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The crisis of 1943

In 1943, during the Second World War, Mexico was again faced with a silver crisis. A combination of reasons - anticipation of a rise in the price of silver; the Mexican government’s agreement to sell practically its entire silver production to the United States for its military industry; and a boom in the Mexican and US jewellery industries - caused the price of silver to rise and silver coins to be hoarded. On 21 August Mexico imposed a heavy export tax on silver products, to make it unprofitable to melt down silver coins to ship as bullion, and temporarily suspended a contract which promised all surplus silver production to the United States. However because of a shortage of fractional coinage, especially the fifty centavos denomination, it was compelled to authorise banks to issue cheques with printed denominations of twenty- five and fifty centavos, while it arranged for the production of new coins.

Monterrey

Originally 50c cheques were issued by various factories and casas comercialesEl Porvenir, Año XXV, Núm. 9647, 19 August 1943. Thus, we known of cheques of the Cervecería Cuauhtemoc, S. A., the Empaques de Cartón Titan, S. A., the Vidrio Plano, S. A., and the Hojalata y Lamina, S. A., drawn on the Banco de Nuevo León, S. A.and dated 12 August (Hojalata y Lamina also recorded dated 28 August). All these companies were major suppliers to the brewing industryan observation I owe to Ricardo Tallavas de León.

Cervecería Cuauhtemoc

  date on note from to total
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50c 12 August 1943         includes number 38044

 

Cerveceria CuauhtemocOn 16 December 1890 Isaac Garza and J.M. Schnaider applied to the state government for a concession to establish a factory for ice and "export beer", in which a minimum of $125,000 would be invested. Four days later, on 20 December, they were granted a tax exemption for a period of seven years. The industry began operating at the end of 1891, and soon afterwards its founders asked for a new concession, as the investment was much larger than originally planned. On 5 August 1892, they were granted exemption from taxes for a term of twelve years. Originally the brewery's annual production was only sixty thousand barrels of beer and eight thousand tons of ice. However, its expansion was very rapid. About ten years after it began operations it had a capital of $2,000,000, and in 1909, its nominal capital was $5,000,000, but its real value was estimated to reach $8,000,000. Already by the year of 1903 this factory employed about six hundred to seven hundred workers. The annual production of beer was one hundred thousand barrels and had the capacity to bottle daily eighty thousand units. It also produced 365 tons of ice per day. It had workshops for carpentry, tin smithing, blacksmithing, bodywork, saddlery, cooperage and painting. He also had about thirty carts to meet the local demand for ice and beer, completely manufactured in its body shop. It also had large stables and a fire service. At first, the factory was driven by steam, but in the early years of the nineteenth century this was replaced by electric power. By 1909 its capacity was already three hundred thousand barrels of beer per year. Daily it could bottle three hundred thousand units and produce seven hundred and fifty tons of ice. It then employed fifteen hundred workers.
The Cervecería Cuauhtémoc’s product was immediately very well received and during its early years it gained many awards, both in national and international exhibitions, the most important: being perhaps the First Prize at the Universal Exhibition in Chicago (1893); the Only Grand Prize at the St. Louis Exposition, Missouri (1904); the Only Grand Prize at the Milan Exposition (1906) and the Only Grand Prize, at the Antwerp World's Fair (1907). The product of this company, in addition to being shipped to all parts of Mexico, was exported mainly to the countries of Central America. During this time the Board of Directors was composed of the following people: president Isaac Garza, secretary José A. Muguerza, treasurer José Calderón, commissioner Alberto Sada and general manager Francisco G. Sada. Almost all the employees of the brewery department were then Germans, and the engineering and mechanical departments were dominated by Americans.

Empaques de Cartón Titan

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50c 12 August 1943         includes number

 

La Fábrica de Cartón Monterrey, S.A., was established on 6 January 1900 with a capital of $38,000, with the primary objective to manufacture cardboard boxes to pack beer bottles (thus replacing wooden boxes).The president of the board was José Muguerza and its manager Juan F. Farías.

