Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Internet Scripophily Museum of Computing in the making

I've been blogging about computing before on this site. Click the label computers in the left margin to find some related content. There is so much to reveal on this field of scripophily. Yet, the nature of a "general" blog like this one doesn't lend itself very well for providing much information at one time. That is why I decided to set up a dedicated website.

Intel Corporation, specimen bond certificate from the 1980s
Intel Corporation, specimen bond from 1980
Intel is known as a maker of semiconductor chips and became famous 
for its microprocessors like the 8086, 80386, Pentium and Itanium. 
The organization also made early microcomputer kits and since the 1980s supercomputers.

The ISMOC project is about scripophily and computer history. ISMOC stands for Internet Scripophily Museum of Computing. That's right. I'm working on a virtual museum of historical securities from organizations involved in digital computers. Though still in an early stage, you can have a look there

So far the following entries have been put online :
  • organizations
    • Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation
    • Gould Inc.
    • Idaho Maryland Mines Corporation
    • International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
    • PolyComputers Inc. 
  • people
    • Cary, Frank Taylor
    • Opel, John Roberts
    • Ylvisaker, William Townend
ISMOC has a Site History page informing about further developments. You can also follow along on Twitter, here.

Some concepts in scripophily can not be illustrated with a single image. Here is a video showing an Intel specimen bond and a production model for a stock certificate, both from the Security-Columbian US Banknote CorporationA specimen is a printed sample of the real thing. An example of that is shown at the right. The item on the left is a production model for a possible design of an Intel stock certificate. Designers of securities used to cut up portions of existing engraved items such as company logos, vignettes, scrollwork, borders, titles, corporate seals, text, et cetera.These items were then reapplied (pasted) in a different design, a new model. When the model was accepted, a proof, basically a printed prototype, could be printed.

In the video you will notice a transparant plastic overlay on the production model. That overlay also contains printing elements. In this case, it contains a standard 'CERTIFICATE OF STOCK' line. The overlay simulates the underprint for the main certificate text. In case the text changes, like in the case of a bond, only the overlay needed to be changed to 'REGISTERED'. 
At the end of the video, I focus on the facsimile signature of Intel's Chairman of the Board. Ever heard of Moore's law. Yep, that's the man. When working as R&D Director at Fairchild Semiconductor, Gordon Earle Moore observed that the number of electronic components in an integrated circuit would double every year. Later he revised the forecast to every two years. 

It will take me several years to complete the ISMOC project. Frankly I hope this turns out to be a neverending story. This is a scripophily venture that will take me on a worldwide journey through modern times. Will you join me on the ride once in a while ?


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  1. Great idea and great theme! More than that: A very important theme - as it had so much influence on our daily live and will have so in the future. I think IBM is one of the most important companies, thus one of the company's shares also became a member of the HSTM Historic Stocks Market Index: https://hstm-index.com/index/international-business-machines-corporation-ibm-10.html

  2. http://www.wertpapiermuseum.de/collections/show/3

  3. Thank you Volker and Glasemann for your inputs.

    For the readers of the blog:
    a) In 2014, EDHAC, 'GERMANY'S FIRST SOCIETY FOR HISTORIC SECURITIES', started a cooperation with EDHAM, 'GERMANY'S FIRST MUSEUM FOR HISTORIC SECURITIES', to setup an online scripophily museum. See here : http://www.wertpapiermuseum.de/collections/browse

    b) The HSTM index is introduced by auctioneers Scripovest AG, HWPH AG and the Scripophily Center, as a new mechanism to follow the pulse of the stock and bond market. For further information, see https://hstm-index.com, which shows the Index evolution since 2013 and identifies the 100 index components. You can also read more about the HSTM index in Scripophily magazine, issue March 2017, published by the International Bond & Share Society (www.scripophily.org) .