There was a time when Main Street—technically, in Agincourt it’s Broad Street—was a focus of Capitalist investment in manufacturing and infrastructure. Transportation connected one Main Street to another (railroads, interurbans and trolleys); factories were owned and staffed by locals; banks weren’t too big to fail and bankers weren’t too big for their britches. There would even have been a local stock exchange of sorts where initial offerings for these companies were made and shares were traded. There’s something wholesome about betting on yourself, don’t you think?
Early in the Agincourt narrative I told the tale of incorporating the Northwest Iowa Traction Company and intimated its spinoff the Agincourt Street Railway. I suspect it also had more than a passing connection with the local power company. So when potential investors gathered in the board room of the Farmers, Mechanics & Merchants Bank one morning, this is the kind of certificate, with all its official stamps and signatures, they would have received. [BTW, this one is up for auction on eBay but the opening bid is way beyond me.]
Consider this a troll for graphic designers to help imagine stock certificates that can be part of the September exhibit.