Somerset And Worcester Savings Bank

While most antebellum obsolete notes are unlisted in Haxby because they were issued by merchants, and companies which were not banks, the Somerset And Worcester Savings Bank of Salisbury, Maryland, is not found in Haxby. Oddly enough however, they can be found listed in Criswell. These are not the scarcest obsolete notes, judging by their current values, so it's kind of unusual for it to have been left out of Haxby.

Nevertheless, Criswell reports denominations of $1, $2, $3, and $5. These produce 8 varieties, two of each denomination. Each of these denominations can be found in either red and black or green and black. Criswell's catalog numbers are as follows:

                           Denomination                         Green and Black                         Red and Black
                                    $1                                           S-701                                        S-704
                                    $2                                           S-708                                        S-711
                                    $3                                           S-714                                        S-716
                                    $5                                           S-720                                        S-722

Shown below, however is a $5 note from the Somerset And Worcester Savings Bank from 1862 that lacks a green Five or a red Five. Hence, there are also unlisted varieties without the green or red overprint. While notes with a red or green overprint are more "common" and readily available in uncirculated condition, the all black variety as shown below is scarcer.

$5 Somerset And Worcester Savings Bank, Salisbury, MD (1862)
Image Contribution: Handini

Obsolete Currency Bank

So what does obsolete currency look like before a bank name, etc. is printed on the note?

25 cents
Image Contribution: Handini

Collecting partially printed notes is fun and exciting. Although one can imagine who the bank or merchant could have been for these notes, one can use them to create their own banks such as this rare, unlisted example of notes from the Obsolete Currency Bank of Greensboro, North Carolina issued on May 25, 2011.

25 cents, Obsolete Currency Bank Greensboro, NC (2011)
Image Contribution: Handini

Colony Of New Jersey

New Jersey issued colonial notes in the pound sterling system between 1709 and 1776. The 1780 issues are in the dollar system but then the 1781, 1783, and 1786 issues are back in the pound sterling system of currency. The leaf in the central vignette on the reverse is a sage leaf (Source: Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues). Some examples of this note can be found signed by John Hart, who also signed the Declaration of Independence. Notes bearing his signature can fetch an additional premium.

15 shillings, Colony Of New Jersey, (1776)
Printed By: Isaac Collins
Image Contribution: Handini

New York City - Water Works

By: Handini

A colonial note from the city of New York, payable in currency of the colony of New York. Only 2,500 of these 8 shilling notes were printed (Source: J. Watson).

8 Shillings, City Of New York (1776)
Image Contribution: Handini

Denominations of New York colonials were in the pound sterling system up through 1771. In 1775 to 1781 they were issued in the dollar system then the 1786 and 1788 issues reverted back to the pound sterling system (Source: Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues). The Water Works notes are denominated in the pound sterling system and yet the 8 shillings note shown above is from 1776, when the New York colonials were using the dollar system. This implies that at least in the city of New York, both currency systems were being used. These notes are not listed in the Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues. They were printed by Hugh Gaine, who also printed the 1771 issues of colonials from New York (Source: Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues).

Colony Of New York

Below is a 10 pound note from 1758. It is printed on one side only and the paper consists of a thin sheet of paper which the note is printed on and laminated onto a thicker piece of paper. Consequently the note is darker on the back than the front side. The vignette shows a lovely crown and shield along with a native American and a colonist. This vignette was the crowned arms of New York City (Source: Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues). Below the main vignette it states "DEATH to counterfeit" since severe penalties were imposed on counterfeiters at the time. They were usually hung.

10 Pounds, Colony of New York (1758)
Image Contribution: Handini

New York colonials between 1846 and 1758 were printed by James Parker. The 1758 issues are found in denominations of 5 pounds and 10 pounds. (Source: Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money specialized issues).

Bank Of Fayetteville

The Bank Of Fayetteville, North Carolina was chartered on January 27, 1849 with a capital of $800,000. It issued notes in denominations of $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $10, and $20 (Source: Pennell).

