Mann's Boudoir Car Company (Signed by William D'Alton Mann)
Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Mann's Boudoir Car Company dating back to the 1880's. This document, which is signed by the company President (William D'Alton Mann) and Secretary, was printed by the Franklin Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 10" (w) by 14" (h).
This certificate's vignette features a train pulling the company's cars at a very busy depot.
Over a full page of coupons remain attached at the right side margin.
The Mann's Boudoir Car Company was incorporated in New York in 1883 – some 11 years after William D’Alton Mann obtained a patent to produce what he called a “boudoir” car. Problem was George Pullman had obtained a similar patent some 13 years earlier!! To avoid a dispute, Mann moved his production overseas to Europe under the name Compagnie Internationale de Wagons-Lits. In 1882 he sold his stake in the company to a Belgian interest, returned to the United States and worked to get Mann’s Boudoir Car Company off the ground to compete against Pullman. Over a six-year period, the company produced 41 lavish cars. The asking price for each of these wonderful units was a minimum $18,000 each – an unheard of expense at the time. One of their more famous clients was Miss Lily Langry. The car produced for Miss Langry was considered to be the most luxurious means of transportation since Cleopatra’s barge!! In 1889 the company was acquired by Pullman after losing a patent dispute over the company’s vestibule production – the same dispute he had originally hoped to avoid by moving his operation to Europe.
While Pullman’s cars were geared around center aisles, Mann’s layouts were taken from the old stage coach. Over the six-year period his cars were in production, he introduced such features as primitive air-conditioning (filtered ducts forcing air over blocks of ice), gold-fringed upholstery, teak gaming-tables, Italian Renaissance paintings, oriental carpets, crystal chandeliers and embossed spittoons.
William D'Alton Mann
William D'Alton Mann's Signature
Colonel William D'Alton Mann was born in Sandusky, Ohio on September 27, 1839. He was an engineer and manufacturer in Detroit. Starting as a Captain in the 1st Michigan Cavalry, he rose to Colonel of the 7th on February 9, 1863. He led ten companies (A through K – there was no J Company) from the Lee Barracks in Grand Rapids. The troops were raised in the counties of Saginaw, Eaton, Lenawee, Kalamazoo. After the war, he was an inventor, elected to Congress representing the 1st District of the state of Alabama, owned a magazine (The Mobile Register), was the opinionated Editor of “Town Topics” and the Publisher of “Smart Set.” Many dignitaries (J. Pierpont Morgan, Jay Gould, Charles Schwab and William K. Vanderbilt to name a few) were known to have loaned Mann money, which was never repaid. Few diligently attempted to collect the debt for fear they would be slandered in one of Mann’s publications!! He died in Morristown, New Jersey on May 17, 1920.