A certificate signed by a "person of note," herein called a celebrity, takes on an added dimension. The signatures that appear on stock certificates are those of financiers and deal makers like Cornelius Vanderbilt and J. Pierpont Morgan. In addition, because the securities are issued to the public, signatures of famous people who once owned the certificates also can be found. The universe of autographs thus extends to movie stars, US presidents, inventors, and the like.
Collecting really famous autographs is definately a rich man's sport. A perfect signature of John D. Rockefeller or Thomas A. Edison on a choice certificate can cost upwards of $15,000. However, less popular names can be acquired for less than $100. Everything inbetween is also possible.
A definitive discussion of autographs, from a scripophilists perspective, appears in Haley Garrison's book An Insiders Guide to Antique Securities. That source provides biographies for 100 of the most famous people (robber barrons, tycoons, financiers, inventors, etc.) whose signatures appear on stock certificates. This book was published privately and copies are currently available from the publisher. See bibliography.
Terry Cox's book, Stocks and Bonds of North American Railroads also provides a discussion of autographs. In addition, it includes biographies of approximately 300 individuals who were active in American railroading. This book is available from The New York Gift Exchange. See bibliography.
Our current inventory of autographs is small but it is expanding regularly. The inventory can be accessed through the following link.
Our autograph inventory.