Giesecke & Devrient Issues Historical Work on the History of Banknote Printing

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The authors Dr. Franziska Jungmann-Stadler and Ludwig Devrient

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Munich, February 25, 2010. Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) today unveiled a new book on the history of banknote printing. The historical work follows developments in banknote production at the company from 1854 to 1943. The book has been co-written by Dr. Franziska Jungmann-Stadler, Head of the HypoVereinsbank’s Banknote Collecting Foundation, and Ludwig Devrient, whose ancestors include founding members of the technology group. Dr. Jungmann-Stadler and Ludwig Devrient are both respected banknote experts of many years’ standing.

Walter Schlebusch, G&D Management Board member and Group Executive of the Banknote business unit, says: “For Giesecke & Devrient, a company particularly aware of its long tradition having always been family-owned, the opportunity to cooperate with these two authors was too good to miss. Their book, entitled ‘Giesecke & Devrient – Banknote Printing 1854 to 1943’, presents the early days of banknote production at G&D and makes this history accessible to a wider audience for the very first time.” Using the notes printed by G&D over the years, the publication reflects the history of currency through the 19th and 20th centuries, and is an excellent reference work for anyone with an interest in the historical development of banknote printing.

The book, which is illustrated with color pictures throughout, traces the history of banknote production at G&D’s original East German headquarters in Leipzig from 1854 to 1943. Because of the destruction inflicted during World War II, up until German reunification, only patchy information was available regarding these early years. In order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the period, the two authors took it upon themselves to carry out intensive research in cooperation with archives, museums and collectors, as well as with various central banks. The State Archive in Leipzig proved a particularly rich source of information, housing significant quantities of material that could be used to reconstruct G&D’s fledgling history.

The origins of Munich-based technology company Giesecke & Devrient go right back to the “Typographical Institute” that was founded in Leipzig in 1852 by Hermann F. Giesecke and Alphonse Devrient. Just two years later, the company founders were awarded their first contract to print banknotes by the Weimar Bank. The book takes the reader as far as 1943, a year that marked a major hiatus in G&D’s history with the destruction of the factory. It wasn’t until 1954, after the company headquarters had been relocated to Munich, that the first banknotes began to roll off the presses again.

The book contains detailed information on all the banknotes printed by G&D between 1854 and 1943, and their respective issuers. Individual chapters are arranged chronologically according to initial order date and include a list of all the orders placed by each issuer. It is illustrated with numerous pictures, some of which show very rare and valuable banknotes. Each note is accompanied by an explanation of its iconography, the particular printing techniques used, and details of the paper manufacturer. The text has been produced in both German and English.

‘Giesecke & Devrient – Banknote Printing 1854 to 1943’ is published by the Regenstauf-based publishing house H. Gietl Verlag & Publikationsservice GmbH on behalf of Giesecke & Devrient, Munich. Copies of the publication are available from all good bookshops or direct from the publisher (

Details about the book
266 pages, 21 x 29.7 cm, numerous color illustrations, hardcover
ISBN: 978-3-86646-527-5
Price: €69.00

The authors

Dr. Franziska Jungmann-Stadler was born in 1938. She studied German, history and economic history in Munich, and completed her doctorate in 1965. She then worked as a research assistant at the Bavarian State Library until 1970. Following a period of family leave, she served on the Historical Commission of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences from 1978 to 1982. She was Director of the Historical Archive of the HypoVereinsbank between 1982 and 2003. In 2003 she assumed her current position as Head of the HypoVereinsbank’s Banknote Collecting Foundation.

Ludwig Devrient was born in 1935 and is descended from one of Giesecke & Devrient’s founding families. He completed an apprenticeship as a letterpress printer prior to joining Giesecke & Devrient in 1957, upon which he underwent specialist training in the printing of securities. He was a member of the G&D Management Board from 1973 to 1992, responsible for the entire technical side of banknote and security printing, as well as card production. He has held various honorary positions at the Museum of the Printing Arts in Leipzig since 1995 and was appointed Deputy Head of the HypoVereinsbank’s Banknote Collecting Foundation in 2007.

About Giesecke & Devrient GmbH:

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is a leading international technology provider headquartered in Munich, Germany. Founded in 1852, today G&D is a global market leader and pioneering innovator in banknote production and processing, smart card solutions for telecommunications and electronic payment, and security documents and identification systems.

International orientation
The G&D Group, based in Munich/Germany, comprises over 49 subsidiaries and joint ventures across 30 countries, employing 9,849. In the financial year 2008 the group generated sales worth euro 1.69 billion. G&D has a strong international orientation. For an overview of all subsidiaries and joint ventures please have a look here.

Shaping the future
As a high-technology enterprise, G&D gives high priority to research and development, investing 109 Mio. Euro in these activities. Products and services complement and enhance each other in such a way that operations remain largely unaffected by cyclical fluctuations. G&D develops products of a high standard and uses environmentally responsible production methods.

Security and competence are the company’s watchwords. Its customer-centric products, systems, and services make G&D a reliable partner for any organization needing to solve complex problems in security-related fields. G&D is the one partner around the globe people trust to safeguard the value of their assets.

Company: Giesecke & Devrient GmbH

Fri, 26 Feb 2010 11:29:00
81677 München

Contact person:

Daniela Gaigl
Position: Press Officer
Contact phone: +49 89 4119-2985
Contact e-mail: daniela.gaigl[at]



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