Pegi Malnik of Bend recently opened an old, sealed photo album to find $1,500 in stock certificates from 1937. She says she has no idea what the shares of Hudson Sales and Service Co. could potentially be worth today.
The photo album was sealed completely shut for the last few decades. Malnik doesn’t remember the year she bought it, only that it came from her time in Chicago and has been sitting on a shelf ever since.
She opened the album this week so she could scrapbook with her daughter. That’s when she found what she calls a piece of history.
“Certificate for stock sale of 15 shares at $100 apiece dated December 31, 1937,” she said. “On the back, for the receipt of the money, $1,500.”
It’s not hers, but it meant a lot to someone named Vinton Cunningham. He invested in Hudson Sales and Service Co. — possibly a dealer for the now defunct car manufacturer, which is most famous for the Hudson Hornet.
Malnik set out on an investigative hunt trying to find the family.
“We found out that Vinton was born in 1900 and died in 1969,” she said. “We ended up finding the funeral home in Watertown, South Dakota, that we believe is a wife of one of the sons of Vinton.”
She now waits for a call back hopefully from a living relative.
“This is a piece of history and I want to be able to get it back to the family,” Malnik said.
But is this just a cool family find or a ticket to a fortune? We don’t know.
Central Oregon Daily asked Malnik about what she would do if it were the latter.
“Well, it’s not mine, so it would end up going to the family,” she said. “Which is obviously the reason he bought these shares some time ago, but $1,500 in 1937 is a lot of money.”
Adjusted for inflation, that original investment of $1,500 is worth over $30,000 in today’s money.