For the first time this October 20, 2012, there will be a celebration of companies which have reached milestone anniversaries. There has not been such a celebration before, and the early reactions to this new concept have been very enthusiastic and gratifying.
The celebration will be held in the exhibit Gallery of the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street, now celebrating its 25thanniversary of bringing to more public view and appreciation the dramatic stories of financial history which have shaped the modern world. For many years, these have been unknown to the general audience. There has not been before any similar event in the context of which the accomplishment of the companies the public knows has been observed, especially in a museum setting just a block from the New York Stock Exchange, where the shares of many such companies have been publicly traded for years.
The event is planned as part of an annual trading session for objects of financial history of all sorts called the Wall Street Collectors Bourse, after the term used in Europe for stock exchanges. With an international flavor and well known dealers from near and far, each Bourse adopts a theme to focus attention on a special facet of the history, bringing to life the events of the past in an interesting way which excites general interest. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Memorabilia of Finance” and objects to be shown will have connections to events of many periods.
As part of the Bourse event, an auction is held in the Gallery and the first special anniversary section will feature objects of general interest and artistic quality. Among these will be those which anniversary companies may wish to submit, as a way of exposing their individual specialties or history for greater public appreciation. Proceeds of sale of these objects will defray the cost of the celebration, and excess funds will be shared among local organizations teaching financial history and the skills which will lead students in the direction of the accomplishment of the celebrating companies. Thus we hope to repeat their success for future generations.
The organizer of the Bourse events, John E. Herzog, is also the founder of the Museum and now Chairman and Trustee Emeritus for Life, and has spent his life in the financial services industry. He is also a collector, and has specialized in the financial instruments of the American Federal period, which made the creation of the United States possible. The Museum holds a major portion of his collection, and uses it in exhibits.