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: 33 to 40

The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Banco Minero de Chihuahua 2-peso bill Banco Minero de Chihuahua 2-peso bill
Depicts miners working underground (1914), engraved and printed by the American Book & Printing Company, Mexico, D.F.; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Zacatecas Mining and Metallurgical company (stock certificate) Zacatecas Mining and Metallurgical company (stock certificate)
Depicting miners and mine surveyors working underground (1901-1909), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company, New York; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Negociacion Minera de Santa Maria del Refugio y Anexas (stock certificate) Negociacion Minera de Santa Maria del Refugio y Anexas (stock certificate)
Depicting miners working underground (1901), engraved and printed by Buxton & Skinner Lithographers, St. Louis; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Compania Minera la Purisima y Anexas (stock certificate) Compania Minera la Purisima y Anexas (stock certificate)
Depicts mining tools, helmet and lamp (1896), engraved and printed by Strobridge Lithography Company, Cincinnati; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Utah Metal and Tunnel Company (stock certificate) Utah Metal and Tunnel Company (stock certificate)
Depicting the mine site of the Utah Metal and Tunnel Company, presumably in Utah (1920's-1940's), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company, Boston.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Engineer Development Company (stock certificate) Engineer Development Company (stock certificate)
Depicting two miners working underground (1900-1918), engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company; Mineralogical Record Library specimen.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Nevada State Controller's Warrant (left), Seneca Mining Company (right; stock certificate) Nevada State Controller's Warrant (left), Seneca Mining Company (right; stock certificate)
Depicting two different engravings of the same subject, miners working in a shaft (1870-1876/1860), engraved and printed by Crocker & Company, San Francisco (left), and W.H. Arthur & Company, New York; Mineralogical Record Library specimens.
The Mineralogical Record:  Bank Note Companies - Flint Creek Mining Company (stock certificate) Flint Creek Mining Company (stock certificate)
Depicting miners working in a shaft (compare previous engravings)(1890's), engraved and printed by the Stephens Lithography & Printing Company, St. Louis; Mineralogical Record Library specimens.
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The Mineralogical Record Museum of Art is is supported entirely by donations from
Kathryn and Bryan Lees, Rob Lavinsky, Wendell Wilson and Susan Robinson.

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