Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book : Edouard Empain

Edouard Empain, Belgian captain of industry, is known for building the Paris Métro and the district of Heliopolis in Cairo. In this book, author Jacques Simar brings us the story of Baron Empain and an overview of the industrial empire that Empain built up all over the world.

cover of the book Edouard Empain - de l'empire industriel .. aux titres de collection

double-click to enlarge image

from left to right:

Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi
The Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company
Chemins de Fer du Congo Supérieur aux Grands Lacs Africains
Compagnie de Chemin de Fer Métropolitain de Paris


Edouard Empain ( 1852 - 1929 )

  • Title : Edouard Empain, Esprit Fécond, Entrepreneur Conquérant, English : Edouard Empain, a first rank entrepreneur from Belgium
  • Author : Jacques Simar
  • ID : no ISBN number, published by The Scripophily Center, 2013, see here
  • Languages : French, but a good summary in English and Dutch is provided
  • Number of pages : 107
  • Images : about 100 color images

  1. Premières années et premiers défis 1852 - 1881  (English: first years and first challenges)
  2. Développement de l' empire 1879 - 1929 (development of the business empire)
  3. Le système Empain ( the Empain system )
  4. La collection des titres Empain ( the collection of Empain scripophily )
  5. Summary in Dutch
  6. Summary in English
  7. Remerciements (Thanks)
  8. Annexes : sociétés du groupe Empain ( Appendices : companies of the Empain group )
  9. Source des illustrations ( source of illustrations )
  10. Notes
Chapter 2, being the largest one, gives us an overview of the activities and realizations of Empain's  companies in the Ottoman Empire, Chili, Syria, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, China, Belgian Congo and, of course, Belgium, France and Egypt.

The book is richly illustrated with images of shares and bonds of companies active in railways, banking, metal works, electric power, gas distribution, chemical industry, tourism and hotels, canals, real estate, shipping and mining. Several of the certificates depicted are very rare.

What else is there in the book ? Well, the work includes also : 
  • an overview diagram of the Empain family dynasty
  • several maps : routes of the Tramways du Caire, the concession of the Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oasis company, the railway network of Belgian Congo, routes of the Lung-Hai railway in northern China
  • long term stock charts of companies
  • classifications of the companies in the Empain group by country and in chronological order

A reference catalogue as well
Chapter 4 contains a reference catalogue section. Included are the stocks and bonds of the Empain companies surfaced in scripophily so far.  More than 500 securities from about 110 companies are represented  and ordered by country. Interesting, each entry contains a value indication between 1 and 5.

A book that fits in your laptop bag. Top !
Still available from the publisher, see here, at 30 Euro.


NB : 
What is your favorite share depicted in the book ?
Mine is the 500 Francs bond from 1895 issued by the Tramways de Kischinew.


  1. Coat of arms of the Empain family
    Jean François Empain

  2. This book is available from The Scripophily Center,