— Forerunner (Semi–Official) cards —
( prefix: FSO )
Souvenir cards by private bank note companies represent some of the earliest cards in the SCCS catalog, dating back as far as 1836. Many of these were printed by predecessors of the American Bank Note Company or firms that would later merge with it. All these companies were capable of producing high-quality intaglio engraved work. Most of these cards were souvenir invitations, programs, and menus for special events such as banquets, inaugural balls, or anniversary commemorations. Though "forerunner" does not suitably describe modern cards, as the FSO category extends into the 1980s, this category includes souveni cards that are not part of the regular Semi-Official listings. Since unknown FSO cards occasionally surface, a year-based numbering system allows for easy inclusion of new discoveries. The SCCS is grateful to Art Benjamin, Paul Melnick, and Bill Kriebel, whose collections contain many of the rare cards shown here.
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FSO-1832A Washington Birth Centennial Ball
Year:1832
Size:10" x 8" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:RC&Co
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Vignette of standing Washington in cloak, invite text, list of managers; on green tinted paper adhered to card stock
FSO-1836A Andrew Jackson Inaugural Address of 1829
Year:1836
Size:4.88" x 6½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:BB
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of President Jackson and full address in micro-lettering, intaglio printed on white, glossy stock
FSO-1845A Inaugural Ball Invitation for Pres. James Polk
Year:1845
Size:8" x 5½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WGM
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of President Polk surround by flowers and sun rays, with list of event managers, intaglio printed on white, glossy stock
FSO-1849A Inaugural Ball Invitation for Pres. Zachary Taylor
Year:1849
Size:7¾" x 5½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WGM
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of President Taylor, with list of event managers, intaglio printed on white, glossy stock
FSO-1854A Contribution certificate for Benj. Franklin memorial statue
Year:1854
Size:16" x 10½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:NEBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Given for contributions to erect memorial statue; vignette of Franklin cameo and thematic scenes. Large margins; probably intended for framing.
FSO-1857A Inaugural Ball Invitation for Pres. James Buchanan
Year:1857
Size:7" x 10.38"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:TC&C
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of President Buchanan and triumphal arch, with list of event managers in micro-lettering, intaglio printed on white, glossy stock
FSO-1865B Second Inaugural Ball Invitation for Pres. Abraham Lincoln
Year:1865
Size:7½" x 10½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:D&O
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portraits of Lincoln and VP Johnson, flanked by eagles on pillars, with event managers in micro-lettering, intaglio printed
FSO-1867A State of New Hampshire Civil War Commendation
Year:1867
Size:15.88" x 11.88"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Given to NH volunteer soldiers, with portrait of Gov. Smyth and seven Civil War vignettes
FSO-1871A State of Vermont Civil War Commendation
Year:1871
Size:22" x 16"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large, ornate certificate given to Vermont volunteer soldiers, with portraits of Gov. Stewart, two generals, and five Civil War vignettes
FSO-1873A Centennial Memorial of American Independence
Year:1873
Size:28" x 35"
# Printed:>100 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Largest known souvenir card, commemorating the Declaration of Independence with portraits of presidents and statesmen, state seals, statuary, historical scenes and buildings; intaglio printed on heavy paper. Probably created for the 1873 Vienna World's Fair.
FSO-1874A Washington Assn. of NJ member share certificate
Year:1874
Size:12¼" x 10" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Certificate given to members for paid shares in association; vignettes of Washington on horseback and birthplace. Specimen shown.
FSO-1876B International Exhibition Award Certificate
Year:1876
Size:26½" x 19½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:NBN
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Very large certificate framed with national crests, spread eagle at top, allegorical mural at bottom
FSO-1881A Inaugural Reception Invitation for Pres. James Garfield
Year:1881
Size:9¾" x 6"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portraits of Geo. Washington, Garfield, VP Arthur, U.S. Capitol, flags and eagle, with list of committee members, intaglio printed on white, glossy paper
FSO-1881B Inaugural Reception Invitation for Pres. James Garfield
Year:1881
Size:9¾" x 6"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Same as FSO-1881A, but printed on green glossy paper
FSO-1881C Inaugural Reception Invitation for Pres. James Garfield
Year:1881
Size:9¾" x 6"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Same as FSO-1881A, but printed on yellow glossy paper
FSO-1881H Yorktown Centennial Celebration program
Year:1881
Size:6½" x 9"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: 17-page program with Surrender of Cornwallis vignette as frontispiece
FSO-1881I Yorktown Centennial Celebration invitation
Year:1881
Size:6" x 8½" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Ornate engraved invitation with Trumbull's "Surrender of Lord Cornwallis" at top and commissioner names below
FSO-1882A Garfield Nat. Mem. Hospital Garden Feté Invitation
Year:1882
Size:8¼" x 5½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Garfield portrait surrounded by flags, fundraising event for memorial hospital, black lithography on green, glossy stock
FSO-1882E Garfield Nat. Mem. Hospital Garden Feté Invitation
Year:1882
Size:8¼" x 5½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Garfield portrait surrounded by flags, fundraising event for memorial hospital, black lithography on green, glossy stock
FSO-1882F Music Festival series ticket certificate
Year:1882
Size:7" x 4¼"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Certificate exchangeable for festival tickets; ornate lettering, vignette of winged female, globe and eagle
FSO-1883D NY Museum of Nat. History Membership Certif.
