C095_K.02 | St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, $100 stock, 1858

St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad, $100 stock, 1858
Geo. R. Davis
1858, 19th century
Ink on paper
18.4 x 25.7 cm
Gift of Mr. Seymour Schulich
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Certificate (5)
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Keys to History

This stock certificate, at a value of $100, was issued by the Atlantic & Saint Lawrence Rail Road Company, which built the first international railway line (1853) joining Longueuil, a stone's throw from Montreal, to Portland, Maine.

It was only toward the mid-19th century that Canadian companies began to offer a great number of stocks to the public. As commercial undertakings began to grow in scale, it became difficult for any one individual or group of partners to raise the necessary capital on their own. Stocks were a way around this problem. Railway companies were, along with banks, the first companies to offer shares.