Flying Into the Sun . . . From Early Flight to Solar Power
For our 30th January 2015 auction of "Bonds and Share Certificates of the World", to be held in Lugano by SPINK SWITZERLAND, it was worth creating a special section for aviation.
We are proud to offer the share of the first airplane company, the 1908 share of the Compagnie Générale de Navigation (Lot 95). This French company was the first to use the new invention from the famous American Wright brothers, the world's first successful fixed-wing aircraft. In 1906 Orville and Wilbur Wright started their attempt to sell their airplane to US and European investors. While Orville was in contact with the US Army, Wilbur concentrated his attention on Europe. In August 1908 he began official demonstrations of his Model A near the town of Le Mans. The French public was thrilled and flocked to the field by the thousands. The Wright Brothers instantly became world-famous. A group of French investors formed the Compagnie Générale de Navigation with a capital of 800,000 Francs. The Wright Brothers sold their rights to the company for 500,000 Francs. The company was able to sell 5 Model As to the French army, however the engines were not up to the demands of such usage and, as technical progress on airplanes was very fast, the Model A quickly lost its technological lead. In 1910 the company ceased its activity. It is a very rare, decorative certificate of the first airplane company with the image of the Wright-Model A. Estimate CHF 2,000-3,000.
Just a year younger is the share of the world's first passenger airline, the Deutsche Luftsschiffahrts-AG, short DELAG (Lot 97). DELAG was founded in 1909 by Alfred Colsmann, Director of the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin and ran all commercial operations of the Zeppelins built by the Zeppelin Luftschiffbau between 1909 and 1935. By the outbreak of the First World War, the company had already transported 34,028 passengers on 1,588 commercial flights and had flown 172,535 kilometres. In the war its Zeppelins were requisitioned by the German army. After the war, the famous pilot Hugo Eckner took over management of the company, however in 1921 the two remaining Zeppelins had to be handed over to Italy and France as Germany's post war reparation payments. In 1928, DELAG started the successful operation of the famous LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, which made regular, nonstop, transatlantic flights from Germany to New York and Rio. Under Reichsminister Göring DELAG had to be liquidated and the airships had to be handed over to the newly formed Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei (DZR). DZR continued passenger services for an additional two years, until 1937, when its airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Estimate CHF 500-700.
Within the many rare US items you will find the earliest share of the solar cell industry, Sun Electric Generator from 1909 (Lot 341). In 1903, George Howard Cove from Amherst, Nova Scotia, invented his solar electric generator and displayed a model in Halifax. A group of New York investors under the lead Wall Street broker E. Burlingame financed a laboratory and a production plant in Sommerville, Massachusets. In 1906 Cove was granted the US patent 824684 for his "Thermo Electric Battery and Apparatus" that converted heat from a wood stove to electricity. In 1909 Burlingame and Cove founded the Arizona based Sun Electric Generator Company. They pretended that their plant in Baltimore was overrun with orders. From his office on Wall Street Burlingame sold shares of the company for $5-12 each. In 1911 Burlingame and Cove were charged for fraud. Chief Inspector Sharp explained that when the generator was examined "it was found that it was connected with a storage battery, the power of which was received not from the sun, but from the regular city power company". However, until today it is not clear if its invention was a hoax or the apparatus really worked. In both cases, this share is clearly by far the earliest share of the solar cell industry and the only certificate we have ever seen. Estimate CHF 1,500-2,000.
Spink Specialist Dr. Peter Christen commented, "With this auction, Spink will set another milestone in the development of this new and exciting field of Bonds & Shares. An auction not to miss"
Bonds & Share Certificates of the World sale will take place on 30th January at 12 noon at the Hotel Lugano Dante, Piazza Cioccaro.
For more information please contact Dr. Peter Christen at [email protected]
SPINK SWITZERLAND SA, Via Motta 44, 6900 Lugano, Switzerland, tel +41 79 358 48 92
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