KATOWICE. Cert. for 1 Share of 1.000.000 Zloty. brown, buff, black. #172. No 23. Large format, with text in Polish, and English and German on the back. Giesche S.A. was, formerly part of and solely owned by the German firm of Bergwerksgesellschaft Georg von Giesche'sErben (commonly called Giesche'sErben) and represented those holdings of Giesche'sErben, that, after the implementation of the Treaty of Versailles with re-establishment of the Republic of Poland in 1922, were now in Polish territory; registration at Katowice as a Polish corporation followed with a name that hadbeen registered in Prussia about 1907. The corporation was one of the largest mining concerns operating in Upper Silesia, Poland, during the interwar period. It had the largest zinc output in Poland (40% of Poland's production), from one of the largestzinc mines in Europe. It was also one of the largest bituminous coal producers (3,500,000 tons yearly). It had smelters and rolling mills, factories and agricultural and forests properties. Its largest zinc mine was the White Sharley/Bleischarley. Its biggest zinc mills were Giesche (later known as Szopienice) and Wilhelmina. The largest coal mines were Giesche (later known as Janow and thereafter Wieczorek) and Kleofas. All were property of Giesche'sErben in Upper Silesia, owned and operated by the Giesche family, the oldest since 1704. It employed nearly 20,000 workers, for which housing quarters were built, today the monumental district of Katowice. This share is of 1.000.000 zlotych, an enormous sum. For practical reasons, the Polish properties were transferred to Giesche but their operation seems to have been financially unsuccessful. This was in part because Poland had levied a heavy tax on Giesche and it became difficult to borrow German funds to pay these taxes; so the money was sought through a sale of the company to U.S. investors in 1926. Giesche'sErben negotiated with Anaconda Copper Mining Corp. and W. Averell Harriman for an exchange of all Giesche capital stock of the new company called the Silesian-American Corporation; to be registered as the Silesian Holding Company in Delaware, USA. Anaconda and Harriman would hold a majority share while GiescheErben retained a minority share. The Giesche purchase was carried on the first Silesian-American balance sheet at $21,550,000. In late 1939, Germany occupied Polish territory including the entire Silesian area. By 1940, American management in Silesian-American was eliminated. The Communist Government of Poland on January 3, 1946 nationalized certain of its industries, including the Silesian-American properties which were nationalized and the company's activity was suspended. A true top piece.
Themes: COALMINES, METAL & ENGINEERING, MINES (other than coal, gold)
Date: 3 June 1929
Startprice: € 1000