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Obsolete United States Paper Money

America has a rich history of Obsolete paper money which was issued by individual banks, territories, states, cities, railway companies and a host of others. I’ve always wondered what it was called while it was being circulated…before it became obsolete. I collect Florida Obsolete paper currency, which meant I needed a copy of Ron Venice’s guide, “Florida Paper Money” an illustrated history 1817 - 1934. A great reference.

This State of Florida $2, dated March 1st 1863, was printed by Keatinge & Ball during the Civil War. It features Ceres and an Indian maiden along with a large vignette of a passenger train. Edward Keatinge, an engraver for the American Bank Note Company teamed up with Virginian Thomas Ball, to form the company out of Columbia South Carolina. They also produced many of the Confederate notes. Post your Obsolete paper money !

Comments

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,806 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not really. Two are $75-$100, the others around $100-$300.

    I'll post some soon. Just very busy at the moment. Steve started a thread that I can't resist. I'll see what I have scanned already and find some interesting stuff.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • berylberyl Posts: 118 ✭✭✭

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 23,971 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is why there's a decent interest on currency

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 18,356 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Being a Florida native, that Florida note appeals to me. Very cool!

  • Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,018 ✭✭✭✭✭

    During the Civil War coinage was hard to come by, so some states issued fractional paper currency to keep up with the demand. Most of these were blank backs, but some were actually printed on the back of unused, full-sized paper money that was being repurposed.

  • cinchcinch Posts: 268 ✭✭✭

    One thing I love about my home state's obsoletes is that they sometimes feature local scenes. Here are a few of my pickups from the last year or two with images of Rhode Island back in the day.

    Elmwood Bank $5, April 2, 1863. Durand 292, Haxby RI-70 G6a, Bowers W-RI-250-005-G040A. With a scene of the village green in Elmwood.

    Slater Bank $10, July 1, 1862. Durand 866, Haxby RI-205 G8b. With a custom view of Pawtucket Falls and mills with the bridge over the river

    State Bank $10, Durand 1943, Haxby RI-390 G10, Bowers W-RI-1200-010-G050. At right, the Rhode Island State House on Benefit Street in Providence (now the Old State House).

    My website: RICurrency.com
  • cinchcinch Posts: 268 ✭✭✭

    Nice, Steve! The closest location to Quonset that had obsolete banknotes is probably Wickford in North Kingstown. There are some nice banks that I collect from there. The RI Air National Guard still uses the base and I often see their planes flying overhead when I'm in southern Rhode Island.

    My website: RICurrency.com
  • cinchcinch Posts: 268 ✭✭✭

    I don't know much about War of 1812 notes so I'm curious what the answer to your question is! That's very handsome, by the way.

    My website: RICurrency.com
  • Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,018 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice examples @sellitstore . I don’t know if I’ve ever seen actual issued and signed examples of these.

  • uzuiwekuzuiwek Posts: 88 ✭✭✭

    Those are outstanding, Russell. I especially like the serials. :)

    SPMC LM #405 - Collector of Ohio obsoletes. And other stuff, that I'm not going to tell you, so you don't buy it before I do.
  • goldengolden Posts: 7,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love US currency but could never get into obsolete currency.

  • Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,018 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I bought this note for educational purposes only. This is probably the most imitated fake Obsolete I know of. The paper is artificially aged and they typically have serial number 8894.

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,806 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 15, 2021 6:26AM

    @SaorAlba I think that your Kentucky note is a contemporary counterfeit which is unlisted and rarer than the genuine examples-very significant for that reason. Is it more valuable than the genuine? Good question. To the right collector, I'd say "yes". And your DeSoto note is a beautiful example of obsolete bank note engraving at it's best. The vignette of the scantily clothed woman at left was used on other available obsolete notes. Perhaps a collection of notes with this vignette?

    @Steve_in_Tampa Great Florida notes. We've discussed your beautiful Tallahassee Railroad sheet elsewhere but should mention here that there are somewhat tricky copies of these out there, too. Quality (sharpness) of engraving isn't as good as originals because it's not engraved-it's lithographed, colors are a bit dull compared to originals.

