Sunday, October 24, 2010

$200 and $500 Bonds

Neither of the bonds shown below, again courtesy of JW Palmer, were good investments. Both offered an attractive 5% return in an era when 3% was the norm, likely in an effort to secure speculative investors. The lower $500 and $200 face values also may have spurred some toward these chancy investments.

They nonetheless serve to show interesting usage of the 25-cent and 10-cent battleship revenues respectively paying the 5-cent per $100 in face value tax rate.

Kansas City Northwestern Railroad Company
$500, 5% 40-Year Bond
Issued April ?3, 1899
JW Palmer scan


The Kansas City Northwestern Railroad was never a successful venture. Troubled from its start as the Kansas City Wyandotte Northwestern Railroad, it came under the control of the Missouri Pacific (MOPAC) Railroad with service being suspended in 1919, years before this bond was scheduled to mature in 1933.


K. C. No. W. R. R. Co.
APR ?3, 1899
JW Palmer scan


The American Tropical Planting Company, incorporated in Delaware with offices in Philadelphia, offered a 5% annual dividend for its bond plus pro-rata payments on any additional net profits on its produce(bananas) operations on some 5,123 acres in La Mosquitia, Colon, Honduras. Considering the environs of La Mosquitia, this appears to have been a scandelous investment scheme.


That only the first annual coupon, due January 1, 1901, has been clipped from any of the several known surviving bonds and the tax on the original issue was not paid until February 14, 1901 further suggests was not a successful venture. The bond, though, features an attractive vignette of a man picking bananas.


The American Tropical Planting Company
$200, 5% + pro-rata profits First Mortgage Bond
Issued December 21, 1899
JW Palmer photo
Cancel Dated: FEB 14 1901
more than a year after bond was issued
JW Palmer photo


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