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American Shipping Company


SKU: 7298
Product Details


Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the American Shipping Company dating back to the 1910's. This document, which is signed by the company President (George E. Billings) and Secretary, was printed by Payot-Upham & Co. of San Francisco, and measures approximately 10" (w) by 7 3/4" (h).


This certificate features a intricate vignette of an eagle and a shield.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The American Shipping Company was incorporated in San Francisco, California on March 27, 1901 and was headed by George E. Billings.


    The New York-born Billings came to San Francisco in 1868 and engaged in the stationery and publishing business. Billings became manager and chartering agent for the Hall Brothers' shipping business - the American Shipping Company. He married María Hall, niece of one of the brothers in 1877. Billings eventually took over the business in 1903, the year his namesake schooner was launched. The vessel was the largest and last sailing vessel built by the Hall Brothers — the 108th vessel they built. She was one of only six five-masted schooners built on the Pacific Coast before 1905. For sixteen years the vessel was employed in the Pacific Ocean trade carrying lumber from the Northwest to ports as distant as Australia and Hawaii, and more locally to South America, Mexico and Southern California.

    Converted to a fishing barge in 1926, the George E. Billings later served for fourteen years as a landmark fisherman's Mecca in Del Mar, then Santa Monica and Ocean Park. Legislation adopted for the purpose of eliminating offshore gambling ships imposed such stringent regulations concerning the bulk heading of floating barges, that it was impossible to make older craft such as the Billings comply. On February 11, 1941 she was towed to Santa Barbara Island and scuttled. The wreck scatter was identified in 2011 off Santa Barbara Island.