 Vidrio Plano

  date on note from to total
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50c 12 August 1943         includes number

 

La Fábrica de Vidrios y Cristales, S.A was established on 20 October 1899, under a concession granted by the state government to Luis Manero in July of that year. The first Consejo de Administración was composed of Isaac Garza, presidente, Luis Manero, secretario, Tomás Mendirichaga, tesorero, and the consejeros señores Guido Moebius, Manuel Cantú Treviño, Miguel Ferrara, Valentín Rivero y Gajá, Ernesto Madero and Adolfo Zambrano. Francisco Belden, José A. Muguerza and Fernando Martínez were comisarios. Installation work began on 1 January 1901 and glass production began in March 1903. The plant was dedicated to the manufacture of bottles by means of individual blowing, and for this workers were brought from Germany, to whom Mexican assistants were attached. The high salaries paid to foreign workers and their poor performance caused the industry to fail, and, after heavy losses, its liquidation was agreed. Those in charge of carrying it out were Isaac Garza, Francisco G. Sada and Manuel Cantú Treviño. In 1909, Monterrey businessmen acquired the Owens patent for the automatic manufacture of bottles, and reached an agreement with the shareholders of the former glass factory in liquidation: it was agreed that one group would contribute the remaining assets of the Fábrica de Vidrios y Cristales and the other the Owens patent, both parties, in half, underwriting the cash to start a new company. Thus, the Vidriera Monterrey was founded in 1909, with a capital of $1,200,000. On 31 December of the same year the state government granted it an exemption from taxes for twelve years. The first board of the new company was composed of Isaac Garza, Juan F. Brittingham, Mariano Hernández, Juan Terrazas, Francisco G. Sada, Arturo E. Fowle, Manuel Cantú Treviño, Juan Francisco Terrazas and José Belden.

Hojalata y Lamina

  date on note from to total
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50c 12 August 1943         includes number
28 August 1943          

 

This company was established in 1942 by Jesús Sada Muguerza, José Muguerza, Antonio Muguerza, Roberto Garza Sada, Roberto Garza Sada Jr. and Eugenio Garza Sada, to produce beer bottle tops because they could no longer obtain raw materials in the United States due to the development of World War II.

Cámara de Comercio issues

Then on 19 August the Cámara de Comercio deposited funds in five local banks (the Banco de Nuevo León, S. A., Banco Nacional de México, S. A., Crédito Industrial de Monterrey, S. A., Banco Mercantil de Monterrey, S. A. and Banco Comercial de Monterrey, S. A.)El Porvenir, Año XXV, Núm. 9647, 19 August 1943. Notes are known dated 19, 20 and 28 August. They are signed by A. Gonzalez J. as Presidente and [            ][identification needed] as Tesorero.

A. Gonzalez J. sig Gonzalez
  sig Tesorero

 

Cámara de Comercio drawn on Banco de Nuevo León

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50c 19 August 1943         includes numbers 78952CNBanxico #11760 to 87720

Cámara de Comercio drawn on Banco Nacional de México

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50c 19 August 1943 Q         includes number 15139
U         includes number 20189CNBanxico #11759

Cámara de Comercio drawn on Crédito Industrial de Monterrey

Credito Industrial Monterrey 50c

  date on note from to total
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50c 20 August 1943         includes numbers 36531 to 49106

Cámara de Comercio drawn on Banco Mercantil de Monterrey

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50c            

Cámara de Comercio drawn on Banco Comercial de Monterrey

Banco Comercial 50c

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50c 16 August 1943         includes number 8164

 

On 27 August the Correos y Telégrafos refused to accept the cheques of the Camara and various factoriesEl Porvenir, 28 August 1943. The next day Enrique Treviño García, manager of the Cámara, arranged with Salvador Chávez Sánchez, in charge of the Oficina Federal de Hacienda for them to be accepted by his officesEl Porvenir, 28 August 1943 and on 29 the Cámara deposited some money with the CorreosEl Porvenir, 30 August 1943.

By 1 September Miguel Margáin, secretary general of the Cámara, reported that they had issued $100,000 and had agree to issue even moreEl Porvenir, 1 September 1943.

On 15 September it was reported that the Cámara de Comerciantes en Pequeñothe manager was Rodrigo Noedal Fuentes (El Porvenir, Año XXV, Núm. 9675, 16 September 1943) was considering an issue of $15,000 in 50c cheques drawn on the Banco Nacional de MéxicoEl Porvenir, Año XXV, Núm. 9674, 15 September 1943.

On 29 September Treviño García said that the banks were still changing deteriorated cheques for others of the same value or, in greater quantities, for banknotesEl Porvenir, 29 September 1943. The new fractional coinage did not arrive until 23 OctoberEl Porvenir, 24 October 1943.