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WILLIAM AVERY ROCKEFELLER JR. - STOCK CERTIFICATE ENDORSED 02/05/1892 - HFSID 32181

Stock Certificate signed: "Wm Rockefeller" on verso, 1p, 12x8. New York, 1892 February 5. Certificate No. 1892, certifying that "William Rockefeller is entitled to One Hundred Shares in the Wagner Palace Car Company...." Capitalization of $20,000,000. Also signed: "W.…"

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Condition: Lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition Add to watchlist:
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WILLIAM ROCKEFELLER. Stock Certificate signed: "Wm Rockefeller" on verso, 1p, 12x8. New York, 1892 February 5. Certificate No. 1892, certifying that "William Rockefeller is entitled to One Hundred Shares in the Wagner Palace Car Company...." Capitalization of $20,000,000. Also signed: "W. Seward Webb" as President (Webb was the son-in-law of William H. Vanderbilt) and "James D. Taylor" as Secretary and signed by the Treasurer of the Wagner Palace Car Company. On verso, Rockefeller has transferred his shares to George B. Wilson on July 6, 1898. Two 10-cent documentary stamps at lower margin of verso. One of the stock certificates issued by the company between 1890-1893. The vignettes at the upper margin represent (left to right) the original Union Station in Chicago (which was burned in the Chicago fire), a train with sleeping cars (likely leaving New York City for Chicago as the Grand Central Terminal and the Brooklyn Bridge are depicted in the background) and the original Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The Wagner Palace Car Company was started by Webster Wagner (1817-1882) in 1858 as the New York Central Sleeping Car Company in cooperation with Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was the primary user of the company's four original coaches on his New York Central Railroad. In 1869, the company absorbed Gates Sleeping Car Company (one of the earliest such company, with coaches on the Lake Shore Railroad as early as 1858) and was reorganized as the Wagner Palace Car Company. The following year, Wagner negotiated a deal with George Pullman and his Pullman Palace Car Company to use Pullman berths in Wagner cars with the understanding that Wagner would confine its operations to the New York Central Railroad. In 1875, however, when Pullman's contract with the Michigan Central expired, Wagner persuaded the subsidiary of the New York Central to switch to Wagner cars, resulting in litigation that would last until 1899. Although Wagner was killed in 1882 in a rear-end collision in one of his cars, the company continued to operate and was the biggest employer in Buffalo, New York by 1890, two years before this certificate was issued. On January 1, 1900, following years of legal battles (and the death of Commodore Vanderbilt), the Wagner Palace Car Company was sold to Pullman. William Goodsell Rockefeller (1841-1922) was the younger brother of John D. Rockefeller. The two were a formidable team; John was a capable organizer while William was a salesman and promoter. A member of the original Standard Oil Trust (dissolved in the Ohio courts in 1890), William played a leading role in the Standard Oil mergers of the 1870s and the absorptions of Standard Oil of New Jersey. William, who also invested in railroad and gas companies, was not philanthropic like his brother. Upon his death in 1922 at the age of 81, William's fortune was estimated between $150 million to $200 million, a large part of it being in Standard Oil securities, but he left no charitable bequests; his estate went to his four children. Creased with folds, horizontal fold underlines Rockefeller's signature. Ink smudged at the "o", first "e" and "ell" of Rockefeller. Cancellation holes and stamps at signatures on front. Lightly soiled at blank margins. Overall, fine condition.

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