Year:1883
Size:14" x 10" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large certificate with vignettes of bison, eagle on nest, and beavers; one specimen known
FSO-1883E 7th Regiment Reception and Ball program
Year:1883
Size:3½" x 4½" folded
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Small program or invitation for event, 7th Regiment logo on cover and eagle on shield on back; proof example known
FSO-1885A Grover Cleveland Inaugural Ball Souvenir
Year:1885
Size:9½" x 6.88"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:VGF
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portraits of Cleveland and VP Hendricks, surrounded by flags, statues, Capitol, Washington Monument, list of event organizers
FSO-1885B Inaugural Ball Program for Pres. Grover Cleveland
Year:1885
Size:5" x 3½" (folded)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:EAW
Type:other
Back: IMAGE
Info sheet:none
Notes: Small, 16-page program, intaglio printed covers, portraits of Cleveland and Hendricks (front), Pension Bldg. (back), ornate harp and horns (inside back)
Additional images for the FSO-1885B card:
FSO-1885E World's Industrial Cotton Centennial Exposition
Year:1885
Size:18½" x 13½"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large award certificate for exhibitors, with eagle, Louisiana state seal, allegorical figures, and ornate frame
FSO-1886C Grant Nat. Mon. Assn.contributor certificate
Year:1886
Size:9½" x 8¾" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:unknown
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of Pres. Grant, eagle, female busts, ornate frame. Used to fundraise for Grant's Tomb in NYC. One specimen known.
FSO-1889E Texas Spring Palace Souvenir
Year:1889
Size:10" x 6¾"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Ornate red-brown intaglio printed card, featuring palace, allegorical figures, eagle, flags and lone star, on glossy white paper
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FSO-1889I RNC Registered Contributor Certificate
Year:1889
Size:10¼" x 3⅝"
# Printed:3,500 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:HLBNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir receipt given by Republican National Committee to donors of $10, ornate banknote style design, Lincoln portrait; black and green intaglio
FSO-1891B First Reunion of CT. Div. of ATCC Guards
Year:1891
Size:3½" x 4½" (est.)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:JALC
Type:other
Back: IMAGE
Info sheet:none
Notes: Cover vignette of "The Standard Bearer" printed by John A. Lowell, small program bound with blue ribbon
FSO-1893F World Columbian Exposition Visitation Certificate
Year:1893
Size:12" x 9" (est.)
# Printed:280,000 (est)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WBN
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir of visit to fair; circular portrait of Columbus, small vignette of buildings
FSO-1894A The Columbian Exposition Lady Mgrs. Award Diploma
Year:1894
Size:19" x 15"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WBN
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Circular portrait of Columbus, floral ornaments. Very large margins; probably for framing.
FSO-1902A McKinley Nat. Memorial Assn. contributor certificate
Year:1902
Size:11" x 9"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:Tiffany
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large engraving of female with shield and laurels, McKinley portrait, White House and birthplace
FSO-1907A Annual Banquet of the Bankers of NYC
Year:1907
Size:5¾" x 8" (folded)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir menu, with Statue of Liberty, text, and green frame on front, vignette of sailor and indian above menu text,
Additional images for the FSO-1907A card:
FSO-1909Ca Arts and Crafts Club of ABNC Banquet Program
Year:1909
Size:5¾" x 7¾"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir program of annual banquet, with four cards bound by red ribbon. Cover features signature ABN eagle and text in brown intaglio
FSO-1911A Nat. McKinley Birthplace Mem. Assn. Life Member Certificate
Year:1911
Size:8½" x 11"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:unknown
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: McKinley portrait, flags and text in black intaglio, with embossed blue and gold seal
FSO-1923A Harding Memorial Assn. Membership Certificate
Year:1923
Size:6½" x 9"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Framed portrait of President Harding and text, printed in black offset
FSO-1926B Lincoln Condolence Letter Souvenir
Year:1926?
