Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the Babcock & Wilcox Company dating back to the mid to latter 1900's. This document, which contains the printed signatures of the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
This certificate's vignette features two males flanking the company's logo. They are surrounded by a variety of items including an anvil, laboratory equipment and a chain.
In 1856, 26-year old Stephen Wilcox of Rhode Island, USA, patented a water tube boiler that increased heating surfaces, allowed better water circulation, and, most noteworthy, was inherently safe. Eleven years later, he and friend George Babcock established a partnership -- Babcock, Wilcox and Company -- to manufacture and market these water tube steam boilers. Their ingenuity cleared the way for the modern era of large high-pressure and high-temperature steam power plants and established a precedent for their colleagues and successors to be inventive and customer-oriented.
In 1881, the Babcock & Wilcox partnership was incorporated as The Babcock & Wilcox Company. That same year, the Brush Electric Light Company of Philadelphia, the first central electrical generating station in the United States, went into service, powered by four B&W boilers.
In 1902, New York City installed its first subway and powered it with B&W boilers. In 1903, B&W equipped the Fisk Street Station of the Commonwealth Edison Company of Chicago with 24 boilers. This was the first utility station to use steam turbines exclusively for electric power generation. To help customers meet increased demand throughout the 1920s, B&W began to develop larger boilers, which in turn led to water-cooled furnaces and the use of pulverized coal as a fuel.
B&W continued to make significant contributions to the industrial and steam generation industries. In 1929, the world's first commercial size recovery boiler using the magnesium bisulfite process was installed in Quebec, Canada. Throughout the 1930s, B&W introduced the integral furnace boiler, the Kraft recovery boiler, the radiant boiler and the open-pass boiler. In 1935, B&W sold and placed into service the first "black liquor" recovery boiler in the USA which used a by-product of the pulping process as fuel.
In the late 1940s, the demand for industrial and heating boilers increased; however, field construction costs were also rising. In response, B&W introduced the shop-assembled "package boiler," which could be built in B&W shops, shipped to the customer, and installed at the site. In 1957, B&W achieved another milestone with the introduction of the highly efficient coal-fired Universal Pressure Boiler. The company's 1,300-megawatt, pulverized coal-fired plant for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) went on line in 1973 and was then the world's largest electrical generating unit.
B&W has been involved in the field of nuclear power for more than 40 years, providing nuclear heat exchangers, nuclear plant services and more than 200 nuclear steam generators to customers around the world. Unfortunately, this historic company is forever tied to nuclear power as a result of an event everyone would like to forget. On March 29, 1979 at 4pm, B&W’s Three Mile Island 2 Reactor (TMI-2) accident occured. The nation watched the disaster unfold on TV, just over a week after The China Syndrome had been released in theatres.