Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (Signed by Samuel Insull, Jr.)


SKU: 740gr
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad Company dating back to the 1920's. This document, which has been signed by the company Vice President (Samuel Insull, Jr.) and Assistant Treasurer, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 11 1/2" (w) by 7 1/2" (h).


This certificate's vignette features two electrified trains passing a group of trackworkers.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured. 

Historical Context

Chicago, South Shore and South Bend was incorporated in 1901, having its roots in the original Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railway. In 1904, the company then changed its name to the Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend. Samuel Insull bought the line in 1925 and reorganized it under its present name. Insull embarked on an aggressive modernization plan that involved changing the electrification to 1500 V DC, the purchase of modern steel cars and the operation of part of the line over the Illinois Central’s newly electrified suburban line. Insull lost control when the line went bankrupt in 1932. The line primarily provided commuter services between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana (over 76 miles of track).

The company operated 10 locomotives and 50 passenger cars. General freight was also hauled on a limited basis by the company’s 27 freight cars. This line became part of the famous Chessie System, when it was purchased by the Chesapeake and Ohio in 1967 and eventually consolidated into the Chessie along with the Baltimore & Ohio and the Western Maryland. It continued to operate under the Chicago, South Shore and South Bend name, under the Chessie umbrella.

Samuel Insull, Jr.



Samuel Insull Jr.'s Signature



The Insull fortune, amassed by Samuel Insull Sr., collapsed in the Depression. At its zenith, the younger Mr. Insull estimated his personal worth at $13.6 million. He was a director and vice chairman of dozens of the companies his father controlled.

The $3 billion Insull empire included Chicago's elevated rail system, gas companies, what became Commonwealth Edison and more than 140 other companies. At one point in the 1920's, the elder Mr. Insull's companies produced one-tenth of all the electricity in the country. Thousands of investors lost money when the businesses failed.

Mr. Insull and his father were charged with mail fraud and violation of bankruptcy laws after their empire collapsed, but they were acquitted.

The younger Mr. Insull served in the Navy in World War II. Later he became an insurance salesman, founding the Insull Insurance Agency in 1949. He maintained an office until last year.

In 1958 Mr. Insull sued three writers and their publishers for libel over their descriptions of the family's dealings. The case was dismissed because the publishers did not do business in Illinois.