This item is an extremely rare American Bank Note Company working proof for a McDonnell Douglas stock certificate.
Working proofs were used during the American Bank Note pre-production process. Each piece details the intricacies of the old fashioned cut-and-paste method in which the designs were developed. The proof was subsequently circulated amongst American Bank Note Company officials and the executives of the customer (in this case McDonnell Douglas) for editing and approval. The markings from this process are evident on the layers of the proof and the distribution folder as detailed by the images below. Once the approval and editing process was completed, the mass production of the certificate occurred for distribution to eventual shareholders. This unique item offers a glimpse into the bank note approval and printing process.
Working proof (1 piece), mounted inside an ABN working folder.
This item is presented in a folder-like style. It is an oversized, rigid hard board that measures 12 1/2" (w) x 8 1/2 (h) when closed. It opens exactly as a manilla folder would. There is an outside front cover, inside top panel, inside bottom panel and an outside back panel.
The main proof (pictured above) is located on the inside bottom panel, and is covered by a clear layer with the working markings from the editing process. The picture below shows what the proof looks like with the layer pulled back:
The piece is mounted to the inside bottom of the folder.
Both the outside front and outside back covers are blank with no markings.
Inside Top Panel:
The inside top panel contains approval markings as shown below:
McDonnell Douglas was formed from the firms of James Smith McDonnell and Donald Wills Douglas in 1967. Both men were of Scottish ancestry, graduates of MIT and had worked for the aircraft manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Company. Douglas had been chief engineer at Martin before leaving to establish Davis-Douglas Company in early 1920 in Los Angeles. He bought out his backer and renamed the firm the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1921.
McDonnell founded J.S. McDonnell & Associates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1926. His idea was to produce a personal aircraft for family use. The economic depression from 1929 ruined his ideas and the company collapsed. He worked at three companies with the final being Glenn Martin Company in 1933. He left Martin in 1938 to try again with his own firm, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, this time based at Lambert Field, outside St. Louis, Missouri. World War II was a major earner for Douglas. The company produced almost 30,000 aircraft from 1942 to 1945 and the workforce swelled to 160,000. Both companies suffered at the end of hostilities, facing an end of government orders and a surplus of aircraft.
After the war Douglas continued to develop new aircraft, including the DC-6 in 1946 and the DC-7 in 1953. The company moved into jet propulsion, producing their first for the military - the conventional F3D Skyknight in 1948 and then the more 'jet age' F4D Skyray in 1951. In 1955, Douglas introduced the first attack jet of the United States Navy with the A4D Skyhawk. Designed to operate from the decks of the World War II Essex class aircraft carriers, the Skyhawk was small, reliable, and tough. Variants of it continued in use in the Navy for almost 50 years, finally serving in large numbers in a two-seat version as a jet trainer.
Douglas also made commercial jets, producing the DC-8 in 1958 to compete with the Boeing 707. McDonnell was also developing jets, but being smaller they were prepared to be more radical, building on their successful FH-1 Phantom to become a major supplier to the Navy with the F2H Banshee, F3H Demon, and the F-101 Voodoo. The advent of the Korean War Banshee and later Vietnam War F-4 Phantom II helped push McDonnell into a major military fighter supply role.
Both companies were eager to enter the new missile business, Douglas moving from producing air-to-air rockets and missiles to entire missile systems under the 1956 Nike program and becoming the main contractor of the Skybolt ALBM program and the Thor ballistic missile program. McDonnell made a number of missiles, including the unusual ADM-20 Quail, as well as experimenting with hypersonic flight, research that enabled them to gain a substantial share of the NASA projects Mercury and Gemini. Douglas also gained contracts from NASA, notably for part of the enormous Saturn V rocket. Both companies were now major employers, but both were having problems.
Douglas was strained by the cost of the DC-8 and DC-9, and the companies began to sound each other out about a merger. Inquiries began in 1963; Douglas offered bid invitations from December 1966 and accepted that of McDonnell. The two firms were officially merged on April 28, 1967 as the McDonnell Douglas Corporation
- from: www.wikipedia.org
See Additional American Bank Note Company Proofs