Upon acquisition of the certificate by the Calhoun man, he found our web page and contacted me - just like the person he purchased it from! We negotiated a reasonable price, and we acquired the stock certificate. We donated it to the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California in June of 2013. The Eastern California Museum also has the first stock certificate that we obtained and donated to them. Before going on, let's take a look at this one!
The artwork for the 1914 stock certificate is dramatically different from the 1920 certificate. The main differences include:
1) Gold Corporate Seal (see below) which incorporates the same basic art as the embossed seal from the 1920 stock certificate.
2) Has original Saline Valley salt harvesting art in the oval in the upper left hand corner.
3) The paper and the print/ink quality on the 1914 stock certificate is of much lower quality than the 1920 certificate. This does not really make sense, as I would expect the initial stock certificates to be of better material quality, to go along with the original Salt Lake art. Not only is the 1914 paper of low quality, but the ink used to print it is faded and has ink drop outs in it.
4) The 1914 certificate was signed by White Smith, at the time the President of the Saline Valley Salt Company and also by Fred R. Smith, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Saline Valley Salt Company and White Smith's brother. This is the first known signature of White Smith and Fred R. Smith - a huge find! We believe that these are the actual Smith brothers signatures, because the 2 Smith signatures use different handwriting. There is also a 3rd type of handwriting used by the person that was dating the stock, the number of shares, and the name of the person the stock was issued to.
Above (click to enlarge): The back of the 1914 Stock Certificate.
The back indicates that 500 shares were issued to Geo. Abington on September 25, 1914 (same name as on the front, and in the same handwriting as the front). We know that most or all of the major investors were from Tennessee, as was White Smith and his siblings.
There is a George Abington who lived in Shelby, Tennessee in census years 1910 and 1920, and was born somewhere between 1869 and 1884, making him 41 years old in 1910 and 51 years old in 1920; he appears to have had a wife named Mary. George Abington is a fairly UNcommon name, so I am about 80% confident that it is the person named on the stock certificate. It would also appear that Geo. Abington signed the stock certificate on the back (vertical signature on the left side of the certificate above), bringing a total of 4 different handwriting samples on this 1914 stock certificate (both front and back).
Let's take a look at the corporate logo that is embossed in gold on this certificate (below).
This artwork appears to be almost identical to the embossed stamp from the 1920 stock certificate. The main difference is that Inyo Mountains in the background are faded in the gold 1914 stock certificate seal.
This art was used to create the Saline Valley Salt Company T-shrts (which are for sale for $16 plus shipping - just email us at SalineValleySaltTram@gmail.com!). That artwork is reproduced below, and is the 4 color art on the BACK of the t-shirts (Art by Laura Waag at Sidedoor Studio in Southern California):
Condition of the Stock Certificate: Unfortunately, the condition of this stock certificate, as mentioned above is POOR. It is torn on the standard vertical tri-fold (and repaired with glossy clear tape), as well as having 3 additional horizontal folds that have torn (and been repaired with taped as well). It is also somewhat worn and faded, and has a few tiny spots where the paper is missing along the folds. However, given that it is the only one known to exist, we are not complaining.
Thanks as always for the support from Roberta Harlan and Jon Klusmire at the Eastern California Museum! Also, thanks to those who have offered to chip in some cash to purchase the certificate. This time, the price was very reasonable, so I just made the purchase myself. Keep that cash ready however, should a more expensive Saline Valley Salt Company artifact become available.
********************click to go to Salt Tram Home********************