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West Philadelphia Rail Road Company (1838!)


SKU: 7399
Product Details

Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the West Philadelphia Rail Road Company dating back to the 1830's. This document, which was printed by Draper, Toppan, Longacre & Co., is signed by the company President and Secretary and measures approximately 9 1/4" (w) by 5 1/4" (h). 


This certificate features three vignettes. At the top a train steams past a female figure and some barrels. At the left side is a river bridge scene, while at the right another period train can be seen.


Beautiful document that is closing in on 200 years of age!

You will receive the exact certificate pictured. Please note cropping into left side border.

    Historical Context

    The Belmont Plane ran from the Schuylkill River to the top of the Belmont Plateau. The length of the plane was 2,800 feet and its grade 369 feet to the mile, or one foot rise in 14.3 feet, which was a much steeper grade than the planes on the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad which were one foot in 18, making an ascent of 196 feet in 2,800. Steam-driven cables dragged the railway cars to the top of the hill.

    Steps were taken to bypass the Belmont Plane, at the eastern end of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, beginning in 1835, with the incorporation of the West Philadelphia Railroad Company. Its plan was to construct a railroad from the Philadelphia and Columbia at what is now Ardmore to a point just south of Market Street on the Schuylkill River.

    When the company ran into financial difficulties, the work was taken over by the Canal Commissioners, and completed in October 1850.