The Mineralogical Record
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 Bank Note Companies
(1795-present)

Bank note and stock certificate engravers have been producing art depicting the American economic scene since the first stock certificate with an engraved vignette (for the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road) was issued in 1795. Mining companies naturally wanted mining scenes to adorn their company certificates and scrip (company money), and thus was born a new genre of mining art. Fortunately the New York Stock Exchange has long required that the name of the engraving company (if not the actual engraver) appear on the face of all certificates traded, so we can easily identify the producers today. And in the 1880's it also issued an edict that stock certificates should carry a vignette to make counterfeiting more difficult. Some engravers worked from photographs of miners or of the mine buildings, and others drew from their imaginations.

By far the most prominent of the engraving and printing companiesóand the producer of the best mining artówas the American Bank Note Company, co-founded in 1810 by Robert Scot, who had been appointed by Thomas Jefferson to be the first chief engraver for the United States Mint in 1793. Originally known as Murray, Draper, Fairham & Company (after Scot's three partners), it merged in 1858 with six other engraving companies to form the American Bank Note Company. In addition to producing millions of U.S. Government bank notes annually, as well as postage stamps and public and private securities certificates, the company also printed currencies, bonds and stamps for various foreign countries including Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Italy, Peru and Uruguay. In the 20th century the American Bank Note Company continued to absorb smaller engraving firms such as Franklin, Homer Lee, Western, and International. It remains a major International producer today.

For REPRODUCTION PERMISSION and high-resolution images of the engravings shown here, all from the Mineralogical Record Library, contact minrecord@comcast.net.

W.E.W.

Reference:
Tamarkin, B., and Krantz, L. (1999) The Art of the Market. Stewart, Tabori and Chang, New York, 176 p.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 61 | Artworks being viewed: 25 to 32

The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Silver King Coalition Mines  (stock certificate) Silver King Coalition Mines (stock certificate)
Depicting miners drilling underground (1907), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company, New York; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - West End Opoteca Mining Company  (stock certificate) West End Opoteca Mining Company (stock certificate)
Depicting miners working underground (1920), engraved and printed by the Mysell Rollins Company; Mineralogical Record Lirary specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - North Butte Mining Company  (stock certificate) North Butte Mining Company (stock certificate)
Depicting miners drilling underground (1905), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Glen Alden Coal Company  (stock certificate) Glen Alden Coal Company (stock certificate)
Depicts miners working underground in a coal seam (1930's), engraved and printed by the American Bank Notes Company; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Tom Reed Gold Mines Company  (stock certificate) Tom Reed Gold Mines Company (stock certificate)
Depicting miners examining ore underground (1906), unsigned but probably engraved and printed by the Grimes Stassforth Stationery Company; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Quincy Mining Company (top, company scrip), Santo Domingo Silver Mining Company (bottom, stock certificate) Quincy Mining Company (top, company scrip), Santo Domingo Silver Mining Company (bottom, stock certificate)
Two separately engraved versions of the same scene, a lone miner working a small vein (1860-69/1871) printed by John J. Bloomfield, New York (top) and Theo. Leonhardt and Company, Philadelphia (bottom); Leonhardt is probably the original ingraver. Mineralogical Record Library specimens.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Beuce Gold Mining and Milling Company  (stock certificate) Beuce Gold Mining and Milling Company (stock certificate)
Depicts miners working underground (1880-1881), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company, New York; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Flint Creek Mining Company  (stock certificate) Flint Creek Mining Company (stock certificate)
Depicts miners working underground (1890's), engraved and printed by Stephens Lithography & Engraving Company, St. Louis; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
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