British American Bank Note book

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by gsalexan, May 24, 2010.

  1. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    I was finally able to track down a copy of "90 Years of Security Printing: The story of the British American Bank Note Company Limited, 1866-1956." Couldn't find a purchasable copy, so I did the next best thing and checked one out through interlibrary loan. This arrived from the University of Windsor Library today!

    I didn't scan the whole book, but thought I'd share the most interesting parts. The text is mostly self-promotional with a little background history of the company and a basic description of the printing process.

    Apart from the front and back cover, which are intaglio printed, there are four plates with numerous vignettes, including several I've posted already in another thread:

    The only thing I still can't figure out is why they put this book out in 1956. It doesn't coincide with any Canadian celebration I'm aware of and they could have easily waited until 1966 for their centennial.

    Attached Files:

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  3. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Plate 1

    The first intaglio plate is of the 1870 introductory letter that BABNCo used to drum up business. It contains a vignette of the young Victoria -- the same one used on an early series of Canadian postage stamps.

    Attached Files:

  4. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Plate 2

    The second plate focused on engraved portraits, some historical, some allegorical.

    Attached Files:

  5. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Plate 3

    Plate 3 features rural scenes, some of which I've posted in the aforementioned thread. I won't repost those, just the other two.

    Attached Files:

  6. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Plate 4

    The last plate contains four transportation vignettes, from historic to modern.

    I had not seen most of these vignettes before and this was the first time I had ever seen the book, which I wasn't even aware existed until last month. I'll be on the look-out for a copy I can add to my collection but I suspect it won't be right away.

    Attached Files:

  7. Art

    Art Numismatist?

    Thanks for sharing this. The book looks like something I'd like to own. The company history part is nice but the vignettes are superb.
  8. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Ditto!! Just awsome!!
  9. krispy

    krispy krispy

    Fantastic vignettes! So glad you got this copy and were able to post more about it as well. Thanks for sharing all of these scans.
  10. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    If you've got a local library that's hooked up to the interlibrary loan system, you can track down some really scarce books. Probably no Heath's Counterfeit Detectors, but some of Hessler's hard to find ones, for instance. No cost so far; I recommend it.
  11. andrew289

    andrew289 Senior Analyst

    The obviously wanted to celebrate 90 years of Security Printing. People often honor events and anniversaries on 5 and 10 years intervals. That's cause enough for a celebration or are you saying that only centenials are worthy of pubishing a book? Kinda sounds that way to me.

    Waiting 10 years to tell the story would have deprived so many people of this useful and enjoyable knowledge.
  12. USS656

    USS656 Here to Learn Supporter

    Wow - love those,

    Will spend more time later studying them when I get a chance. Thanks for sharing!!!
  13. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Hmmmm, maybe. But apart from personal birthdays can you think of any other events that honor a 90th anniversary? Companies typically celebrate their 10th, 20th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th years (American Bank Note put out a book for their centenary, for instance). Cities usually celebrate at the 50-year marks. Why would BABNC jump the gun on their Big 100 and go to the expense of publishing this? I don't think too many folks would have felt deprived if they had waited. :)
  14. krispy

    krispy krispy

    I don't recall if this link was posted elsewhere yet in BABN Co. but I came across this link in my searches, The British American Bank Note Company "The Early Years"

    I've been looking for clues on why a 90th anniversary company profile was published in 1956, and I have no answers yet myself, but I've also been looking at events of importance: 1956 in Canada in hope to uncover some trivial historical date or person of importance.

    I have also noticed the very similar title of the publication to that of 'The Story of the American Bank Note Company' published in 1959. Was there a greater sense at this time in the security engraving industry that the old guard was parting ways with the changing eras after two world conflicts and increased security concerns over cold war tensions?... Were both publications of such similar title out of coincidence or mutual contribution because of the related industry leaders?
  15. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Just followed that link you posted on BABNC's "Early Years" and realized it's basically a rehash of the history section of the book -- and all the vignette scans are from the book, too.

    I thumbed through the book again and have a simpler theory about the 90th year mystery. This publication really reads more like advertising piece. In the mid-'50s business was booming and they were hustling for more work. I'm thinking they latched onto their 90th anniversary as a convenient "event" they could use for self-promotion. They may also have recognized that American Bank Note (owner of their rival, Canadian Bank Note) was likely to publish something more substantial in a few years, so they decided to beat them to the punch. Kind of hokey, but business is business.
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