RAILROADS: Those Erie Icicles

"Icicles sprouted in Hell," the Erie Railroad cheerfully announced last week, and the Erie declared a dividend of 50¢ a share on its common stock. It was the first common stock dividend the Erie had paid since 1866, back before Daniel Drew and Jay Gould wrecked the road; and it was only the second in all the 110-year history of the Erie and its predecessor (and reorganized) companies.

At the rate profits are piling up today, Erie could pay four such dividends this year and still put aside perhaps $5,000,000 for a rainy day. The road came out of 77B last...

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