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Description found in Archives
Series part of
Place of creation
Scope and content
Series consists of correspondence, tenders and agreements relating to Government contracts with British American Bank Note Company for printing of bonds, stamps and currency.
Copyright belongs to the Crown.
Textual records The finding aid covers volume number, file number, title and outside dates. 19-110 90 (Paper)
Biography / Administrative history
The British American Bank Note Company (BABN) was founded in 1866, in Montréal. It specialized in security printing for government and private industry. Over its history, the company printed stamps, bank notes, passports, securities, bank stationery, lottery tickets, as well as other printed matter. The British American Bank Note Company also designed many of the products it printed. As well, it was involved in the research and development of methods to guard against counterfeiting.
The company was formed from two groups of printers, one headed by George Bull Burland and the other by W.C. Smillie. The British American Bank Note Company later absorbed two smaller printers, the Dominion Bank Note Company and the Canada Bank Note Company.
Notable early postage stamps printed by BABN include: the Queen's Head issues of 1868-1897 (the first issue of stamps for the new Dominion of Canada), the King George V Arch and Maple Leaf issues (1930-1931), the Quebec Citadel and Mt. Edith Cavell, Rocky Mountains, B.C. issues, the Imperial Economic Conference issue (July 1932), the Universal Postal Union commemorative (1933), the Royal William issue, and the Jacques Cartier Quadricentenary commemorative (1934). British American Bank Note Company was also the first company to print postage due stamps bilingually (1933), print the first registered stamps (1875), the first postal cards (1871), and the first Canadian printer of postage stamps for Newfoundland (1880).
Its initial plant was located on Wellington St., Ottawa. In 1871, it moved its head office to Montréal, and then, in 1889, back to Wellington St., Ottawa. Plant operations moved to the new head office, located on Gladstone Ave., Ottawa, in 1948.
In 1984, the BABN became a wholly owned subsidiary of BCE Inc. As part of the sale of BCE PubliTech in 1988, the business was transferred to Quebecor Printing Inc. It was subsequently known as the BA Banknote Division of Quebecor Printing Inc. In 1999, BA Banknote was acquired by Munich-based German banknote printer Giesecke & Devrient.
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