    Now you need one of those early Florida Territorial notes. They used to sell for $2000-$3000 but can now be had for less than $2000. You can find a quality example for a good price, with a little patience now. Most survivors are high grade anyway, with two digit serial numbers. How many could there be?

    "Old 8894" was the label on the file at Christie's where we put inquiries about this common copy. Hopeful millionaires would call and not get past, "I have a $1000 bill....." when would cut them off and ask is it serial #8894? "How did you know" was usually the response.

    Now to the Treasury Notes:

    They are NOT issued, as they are missing one signature. I know of just one fully issued War of 1812 treasury note, although there may be several. Nearly all have zero to two of the three required signatures. A good proportion of the survivors are proofs.

    The date makes this pair special. March 4, 1814 is a rare date for surviving examples. Of 99 records in the Heritage archives, just two appearances of this date can be found, and they are the same note, a $100, plate C, numbered one sheet away from this pair. It was sold in 2005 and again in Nov 2020. It brought $30,000+ last year but is considerably nicer than either of my two impaired examples.

    These and the previously known example have the same crossed out date and I suspect that this is why these notes survived and were never issued. It looks like these two sheets were both hand dated Jan 1, 1814 and then changed to 1815. The first written date was before the law authorizing these was passed in March, 1814, so it was probably decided to just issue new notes instead of modifying dates and signatures by crossing out-probably not legal for U.S. Federal currency issues.

    Notes from Dec 1814 are somewhat more available but the 1815 issues are the most "common" but still quite rare.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • Steve_in_TampaSteve_in_Tampa Posts: 1,018 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This note was listed as a Remainder in the auction description, and I’m curious how and why it saw as much circulation as it did. I’ve always thought of Remainders as unissued. Can anyone shed any light on this ?


  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Steve_in_Tampa said:
    This note was listed as a Remainder in the auction description, and I’m curious how and why it saw as much circulation as it did. I’ve always thought of Remainders as unissued. Can anyone shed any light on this ?


    It may well be an issued note, with that amount of wear it might not be possible to determine. But then again it could have been a wallet piece.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
  • SaorAlbaSaorAlba Posts: 7,151 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One bi-national note! Issued in St. John's New Brunswick but by an American owned lumber company - and payable in Massachusetts.

    In memory of my kitty Seryozha 14.2.1996 ~ 13.9.2016 and Shadow 3.4.2015 - 16.4.21
  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 1,806 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think that @SaorAlba has it right. The Tallahassee Rail Road $1 is an issued note with faded signatures. I can see just a bit of the President's signature. And, yes, remainders are often found in low grades. Many probably were carried in wallets as souvenirs but many were deliberately folded and artificially "circulated" to enhance their chance of acceptance in commerce, after a bank had failed. If you didn't sign them, you weren't guilty of forgery or counterfeiting and laws probably varied from place to place with respect to passing genuine, unsigned notes.

    The Jewett and Pitcher note is indeed an interesting one. Yes, it's a U.S.-Canada tie note payable at a national bank, and I can't think of many of those. Technically, it's a scrip note of a Boston lumber dealer issued in St. John, New Brunswick. The engravings and vignettes are beautiful products of American Bank Note Co. I know that there are $2s and I think that I've seen $5s, also but don't recall ever seeing any higher denominations.

    Below are issued $2 and $3 from the Tallahassee Rail Road Co. as well as a few other Florida notes that I already had scanned.






    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • ashelandasheland Posts: 18,356 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SaorAlba said:

    It doesn't really get any better than that! :o

  • cinchcinch Posts: 268 ✭✭✭

    Side by side comparison: issued note and a proof from the Richmond Bank of Alton, Rhode Island, by Danforth, Wright & Co., engravers.

    “A vignette of a mechanic at left and a portrait of Jenny Lind, a popular Swedish singer whose United States performance tour in 1850-52 was arranged by P.T. Barnum, at right.”

    My website: RICurrency.com
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