Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad signed by Samuel Insull, Jr. - Stock CertificateInv# AG1836 Stock
Stock printed by American Bank Note Company and signed by Samuel Insull, Jr. Scarce! Portrait and biography included of Samuel Insull, Sr.
Samuel Insull (1859-1938) Samuel Insull was an investor who was known for purchasing utilities and railroads. He contributed to creating an integrated electrical infrastructure in the United States. He was also responsible for the building of the Chicago Civic Opera House in 1929. At the age of 21, Insull caught the attention of Thomas Edison while working for Edison's business representative in London. Edison offered him a job as his personal secretary, and Insull immigrated from England to the U. S. in 1881. In the decade that followed, he took on increasing responsibilities in Edison's business endeavors, building electrical power stations throughout the U. S. With several other Edison Pioneers, he founded Edison General Electric, which later became the publicly held company named General Electric. Insull began purchasing portions of the utility infrastructure of the city of Chicago. When it became clear that Westinghouse's support of alternating current was to win out over Edison's direct current, Insull switched his support to alternating current. As a result of owning all these diverse companies, Insull is credited with being one of the early proponents for regulation of industry. He used economies of scale to overcome market barriers by cheaply producing electricity with large steam turbines. This made it easier to put electricity into homes.
A natural outgrowth of electric utility companies was their ownership or acquisition of electric railroads such as interurbans and streetcar systems, which were large electricity consumers. Insull acquired and rehabilitated during the 1910s and 1920s the major Chicago area interurbans (North Shore Line, South Shore Line, and the Chicago, Aurora, and Elgin) and the rapid transit lines which were merged into the Chicago Rapid Transit Company. Without Insull's immediate capital improvements it is unlikely that these interurbans would have survived the Great Depression. Insull's generous civic spirit and love for the Chicago area also seemed to motivate this desire to acquire and improve these electric lines as much as bottom line profit possibilities.
In Illinois, Insull had long battled with Harold L. Ickes over concerns that Insull was exploiting his customers. Upon the promotion of Ickes to Interior Secretary in 1933, Insull had a powerful foe in the Roosevelt administration. Due to the highly leveraged structure of Insull's holdings (he invented the holding company and controlled an empire of $500 million with only $27 million in equity), his holding company collapsed during the Great Depression, wiping out the investment of 600,000 shareholders. This led to the enactment of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. Insull fled the country to Greece, but was later extradited back to the United States by Turkey to face federal prosecution on mail fraud and antitrust charges. He was defended by famous Chicago lawyer Floyd Thompson and found not guilty on all counts. He is reputed to have died penniless, but he did not. The myth started when his corpse was looted by a Parisian for his wallet.
The Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad (reporting mark CSS), also known as the South Shore Line, is a Class III freight railroad operating between Chicago, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana. The railroad serves as a link between Class I railroads and local industries in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. It built the South Shore Line electric interurban and operated it until 1990, when it transferred it to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. The railroad is owned by the Anacostia Rail Holdings Company.
The South Shore Line is the last remaining of the once numerous electric interurban trains in the United States. The South Shore began in 1901 as the Chicago and Indiana Air Line Railway, a streetcar route between East Chicago and Indiana Harbor. Reorganized in 1904 as the Chicago, Lake Shore and South Bend Railway, by 1908 its route had reached South Bend, Indiana via Michigan City, Indiana. The company leased the Kensington and Eastern Railroad, an Illinois Central Railroad subsidiary, to gain access to Chicago. Passenger service between South Bend and Chicago began in 1909. The Lake Shore added freight service in 1916.
Samuel Insull acquired the bankrupt Lake Shore in 1925 and reorganized it as the Chicago South Shore and South Bend Railroad, which it remains today. The railroad experienced two more bankruptcies, in 1933 and 1938. The post-World War II decline in traffic hurt the company, and it was bought by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) in 1967. In 1977, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) began subsidizing the passenger operations on the South Shore Line. In 1984, the Venango River Corporation purchased the South Shore from the C&O. Venango declared bankruptcy in 1989. In 1990, the Anacostia and Pacific Company acquired the South Shore. The NICTD purchased the passenger assets. The South Shore acquired the Kensington and Eastern Railroad from the Illinois Central Railroad in 1996.
The Surface Transportation Board classes the South Shore as a Class III railroad. The railroad operates diesel locomotives on the whole line. It also operates the former Indianapolis, La Porte and Michigan City Railroad and Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville Railroad, once part of the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate) system, from Michigan City southeast to Dillon (southeast of Stillwell), bought from Norfolk Southern in 2001. Via trackage rights it connects to many other railroads in the Chicago area, with connections to the Port of Chicago, Proviso Yard and Joliet.
The railroad's primary businesses are coal and steel. The coal is delivered to the Michigan City and Burns Harbor generating stations owned by Northern Indiana Public Service Company. The railroad also serves many customers along the line.
A stock certificate is issued by businesses, usually companies. A stock is part of the permanent finance of a business. Normally, they are never repaid, and the investor can recover his/her money only by selling to another investor. Most stocks, or also called shares, earn dividends, at the business's discretion, depending on how well it has traded. A stockholder or shareholder is a part-owner of the business that issued the stock certificates.