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Jp morgan and the titanic imm scripophily

J.P. Morgan and the Titanic IMM Scripophily

Everyone is familiar with the story of the Titanic and how it sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean on April 14th 1912. This means that any stock certificate involving the historic Titanic is going to be one that a collector is really going to want to get their hands on. And yes, there are old stock certificates for the International Mercantile Marine Company, which was the owner of the White Star Line that manufactured the Titanic. However, the International Mercantile Marine Company was a trust that was set up by J.P. Morgan of America. To this day there are still original stock certificates from International Mercantile Marine Company that are in the hands of collectors and various other individuals around the world. 

The International Mercantile Marine Company certificates dated 1915 are of particular interest for the fact that they contain one of the most famous signatures of the time. One of those signatures is that of Phillip A.S. Franklin who was the vice-president for the American side of the International Mercantile Marine Company at the time the Titanic met its demise during its maiden voyage. Franklin was also the one who convinced Bruce Ismay to stay within the United States with the other survivors of the Titanic who were boarded upon the vessel that rescued them, the Carpathia. It was after that, that Ismay cooperated with the U.S. Senate when the sinking was investigated.

Had it not been for Franklin, Ismay would have left the United States to return to England instead of staying within the United States to allow for a thorough investigation that established the reasons why the Titanic did not make it to New York on that Fateful night. Later on, Phillip A.S. Franklin was promoted to president of International Mercantile Marine Company. The company was completely dissolved in 1932 after years of struggling.

As for certain identifiers, the stock certificate of 1915 is referred to as a “red” stock certificate because it is printed in red and white. There is also a “green” certificate that was issued in the 1920s or slightly prior to that time period. Virtually all of these certificates can be found with small punch holes in them that indicate they have been canceled. Some of them also have an ink stamp upon them that says “canceled.” The green certificates dated 1919 and beyond have pictures of the Titanic printed on them. Prior to that, the only defining characteristics was the green colored paper with the darker green border.

Collecting International Mercantile Marine Company certificates is perhaps the one way that you can literally own a piece of J.P. Morgan’s only failed business venture. Considering the success of J.P. Morgan entities now, it is hard to believe that the International Mercantile Marine Company was a failure for him, but it all stemmed from everything that went wrong with the Titanic. And because these stock certificates are made easily available, collectors can get in on a piece of this, 97 years after the fact.

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