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Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited

  Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited

Biographical Sketch:

Canadian Bank Note (CBN) was established in 1897, under the name American Bank Note Company, Ottawa, as a subsidiary of the American Bank Note Company (ABNCo.), New York. It was formed for the purpose of specializing in the printing of high security products such as banknotes, passports, postage and revenue stamps, stocks and bonds, lottery tickets and other security documents. The first resident manager of the Canadian Division was Warren L. Green who would later become president of the American Bank Note Company, New York. The Ottawa plant was staffed by Canadians, many of whom initially received their training in the Company's New York plant. With the growth occuring in Canada, the volume of work was steadily increasing in Ottawa. The plant responded to this by expanding. In 1923, the business was reorganized separately from the American Bank Note Company and became the Canadian Bank Note Co. Ltd., in Ottawa; they would produce Canadian stamps until 1930. In 1935, the CBN regained the contract to produce stamps for the Dominion of Canada. The Canadian Bank Note Company and the American Bank Note Company often exchanged engineering, research, and development expertise. In 1976, CBN became a wholly Canadian-owned company. Since it was established, the Company has printed banknotes for over 100 issuing authorities and has been a supplier of banknotes to the Bank of Canada since 1935. The Company has had offices at various locations in Ottawa, including 224 Wellington St., and its present location, which opened in August 1950. Beginning in the 1980's, the Company pursued the diversification of its business operations and expanding its customer base to the international market. In 1981, it acquired McAra Printing Limited, a financial and commercial printer in Calgary, in order to expand its financial and securities certificate printing operations. Also in 1981, CBN established a lottery plant in Toronto to produce lottery tickets and in 1984 it incorporated Grouptheory Systems Inc., for the purpose of providing software and hardware to the lottery business as well as lottery equipment and systems. By 1990, CBN had established an international network of sales offices and sales agents; this network allows the Company to market its products throughout the world. In 1992, CBN opened a production facility in Ogdensburg, New York for the supply of postage stamps to the United States Postal Service and the manufacture of ink. In 1995, the Company acquired a 50% interest in WANN Connection Devices Inc., a company specializing in electronic products, in Ottawa and a majority interest in Creative Games International, Inc., Rhode Island, which is a producer of lottery tickets for the United States and international market. In 1993, the Company listed its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in 1997 was ISO 9001 certified. It currently has plants, offices and affiliates in Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal, Ogdensburg, New York, Rhode Island, Prague, London, and Bucharest with approximately 800 employees in its group of companies. In July 2004, the Company went private by amalgamation with 1621248 Ontario Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arends Holdings Inc.

Bibliographical Reference:  
Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Bank Note Company Ltd. fonds, Mikan 158243


Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited, Ottawa, 2003. Photograph provided by Pascal LeBlond.
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