1862 - 1872

The Founders era - Swiss banks become "engines" of credit and industrial venture capital

Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC)
Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)

Switzerland and the world


Bank in Winterthur

Offices of Bank in Winterthur

The Bank in Winterthur (Link to 1912), the first antecedent of UBS, opens for business. Winterthur, a city 25km northeast of Zurich, is an industrial hub and home to the burgeoning Swiss locomotive and cotton industries. The bank has an initial share capital of 5 million CHF and is founded by the peers of Winterthur's democratic mayor Johann Jakob Sulzer.

Order approving Articles of Assocation, signed by Gottfried Keller

The Basler Handelsbank (Link to 1945) with a share capital of 10 million CHF opens its doors in Basel.

Both these institutions issued banknotes in their own right, which circulated throughout Switzerland until the founding of the Swiss National Bank in 1907.



Switzerland experiences rapid industrial growth (railways, electrification and machine and mechanical engineering) with vast demands for capital.

Swiss Red Cross

Henry Dunant

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Swiss Red Cross are founded in this decade.

The Swiss Red Cross

Unification of Italy


Offices of Toggenburger Bank

The Toggenburger Bank (Link to 1912) in the Canton of Sankt Gallen is founded with a share capital of 1.5 million CHF.

Swiss Franc banknotes issued by Toggenburger Bank
Swiss Franc banknotes issued by Toggenburger Bank

In the Swiss Capital of Berne, the Eidgenössische Bank (Link to 1945) with an initial share capital of 30 million CHF open for business.

Abraham Lincoln

At the height of the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President, holds his famous Gettysburg Address where he invokes the principles of human equality, that "governments of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth".


Latin Monetary Union

500 Francs banknote issued by Toggenburger Bank in 1905

Switzerland joins the Latin Monetary Union, until its demise in 1927 the world's largest such union (with France, Belgium, Italy and Greece as members).


Typewriter, 1882

Invention of the first practical mechanical typewriter.


Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's major epical work "War and Peace" is published in book form.

Opening of the Suez Canal

The 164 km Suez Canal opens, creating a new 'highway to India'.

Opening of the Suez Canal


Under the leadership of Bank in Winterthur (and under its patronage) the Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works, Winterthur, is founded.

Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi performs "Aida" in Cairo.

French soldiers escape into Switzerland

After the victory of Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War (1870/71), Germany is united under the leadership of Prussia.


Basler Bankverein

Offices of Basler Bankverein

In Basel, the Basler Bankverein (Link to 1896) is founded with a share capital totalling 30 Million Swiss Francs. Its roots reach back to the 1850s when a group of six private Bankers had formed the short-lived Bank-Verein, a consortium to meet jointly major capital requirements. The City of Basel, located at one of the main crossroads of Central Europe, is the home of a major export industry ("Silk-ribbon- industry") and houses the headquarters of important merchants, factors and agents.

Basler Bankverein share emissions

The first international football match to be recognised (retrospectively) by FIFA as "official" takes place at Hamilton Crescent, Scotland, between Scotland and England.