Size:3¼" x 6.38"
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:WBNC
Type:other
Back: IMAGE
Info sheet:none
Notes: Portrait of Lincoln and framed text of 1864 condolence letter, given as souvenir to Lincolniana collectors
FSO-1929A Arts and Crafts Club of ABNC Banquet Program
Year:1929
Size:7" x 5" (folded)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir program of annual banquet, similar to FSO-1930A, bound with black tassel, front cover features "Progress" vignette, interior pages include menu, committee members, past presidents, etc.
Additional images for the FSO-1929A card:
FSO-1930A Arts and Crafts Club of ABNC Banquet Program
Year:1930
Size:7" x 5" (folded)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back: IMAGE
Info sheet:none
Notes: Souvenir program of annual banquet, bound with brown tassel, front cover features "Progress" vignette with ABNC eagle logo on back, interior pages include Paul Revere portrait, committee members, menu, etc.
FSO-1963A Haille Sellasie Reception
Year:1963
Size:3¾" x 5½" (folded)
# Printed:unknown
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: NYC reception invitation, Ethiopian crest on cover, Sellasie portrait and text inside and Insert Card.
Additional images for the FSO-1963A card:
FSO-1975Aa Centennial Convention of the American Banker's Assn.
Year:1975
Size:8½" x 11¼"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:numismatic
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Folder of four cards, given out at 100th Anniversary Convention, green tassel, facsimile $100 note (green ink) with die cut hole to show Benj. Franklin portrait on inside card
Additional images for the FSO-1975Aa card:
FSO-1975Ab Centennial Convention of the American Banker's Assn.
Year:
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:numismatic
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: "Men in Currency" card, with portraits of 11 men who have appeared on U.S. banknotes, including Franklin, Washington, Lincoln, etc.
FSO-1975Ac Centennial Convention of the American Banker's Assn.
Year:
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Lincoln's Gettyburg Address card, same design as SO-3 without Interphil text
FSO-1975Ad Centennial Convention of the American Banker's Assn.
Year:
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: American 1776-1976 card, same design as SO-2 without Interphil text
FSO-1975Ae Centennial Convention of the American Banker's Assn.
Year:
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Statue of Liberty card, same design as N-1 without SCCS text at top
FSO-1976Aa American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8½" x 11¼"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:numismatic
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Folder of six cards, given out to ABNC employees on 7/4/76, facsimile $200 note (green ink) with die cut hole to show Benj. Franklin portrait on inside card
FSO-1976Ab American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:numismatic
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: "Men in Currency" card, identical to FSO-1975Ab.
FSO-1976Ac American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Lincoln's Gettyburg Address card, identical to FSO-1975Ac.
FSO-1976Ad American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: American 1776-1976 card, identical to FSO-1975Ad.
FSO-1976Ae American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Statue of Liberty card, identical to FSO-1975Ae.
FSO-1976Af American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Vignettes of the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence, surrounded by portraits of eight signers
FSO-1976Ag American Bank Note Co. Employee Appreciation Folder
Year:1976
Size:8¼" x 11"
# Printed:250 (est.)
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large engraved portrait of Thomas Paine, partially finished
FSO-1979A Rawdon, Wright, Hatch, Edson Specimen Sheet Reprint
Year:1979
Size:28" x 22"
# Printed:998
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Very large sheet, originally printed in 1850s, featuring examples of about 100 portraits, vignettes, numerals, and ornaments
FSO-1985A Int'l Paper Money Convention Specimen Sheet
Year:1985
Size:27" x 20"
# Printed:975
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:other
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Very large sheet, blue ink, with 100+ examples of portraits, vignettes, lathework, and numerals
FSO-1988A Almond Delight Bank Note Sheet
Year:1988
Size:20" x 16"
# Printed:50,000
# Sold:unknown
Printer:ABNC
Type:numismatic
Back:blank
Info sheet:none
Notes: Large sheet on buff paper, offered as mail-in premium by cereal maker Ralston Purina, with six obsolete banknotes and ABNC spread eagle; ABNC text on back
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Last updated: Tue Feb 13 04:33:23 2024