Beautifully engraved certificate from the Pathe Exchange, Inc. issued in 1930. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of two allegorical women sitting next to the company's mascot and logo, a rooster with rolls of film. This item is hand signed by the Company's Vice-President ( T. C. Shubert ) and Assistant Treasurer and is over 73 years old. The certificate has been folded otherwise in EF+ Condition.
In 1896, Frenchman Charles Pathe founded Pathe Freres (Bros) with his brother Emile. The brothers an improved studio camera and the idea of a vertically integrated system of movie production and distribution, thus beginning the early industrialization of cinema. Early in the century the company devised a stencil system for mechanically coloring film. The Pathe brothers perfected the cinematograph play by utilizing huge studios, immense and elaborate sets, professional actors from the stage, and produced plays thought to be beyond the scope of the picture-producer. They developed a mass distribution system throughout the world. The company began mounting plays of historical significance, which led to producing scenes "on location." Pathe moved its headquarters to the U.S. during WWI. After returning to France, the company eventually met with financial difficulties. Charles retired in 1929. However the Pathe name continued in various incarnations of film companies. Joseph P. Kennedy purchased a large share of Pathe' Exchange in 1929, where he was president and a director. Pathe Exchange Inc. merged with PDC/K-A-O/DeMille to become RKO - Pathe in 1930.