Short History of Financial Tombstones
Many professionals, such as bankers and other financial pros, have been displaying plaques and other commemoratives with engravings of their big company’s deal accomplishments in their offices for ages now. These deal toys are used by the upper echelon in the financial world.
These commemorative trinkets included objects, such as engraved clocks, crystal bowls, and silver plates. Since the Gilded age, different deal toys were displayed in these financial professionals’ offices. However, deal toys started to change in the 1950s with the introduction of easy to mold plastics. And at that time, the commemorative object market shifted toward the use of Lucite tombstones.
Lucite tombstones are simply tombstone looking blocks of Lucite that has a sheet embedded on it with relevant details of a huge financial transaction. These details normally were newspaper ads’ reprints on heavier paper. The tombstone ads came from Wall Street executives in papers for the announcement deals until the intervention of the federal government.
After 1929, the Securities Act of 1933 took extra limits on financial companies about the way they can promote themselves. Since then, deal toys were the kind of method that banks and other companies used in making financial transactions public.
Eventually, designers learned to embed clear and printed acetate sheets in Lucite. The Lucite was sold in the 1950s in craft kits which gave home hobbyists the ability to encase mementos in polished Lucite, and coin collectors adopted this technique soon afterwards.
Additionally, this meant that announcements could be applied in various ways besides the miniature or paper of deal books. And furthermore, Lucite tombstones didn’t have to be a block with these new techniques. For example, the principals’ names and transaction details are able to float in thin air. They could also be various shapes and have various textual details to fit each type of design. In the 1960s, banks and law firms created Lucite that encased tombstone ads announcing new partner classes. And by the late 1960s, the financial companies started to commemorate new partner classes with the partnership announcements engraved in Lucite.
One early form of the Lucite tombstone was cut in the form of the Liberty Bell with a realistic looking crack as a finishing touch. Another early form included two brass balls that are suspended in a clear block. With such toys, it was suggested that the financiers and bankers’ ambitions could be encapsulated in forms suitable to each unique accomplishment.
Deal toys in these types of forms work like that today. Each piece is meticulously designed in the reflection of key players, the importance and nature of a financial deal, and the essence translating into physical form. Acrylic and Lucite can be poured at room temperature; therefore, deal toys can have practically anything embedded on them. Also, these plastics can be made in tons of shapes, thus giving deal toys the ability of being chameleons. From downright traditional to the hottest design trends, the abilities are now limitless in creating deal toys.