Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company dating back to the 1950's. This document, which is signed by the company Vice President and Assistant Secretary, was printed by the American Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11" (w) by 7" (h).
This certificate features a great vignette of one of the company's steamers.
Among the largest and most important American night boat services was the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, which had its beginnings in the Detroit & Cleveland Steamboat Line. The D & C reached its zenith during the boom in Great Lakes shipping following World War I. Although the line already had a number of impressive night boats in operation, in the early 1920s it ordered Greater Buffalo and Great Detroit, the largest paddlewheel ships ever built with the exception of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Great Eastern, which was also fitted with a single screw.
Greater Buffalo and Great Detroit were about 15 percent larger than either the D & C's Greater Detroit III or the Fall River Line's largest boat, Commonwealth, and they carried more than 1,500 overnight passengers on the 260-mile run across Lake Erie between Buffalo and Detroit. The ships' short peak season lasted only about ten weeks a year, and this combined with their large size made them especially vulnerable to the huge drop in passenger traffic during the Great Depression.
They remained in operation with heavy losses until 1938, when they were laid up. After the start of World War II, Greater Buffalo was requisitioned by the Navy for use as the training carrier USS Sable. Thousands of naval aviators trained on her decks until her decommissioning in November 1945. She was sold for scrap in 1948.