Bank of America Puts 220 Years of Banking History on Display
Heritage Center shares Bank’s unique historical collection
January 13, 2006, CHARLOTTE , NC – Bank of America today unveiled its new Heritage Center in Charlotte’s Founders Hall, launching an interactive museum housing some of the nation’s most treasured historical banking artifacts in one location. Located next to the company’s corporate headquarters building, the 4,000-square-foot Bank of America Heritage Center depicts stories of ways its predecessor institutions have contributed to America’s growth, from The Massachusetts Bank in Boston to the Bank of Italy in San Francisco to the American National Security Bank in Charlotte.
“Our company has played a powerful role in the development and history of America,” said Cathy Bessant, global chief marketing officer for Bank of America. “We are proud to have the opportunity to bring this rich heritage to our customers, shareholders, associates and the public.”
The Heritage Center offers free admission and will be open to the general public beginning Tuesday, Jan. 17. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Highlights of the Heritage Center include:
* A replica of a 1784 bank charter signed by John Hancock making The Massachusetts Bank the first independent joint-stock owned bank in the United States and only the second bank to receive a charter in America.
* Ledgers dating back to the 1780s documenting the accounts of such well-known figures as Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Henry Knox.
* A shareholders’ register from 1784 noting that 15 of the 105 original shareholders were women.
* Detailed accounts of how predecessor banks played integral roles in the rebuilding of Washington, D.C. after the War of 1812, funding one-fifth of the city’s reconstruction.
* The camera used by legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, a former banking center manager himself, to film the movie The Ten Commandments. The bank has provided core support for the motion picture industry for decades, funding thousands of films, including Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
* Portrayals of the bank’s role during a variety of key points in American history, such as the San Francisco earthquake, the Great Depression and the emerging technology age – including a display of part of the original ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting) computer processing system invented at Stanford Research Institute back from loan to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, and a video of late President Ronald Reagan introducing the new technology earlier in his Hollywood career.
Bank of America Senior Vice President Allen Blevins, who oversees the company’s archives, said the bank used some state-of-the-art technology to bring centuries of history to life. Examples include motion sensor videos profiling some of the artifacts in addition to an interactive timeline.
“This interactive timeline uses touch-screen technology to walk visitors through our history of more than 3,000 legacy banks with just one finger,” said Blevins. “It’s a remarkable way to view the connections between so many significant moments in the history of our company and our country.”
Blevins added the bank is working on plans to continuously refresh some of the exhibits and discussions are under way to bring similar experiences to other cities across the country.
For information about school or other group tours of the Bank of America Heritage Center, contact Jeanne Steiner at 704-388-3663.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 38 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 14 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 97 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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