This item is an extremely rare American Bank Note Company working proof for a Compaq Computer Corporation stock certificate.
Working proofs were used during the American Bank Note pre-production process. Each piece details the intricacies of the old fashioned cut-and-paste method in which the designs were developed. The proof was subsequently circulated amongst American Bank Note Company officials and the executives of the customer (in this case Compaq) for editing and approval. The markings from this process are evident on the layers of the proof and the distribution folder as detailed by the images below. Once the approval and editing process was completed, the mass production of the certificate occurred for distribution to eventual shareholders. This unique item offers a glimpse into the bank note approval and printing process.
Working proof (1 piece), mounted inside an ABN working folder.
This item is presented in a folder-like style. It is blue American Bank Note presentation folder that measures 12 1/2" (w) x 8 3/4 (h) when closed. It opens exactly as a manilla folder would. There is an outside front cover, inside top panel, inside bottom panel and an outside back panel.
The main proof (pictured above) is located on the inside bottom panel, and is covered by a clear layer with the working markings from the editing process. The picture below shows what the proof looks like with the layer pulled back:
The piece is mounted to the inside bottom of the folder.
The front of the folder (shown below) has the American Bank Note Company logo. The back cover is blank.
Inside Top Panel:
The inside top panel contains approval stamps as shown below:
Compaq was founded in February 1982 by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto, three senior managers from semiconductor manufacturer Texas Instruments. Each invested $1,000 to form the company. Their first venture capital came from Benjamin M. Rosen and Sevin Rosen Funds. The first Compaq PC was sketched out on a table napkin by Ted Papajohn while dining with the founders in a Houston restaurant. The company was founded with the temporary name Gateway Technology. The name "COMPAQ" was said to be derived from "Compatibility and Quality" but this explanation was an afterthought. The name was chosen from many suggested by Ogilvy and Mather; it being the name least rejected.
Two key marketing executives in Compaq's early years, Jim D'Arezzo and Sparky Sparks, had come from IBM
's PC Group. Other key executives responsible for the company's meteoric growth in the late 80s and early 90s were Ross A. Cooley, another former IBM associate, who served for many years as SVP of GM North America; Michael Swavely, who was the company's chief marketing officer in the early years, and eventually ran the North America organization, later passing along that responsibility to Mr. Cooley, when Swavely retired. In the United States, Brendan A. "Mac" McLoughlin (another long time IBM executive) led the company's field sales organization after starting up the Western U.S. Area of Operations. These gifted executives, along with other key contributors, including Kevin Ellington, Douglas Johns, Steven Flannigan, and Gary Stimac, helped the company with the IBM Corporation in all personal computer sales categories, after many predicted that none could compete with the behemoth.
See Additional American Bank Note Company Proofs