union Light, Heat and Power of Covington, Kentucky
    • Northern Natural Gas Company
    • Butte Electric and Power Company
    • Laclede Gas Company
    • Edison Securities Corporation
    • Wired Radio, Inc. (Muzak)
    • North American Edison Company


    North American Company was broken up by the Securities and Exchange Commission, following the United States Supreme Court decision of April 1, 1946.

    Dow Jones Industrial Average

    North American's stock was one of the twelve component stocks of the May 1896 original Dow Jones Industrial Average, but it was replaced later that same year. In 1928, when the number of stocks comprising the DJIA was increased to 30, North American was re-added to the list but was replaced again in 1930. The two periods when it was a component were:

    May 26, 1896 – August 26, 1896, replaced by U. S. Cordage
    October 1, 1928 – January 29, 1930, replaced by Johns-Manville

    5 products
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    North American Company Stock Certificate
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    North American Edison Company Stock Certificate
    North American Edison Company Stock Certificate
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    North American Edison Company
    $8.00
    North American Light & Power Company Stock Certificate
    North American Light & Power Company Stock Certificate
    North American Light & Power Company
    $1.00
    Washington Railway and Electric Company Stock Certificate
    Washington Railway and Electric Company Stock Certificate
    Washington Railway and Electric Company
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