Having issued the very first commemorative bank note in the United Kingdom, The Royal Bank of Scotland has continued to issue such notes in recent years - all in the unique one pound value.
Royal Bank of Scotland One Pound Note (Front)
The first UK commemorative bank note, the standard Royal Bank pound note had a panel added to the standard design incorporating the EU stars and the gates of Holyrood Palace (where the European Summit Conference of heads of state was held in December 1992.
Royal Bank of Scotland Pound Note issued in 1994 to mark the 100th Anniversary of the death of Robert Louis Stevenson (Reverse)
Robert Louis Stevenson, born in Edinburgh in 1850, was the author of such classics as "Treasure Island," "Kidnapped" and "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". The front of this note has a quill pen and a copy of Stevenson's signature. The reverse, illustrated above, incorporates not only Stevenson's portrait but scenes from some of his books - and his house in Wester Samoa where he died in 1894.
Royal Bank of Scotland Pound Note to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Graham Bell (Reverse)
On 3 March 1997, The Royal Bank of Scotland issued 2 million commemorative banknotes to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Edinburgh's most famous sons. Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh in 1847 at 14 South Charlotte Street in the west end of Princes Street in the elegant Georgian New Town. Like his father, he became a teacher of the deaf but after working in schools in the north of Scotland and Edinburgh he emigrated at the age of 23 to Canada and on to Boston in the hope of escaping tuberculosis (which had claimed both his brothers). It was there in 1875 that his studies in the mechanics of sound led him to produce the world's first telephone, excitedly calling his assistant Mr Watson with the classic words "Come here Mr Watson, I want to see you." Thus began the development which allows you to read these words today.
It was the telephone which gave him his world-wide fame, although his fertile mind was applied to many other fields, some of which are acknowledged in the special design of this banknote. The reverse of the note (illustrated) is a complete redesign, replacing the usual engraving of Edinburgh Castle, with a montage tribute to Bell. The images include users of the telephone over the ages, a wave signal for "telephone", a schematic drawing of a telephone receiver and Bell's initialled signature.
They also acknowledge Bell's other interests - the geese which he studied to understand flight (he worked with the Wright brothers), the sheep which helped him to understand genetics and the geometric shapes which he used to develop engineering structures. His work as a teacher of the deaf is acknowledged by representations of sign language and the phonetic alphabet developed by his father. Bell is also shown in old age with his wife - he and his father both married young deaf pupils.
It was a wonderful coincidence that in the week that this note was issued the story broke of the cloning of Dolly the sheep at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh.
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