Related subjects

The section is a collection of general subjects related to a variety of subjects. Click on the menu at left or from the menu at top to learn more about:

Scanning certificates

Epson Expression scanner

Getting "good scans" of ordinary documents and photographs is easy, but getting even "adequate scans" of engraved certificates can be a bit challenging. That is because scanning software expects gradational grays and colors, while certificates generally have engraved vignettes composed of very closely spaced lines of pure black. This is a special section that considers:

  • problems with auto exposure
  • diminishing show-through and yellowing
  • getting acceptable results
  • scanning resolution
  • what "24-bit color" means
  • what to do about overly large certificates
  • and much more.

Image manipulation

Manipulation of photo shot with cell phone

There is another special section dedicated to techniques for adjusting scans and photographs after the fact. This section covers subjects such as:

  • software to use
  • fixing distorted images
  • sharpening images
  • straightening images 
  • removing yellow


These are important dates that affected the issuance and trading of securities, especially those that affected railroads in North America.

Blogs, articles, and newsletters

These are diverse articles about collecting stocks and bonds that I written since 1999. Many issues are covered on this website, but articles in my newsletters often cover some subjects in more details. "Update" was my physical newsletter mailed to contributors and ran between 1999 and 2009. Articles that have appeared in "Scripophily" (the magazine of the International Bond and Share Society) are more general in nature and talk more broadly about the hobby of collecting. Those have run from June, 2007 to the present.

Rail-related topics

This is a section more about railroading issues. Included are collection of images of "Railroad Magazine" and its predecessors as well as "Trains" magazine. Among other subjects is a discussion of the still "hot-button" issue of railroad land grants. 

Off-topic subjects

Million dollar fantasy note printed by American Bank Note Co in 1988

This section addresses issues certain common inquiries that I receive that are not related directly to either certificate collecting not railroading. Since this site mentions American Bank Note Company many times, I get constant inquiries about million-dollar fantasy notes printed by ABNCo in 1988, all wondering how they can redeem them. I also have a page dedicated to bank notes because many people have asked me to catalog those collectibles. (I don't have the time, but I cover the issue of railroad bank notes that were purposely printed to confuse their true natures.)