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GregAlex
Like most collectors of scripophily, I rarely pay much attention to the back sides of old bonds. For the most part, these were simply functional -- a place bondholders would sign to sell or record the transfer of a bond. Bonds were often folded in quarters and so a title panel was frequently included, but nothing fancy.

But a few issuers decided to dress up their bonds, paying a premium to the banknote printer for more elaborate lathe work or additional engraving. I suspect these bonds were riskier investments, perhaps junk bonds, so the issuing company did everything they could to make them look more impressive and secure. This was definitely the case with West Shore Railroad which issued a large number of dubious bonds -- some of which didn't come due for 350 years!

I've been going through my bond collection, checking the backs to see what surprises I might find. Here are the most interesting ones...

Monong Power bond back.jpg 
Providence hwy bond back.jpg  CCC&SL Rwy bond back.jpg  K&GE bond back.jpg  West Shore bond back.jpg  West Shore RR bond back.jpg  Woodruff bond back.jpg 
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TookyBandit
Love it, so pretty!!
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Dan Cong
The Westshore bonds, front and back, are great examples of the engravers art. And so cheap for such a nice piece with a great story (principal due 2361 so hold on to those uncanceled ones )

Nice dog on Woodruff

NOR-080a-B-35 ic $50 1929 Norfolk and Western Railway Company $1000 Bo.jpg 


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Springfield
Very nice artwork.

It is a shame that our currency of today is so plain. Bring back the artwork.
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mikelaw


“I suspect these bonds were riskier investments, perhaps junk bonds, so the issuing company did everything they could to make them look more impressive and secure. This was definitely the case with West Shore Railroad which issued a large number of dubious bonds -- some of which didn't come due for 350 years!”

Risky yes ..but a few are payable in gold coin ! Nice looking vignettes. Wonder if any are still around and paying dividends? Anyway, very cool.
Mike
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GregAlex
I went through another batch today and found some bond backs with outstanding lathe work.

Aluminum Co of Canada bond back.jpg  Allied Chemical bond back.jpg  Cuban Cane Products bond back.jpg  Esterre bond back.jpg  Mortgage Finance Co gold bond back.jpg  NY Port Authority bond back.jpg  City of Jersey City bond back.jpg  Republic of Columbia bond back.jpg 
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GregAlex
Going through my railroad bonds last night, I found a bunch more beautiful back sides. Like a nice day at the beach! 😁
Michigan Central RR bond back.jpg  Maine Central RR bond back.jpg  LS&MS RR red bond back.jpg  Kanawha & Mich bond back.jpg  Reading Co bond back.jpg  CCC&I Rwy bond back.jpg  NYC&Hudson RR bond back.jpg 
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GregAlex
I found another nice back on a sort-of bond for the New York Central & Hudson River RR.

NYC&HR debt cert back.jpg 

And a couple little gryphons on this one.
CS&C RR bond back.jpg
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Dan Cong
One reason I like bonds of the "golden age" is the engraving, and it is nice to see some of the backs have such attention and artistry.

Rock Island

1885 Rock Island and Peoria Railroad Company $1,000 Bond Certificate $.jpg 

New Jersey Junction, the reason it's framed is the J.P. Morgan signature on the other side

1886 New Jersey Junction Railroad Co. Bond Signed by J.P. Morgan as Tr.jpg 
Louisiana with the state bird the Pelican

1892 Louisiana Bond Stock Cert_Gov Murphy J Foster 6960 $18.99 pic 3.jpg 
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GregAlex
Those are great, Tom! And the Louisiana bond even used an old medallion engraving! Thanks for the additions.
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Dan Cong
Northern Pacific, all in all a very classy bond with a great front and this well engraved back

NOR-790.0-B-16 IC $75.00 $16.01 Northern Pacific Railway Co 5.jpg 
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GregAlex
I saw that one -- very pretty! I've always been intrigued by the Northern Pacific yin-yang logo.
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