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Penobscot Central Railway Company (Signed by Flavius O. Beal)


SKU: 293
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Penobscot Central Railway Company dating back to the 1880's. This document, which has been signed by the company President (Flavius O. Beal) and Secretary, was printed by the Brooks Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 17" (h).


This certificate features a pair of great vignettes - a detailed trolley at the top, and a topless female allegorical figure (Liberty) on a large set of wings at the bottom.

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The Penobscot Central Railway Company was incorporated in Maine in December of 1896.

    The company operated a twenty-eight mile street railway from Bangor through Glenburn, Kenduskeag, and East Corinth to the Town of Charleton.

    Instead of using the conventional overhead trolley system and maintaining expensive powerhouse facilities and transmission lines, the company decided to use a newly developed gasoline-electric car. The car contained a gasoline motor which turned a dynamo which in turn fed a bank of 110 storage batteries providing electric current for the two traction motors beneath the car. The development of this type of motive power was yet in the primitive stage and the ten percent grades along the line made its use impractical and almost fatal during a northern Maine winter.

    The line opened from the steamboat wharf in Bangor to East Corinth village December 17, 1898 but traffic failed to materialize as had been anticipated and passenger riding was all but non-existent. The gasoline-electric car proved a failure and the line was shut down completely April 7, 1900 in order to convert the road for conventional overhead trolley operation. A steam generating plant was constructed at Kenduskeag Village and further work was required, in all requiring an additional expenditure of $105,000 to render the road serviceable.

    Trolley service was extended to Charleton August 5, 1902.

    In mid 1904 the road was sold under foreclosure proceedings to the bondholders’ committee and reorganized but failed to greatly improve its condition. Early in 1905 the road was reorganized again as the Bangor & Northern Railway and the following year was merged with the Bangor Railway & Electric Company.

    Flavius O. Beal

    Flavius Beal's Signature

    Flavius O. Beal's Signature


    With his gift for oratory and a penchant for publicity, Flavius O. Beal was one of Bangor's best known personalities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1892 and 1914, Beal served as bangor's mayor - a span that covered seven terms.

    As President of the state fair at Maplewood (now Bass) Park, he was the namesake of "Beal Weather," a legendary stretch of sunny, summer skies believed to have resulted from Beal's pull with the weatherman.