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New York and Putnam Railroad Company


SKU: 536x
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the New York and Putnam Railroad Company dating back to the 1890's. This document, which was printed by the American Bank Note Company, is signed by the company President and Secretary, and measures approximately 10" (w) by 14 1/2" (h). 


This certificate features a pair of vignettes - a long train at a station, and "The Reapers." Another allegorical figure adorns the left side of the piece.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured. Please note cropping at top of piece. Chip out of lower right margin/border. Minor fold splits tape repaired on back of piece. Hard to find item with some condition issues, please review scans carefully.

    Historical Context

    The New York and Putnam Railroad Company (affectionately known as the “Old Put”) was incorporated on January 13, 1894 by J.P. Morgan. All the New York & Northern Railway property was conveyed to the new company on January 15, and on February 1, the entire line was leased to the New York Central for as long as the New York & Putnam was to exist. In 1902, the state approved the abandonment of a segment of the branch from Mahopac Falls to the defunct Mahopac Mines. In 1911, a branch line was built from Yorktown Heights to Mohansic Lake. The construction was to serve the proposed Mohansic State Hospital, a 6,000-patient insane asylum, and a training school for delinquent boys. In 1915, New York City objected to the threat of water pollution to the Croton Reservoir from this project. The state legislature withheld further appropriations on May 1 1917. The project promptly died and the railroad abandoned the branch line.

    The line merged with the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad on March 7, 1913, which in turn became the New York Central in 1914. The line was then known as the Putnam Division of the New York Central.

    The "Old Put" would still be with us today if a 1928 plan proposed by the Westchester County Transit Commission was completed. The plan consisted of connecting two tracks of the Hudson division with the Putnam's, enter a tunnel under the Harlem River at 149th Street, and reach the foot of Manhattan via express tunnel under Madison Avenue. Estimated cost was $150 million dollars. The 1929 Depression put a quick demise to any expensive proposals.

    But in 1929, a "first" did occur. The "Put" main line was chosen because of its curves and grades as a proving ground for diesel power. On March 18 at 9:20 A.M., America's first diesel-power passenger train left High Bridge. It was so successful, that in June, NYC tested a different diesel for over-the-road freight service. It only mishap was on a sharp curve as it approached Carmel. The engine tore off a ten-foot sliver of rail.