Beautifully engraved certificate from the Pan Motor Company
in 1918. This historic document has an
ornate border around it with vignettes of an open touring car and a hood ornament with the President's name, Pandolfo, and a hubcap the the company's name, PAN. This item has be folded in thirds, and is hand signed by the company's president, Sam Pandolfo, and its secretary. This certificate is is over 94 years old and is in excellent condition.
The founder of this company, Samuel Conner Pandolfo, created one of the largest frauds in the history of the American car industry. Pan Motor was incorporated in Delaware in 1918 to give the appearance it was a legitimate company. There was a large factory built in St. Cloud, Minnesota and and the company started production. The car had many attractive features including an adjustable lever that allowed the seats of Pan cars to be transformed into a double bed.
The concept seemed to be a good idea but the company totally mislead investors on the production ;evils and profitability. Pandolfo ended up raising over $9.5 million by selling stock to 70,000 people. By 1919, the investors were getting nervous and lawsuits were filed. Most plaintiffs were charging misrepresentation in literature mailed to prospective shareholders. Consequently, in December, 1919, the Federal Court of Chicago found Pandolfo guilty of mail fraud.
Pandolfo was finally arrested was was sent to Leavenworth to make license plate while in prison. Pan Motors went out of business in 1922 after only producing 737 cars in four years. The company was liquidated in 1925. The shareholders lost everything.
We are also including a printed letter that came along with the issued stock certificate. At the top it says, "Nobody can get rich with labor - with the sweat of his own brow, - or with Money invested at 6% or at 7% Interest. Big profits are obtained by putting together influence and money from a great number of persons..... It also says at the end "TELL WIDE-AWAKE, HONEST, HIGH-CLASS SALESMAN IN ALL LINES, THRIFTY MECHANICS, AND PROSPECTIVE DEALERS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US".