$1 Bank Of Fayetteville, NC (1855)
Pennell 770A
Image Contribution: Handini

The $1 above has the engraver's imprint of Baldwin, Adams & Co. New York. The two varieties listed in Pennell of the $1 note from this bank are based on the engravers imprint. Pennell 770 has the imprint of Durand, Baldwin & Co. New York while Pennell 770A (shown above) has the imprint of Baldwin, Adams & Co. New York.

Merchant's Scrip From Utica, New York

Here is an early 50 cent remainder note from Utica, New York. The only references I have that have information on obsolete currency from New York are the Standard Catalog of United States Obsolete Bank Notes (1782 - 1866) and North American Currency. With scrip like this one, these books fall short. Unfortunately I do not currently have a book that is strictly on the obsolete currency of New York. Since this note is ripped in two it is difficult to identify, especially when searching on the internet falls short with notes as rare as these.

50 cents, Utica, NY
Image Contribution: Handini

Dubuque Central Improvement Company

The Dubuque Central Improvement Company of Dubuque, Iowa, was organized in 1857 and failed in 1858. It's intention was to develop a couple of islands. The stockholders were individually liable and thus their names were shown on the back side of the notes. (Source: Oakes)

While there are many different dates between December 1857 and January 1858 from whence the notes were issued. Only 4 varieties exist in two different denominations. The denominations are $1 and $3 and the different varieties are due to the color of the stockholders names on the reverse side. The $1 and $3 notes where they are listed in blue have a rarity of 1 and those where the stockholders names are printed in black have a rarity of 3. (Source: Oakes) This makes it a fairly "easy" set to compile.

Shown below is a $1 note from the Dubuque Central Improvement Company with the stockholders names printed in blue ink.

$1 The Dubuque Central Improvement Company, Dubuque, IA (1858) Obverse
Image Contribution: Handini

$1 The Dubuque Central Improvement Company, Dubuque, IA (1858) Reverse
Image Contribution: Handini

IOWA Obsolete Notes And Scrip By: Dean G. Oakes

By: Handini

The Book IOWA Obsolete Notes And Scrip by Dean G. Oakes was published in 1982 by The Society Of Paper Money Collectors and consists of 138 pages. It abides by the 7 point rarity scale for the notes listed. At the beginning of each bank listed in this catalog, the author writes a paragraph or two giving a background of the bank or merchant, etc. This makes it a great resource for collectors interested in Iowa obsolete notes.

Agawam Bank

By: Handini

The Agawam Bank of Springfield, Massachusetts, was established in 1846 and did not close after the civil war like most banks. Instead, it became the Agawam National Bank of Springfield. (Source: Haxby)

Shown below is a spurious $3 bill from the Agawam Bank.

$3 Agawam Bank, Springfield, MA (1847)
Haxby MA-1165-S5
Image Contribution: Handini

Depression Scrip - Guilford County, North Carolina

Depression scrip from Guilford County, NC can be found in denominations of $0.25, $0.50, $1, $5, and $10. The notes with red serial numbers are the first issue and are dated April 14, 1933. The notes with blue serial numbers are the second issue and are dated August 31, 1933.


50 cents, Guilford County (April 14, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini

$1, Guilford County (April 14, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini

$5, Guilford County (April 14, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini


25 cents, Guilford County (August 31, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini 

50 cents, Guilford County (August 31, 1933)
 Image Contribution: Handini

$1, Guilford County (August 31, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini

$10, Guilford County (August 31, 1933)
Image Contribution: Handini

Continental Currency

Continental currency was issued by the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1779. They were printed by David Hall and William Sellers, and their values were in dollars instead of shillings. They were redeemable for Spanish Milled Dollars or it's equivalent in gold or silver, however soon became worthless.

$1/6 Continental Currency (1776)
The design on the reverse has 13 chains with the names of the
13 original states written on them.
Image Contribution: Handini

$55 Continental Currency (1779)
Note the blue security fibers in this note to foil the British counterfeiters.
Image Contribution: Handini

The book Standard Catalog Of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues is a good reference for Continental notes as it lists the issues that were issued. I have a few more Continental notes that I have yet to scan so make sure you surf back to this page at a later date in case I manage to post them.
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