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 Donates Stock Certificates from
Modern Scandals and Dot Coms to
Smithsonian's Museum of American Financial History



WASHINGTON, DC (October 28, 2002) - ®, the Internet’s largest buyer and seller of collectible stock and bond certificates, has donated a collection of modern stock certificates from frauds, scandals, and dot com-related busts to the Museum of American Financial History, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution located in New York City.  This collection includes stock certificates from companies such as Enron, Worldcom, Aldelphia, ImClone, Martha Stewart, Rite Aid, Tyco International, DrKoop, Egghead, and XO Communications.  There is also a stock certificate issued on September 11, 2001 from Netcentives.


The certificates have been added to the Museum’s permanent collection and some, including the Enron certificate, have been incorporated into a display on market regulation and corporate responsibility in the Museum’s gallery at 28 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.


“Until a year ago, our most popular permanent exhibit had been on the Crash of 1929.  Now, people are more interested in the recent bankruptcies and scandals because they have affected their own finances,” said Meg Ventrudo, the Museum’s Assistant Director for Exhibits and Education.  “We are grateful to for their generous donation.”


According to Bob Kerstein, CEO and Founder of, “Modern day certificates from frauds and scandals are a snapshot of the stock market bubble that will be remembered as the best of plans and the worst of plans for many years to come.  We are very happy the Museum will preserve these historic certificates for future generations.” 


Scripophily [scrip-off-filly] is the hobby’s name for collecting non-redeemable stock and bond certificates.  Certificates are bought for their artistic presence and historical significance.  Due to electronic trading, a very small percentage of modern stock purchases are made generating a paper certificate due to the high costs and inefficiencies.  Furthermore, the New York Stock Exchange has recently adopted rules whereby member companies are no longer required to issue stock certificates.


Prior to 2001, interest in Scripophily was primarily focused on Railroads, Mining Companies, Utilities, and Manufacturing.   The tide has now shifted to modern companies that people can connect with….good and bad. 




BACKGROUND LLC, The Gift of History, is a leading provider of collectible stock and bond certificates and other old paper items.  The company also offers an old stock research service at was founded by Bob ( Kerstein.  Bob has more than 25 years of senior management experience in the Communications, Internet, Professional Sports and Entertainment Industries. ® has experienced over 9 Million page views on its websites during the past 12 months. There are over 7,000 different selections including categories such as Frauds, Scandals, Bankruptcies, Dot Coms, as well as the more traditional areas such as Railroads, Telephone, Entertainment, Sports, Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities,  Oil and Gas, Retail, Tobacco, Food, Banks, Insurance and others.  For more information on®, visit or or call 1-703-579-4209.


The Museum of American Financial History, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation's only independent public museum dedicated to the history of growth, opportunity, and entrepreneurship in our democratic free market economy. The Museum serves members, visitors to its gallery and website, and program participants nationwide with exhibits, events, publications and scholarly resources. Educational programming promotes financial literacy and empowerment, drawing upon the Museum's unsurpassed document collection.  For more information, visit or call 212-908-4695,



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