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In One Chart: The ‘greatest’ stock in world history paid its first dividend in 1780

The Loughborough Canal in the heart of England was completed in 1780, with the financial help of an early offering of just 70 shares that was subscribed to almost exclusively by locals. At the time, the stock was trading at £120 ($150).

Where it went from there is the stuff of investing fairy tales.

According to a history lesson from the Global Financial Data blog, the Loughborough would eventually become the most profitable canal, delivering massive returns to its short list of investors, which included the Earl of Huntingdon and his £1000 stake.

The Loughborough was one of the smaller canals, and, as Global Financial Data’s chief economist Bryan Taylor explains in the post, it had a total capital of only £142.85 for each of its 70 shares.

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