Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Old Colony Steamboat Company dating back to the 1870's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Treasurer, was printed by J. M. Whittemore & Co. of Boston, and measures approximately 9 1/2" (w) by 6 3/4" (h).
This certificate's intricate vignette features a paddlewheeler on choppy seas.
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.