North American Company

Share of the North American Company, issued 9. February 1892

The North American Company was a holding company incorporated in New Jersey on June 14, 1890, and controlled by Henry Villard, to succeed to the assets and property of the Oregon and Transcontinental Company.[1][2] It owned public utilities and public transport companies and was broken up in 1946, largely to comply with the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

Its headquarters were at 60 Broadway in Manhattan.


In 1889 New Jersey passed legislation to facilitate the control of other companies by another corporation with a goal of encouraging trusts to convert into holding companies and relocate to that state.[3] To take advantage of these expanded corporate powers, in 1890 Oregon and Transcontinental, which was an Oregon corporation, re-incorporated as a holding company in New Jersey and became the North American Company.[3]

By 1940, North American was a US$2.3 billion holding company directly and indirectly heading up 80 companies. It controlled ten major direct subsidiaries in eight of which it owned at least 79%. Three of the ten were major holding companies:[4]

Four of the ten direct subsidiaries were operating companies:

The remaining three of the ten direct subsidiaries were:

At various times during its existence, North American also owned substantial interests in these other companies as well:

North American Company was broken up by the Securities and Exchange Commission, following the United States Supreme Court decision of April 1, 1946.[4]

Dow Jones Industrial AverageEdit

Oregon and Transcontinental stock owned by Henry Villard

North American's stock was one of the twelve component stocks of the May 1896 original Dow Jones Industrial Average,[15] but it was replaced later that same year. In 1928, when the number of stocks comprising the DJIA was increased to 30, North American was re-added to the list but was replaced again in 1930. The two periods when it was a component were:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Talk of a new company; The report on Oregon and Transcontinental. The present charter declared not adapted to the corporation's successful development". The New York Times. November 23, 1889. p. 3. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  2. ^ "Under a Brand-New Name; But It Is The Oregon And Transcontinental Company. The Very Extensive Powers Given To The North American Company By Its New-Jersey Charter". The New York Times. June 16, 1890. p. 5. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  3. ^ a b Yablon, Charles M. (2007). "The Historical Race Competition for Corporate Charters and the Rise and Decline of New Jersey: 1880-1910" (PDF). Iowa Journal of Corporation Law. University of Iowa. 32 (2): 339–340. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  4. ^ a b North American Co. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 327 U.S. 686 (1946).
  5. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, formerly NYSEUEP, now part of Ameren Corp. NYSEAEE
  6. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, formerly NYSECVX, then merged with Toledo Edison (formerly NYSETED) to form holding company Centerior Energy (formerly NYSECX), then merged with Ohio Edison Company (formerly NYSEOEC) to form holding company FirstEnergy Corporation NYSEFE
  7. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, NYSEPCG
  8. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, formerly NYSEDTE, then moved to holding company DTE Energy, same ticker
  9. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, formerly NYSEWPC, then moved to holding company Wisconsin Energy Corp. (formerly NYSEWEC), then merged with Northern States Power (formerly NYSENSP) to form holding company Primergy Corp.
  10. ^ a b Wisconsin Energy Corporation, History,
  11. ^ March, Charles E. (August 1934). "The Local Transportation Problem in the District of Columbia". The Journal of Land and Public Utilities Economics. University of Wisconsin Press. 10 (3): 275–290. doi:10.2307/3139173. JSTOR 3139173.
  12. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, now a unit of Pepco Holdings NYSEPOM)
  13. ^ Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, NYSECIN, then moved to holding company Cinergy Corp., same ticker
  14. ^ Laclede Gas Company, 1857-2007; Standard & Poor's Stock Guide, (NYSELG) became a wholly owned subsidiary of The Laclede Group, Inc., same ticker. Along with North American, the Laclede Gas Light Company was also one of the original 12 stocks in the Dow Industrial Average.
  15. ^ What happened to the original 12 companies in the DJIA?, Archived 2008-09-19 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit