Nicely engraved antique bond certificate from the Old Colony Steamboat Company dating back to the 1890's. This document was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 13 1/2" (w) by 9 1/2" (h).
This certificate's vignette features a paddlewheeler on choppy seas. Another paddlewheeler appears in the background and there are also two masted vessels.
The Old Colony Steamboat Company was chartered in April 1874 to operate freight and passenger steamers between Narragansett Bay and New York City. While controlled by the Old Colony Railroad, it operated independently. When the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad leased the Old Colony Railroad in 1893 it gained control of the steamboat company. In 1905, the New Haven Railroad's New England Navigation Company purchased the Old Colony Steamboat Company.
The line originally grew out of the famous Fall River Line. In 1869, the Boston, Newport & New York Steamboat Company was sold to the Narragansett Steamboat Company forming the Fall River Line (under Jim Fisk.) Jay Gould became President in 1872, but Gould did not share his predecessor's fascination with steamboats and sold the Fall River Line to the Old Colony Railroad in 1874.