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Large Size Replacement Nationals: Summary

We'll finish our blog series with the diagnostics published in "Identification of Series of 1882 and 1902 National Bank Replacement Notes Printed in the 1903-1915 Period" by R. Shawn Hewitt and Peter Huntoon.  SPMC members can read the article here.


National bank notes meeting the following criteria are replacement notes printed after the general conversion to new style fonts (circa September 1903):

LSRNs: 1882 Value Backs

Once I discovered a replacement 1902 Plain Back, I realized that there should exist replacement 1882 Value Backs of the same style.  An earlier look through the NBN Census (www.nbncensus.com) revealed exactly zero hits, but I did get lucky while searching through the Heritage archives (www.ha.com).  There I found two replacements.

LSRNs: 1902 Plain Backs

In our article, Peter Huntoon and I call 1915 the end of the era when old style font presses were used to make up replacement sheets of nationals.  At the time it was written, we had not found a single Plain Back replacement.  That has changed, but the picture is somewhat fuzzy.

LSRNs: 1882 Date Backs

Series 1882 Date Back replacements are very scarce.  Of the 1700 or so listed in the Heritage Archives (which has some duplication) and the 1100 imaged notes in the NBN Census (which includes a certain amount of overlap with the Heritage archives), I have been able to locate only four replacement notes.  Here are the statistics for this type:


LSRNs: 1902 Date Backs

I would have to say that Date Backs (both 1882 and 1902) are my favorite types of large size replacement nationals.  That’s because as replacements they’re scarcer than most other types, yet they’re less expensively priced compared to other types when they come up for sale.  Further, there is no ambiguity about when you find one with the old style font.  Recall that for Red Seals and Brown Backs, the earliest of those used the old style serial number fonts, and you need to do a little homework to determine the date of printing.  By contrast, any Date Ba

LSRNs: 1882 Brown Backs

Brown Backs are among the more difficult types to be found as replacement notes.  Here is why.  Recall that #1 notes by far constitute the largest percentage of surviving replacement notes.  They were the most apt to be misprinted or damaged, and needed to be replaced before shipping to their destination banks.  While #1 Brown Backs are plentiful from the pre-1902 era, very few exist from 1903 to 1908, when they were discontinued.  Any new banks that formed after 1902 (which would require notes starting with #1) would be of the third charter style, namely Red Seals.

LSRNs: 1902 Red Seals

The world of large size replacement nationals is somewhat inverted.  Rare is common, and common is rare.  For instance, Red Seals are highly prized among collectors of nationals because they are considerably scarcer than their Blue Seal counterparts.  Not so with LSRNs.  Of the 80 replacements documented from the relevant time period, half are Red Seals.  Why?  Because #1 notes were the most commonly damaged and needed to be replaced, and a good percentage of Red Seals that survive were saved as #1 souvenirs.  Over 60% of all the documented replacements ar

Large Size Replacement Nationals, aka Droopy 2s

This is the first in a series of weekly blogs I will be writing about Large Size Replacement Nationals.  Peter Huntoon and I wrote an article ("Identification of Series of 1882 and 1902 National Bank Replacement Notes Printed in the 1903-1915 Period") in late June that is published in the September-October edition of Paper Money, which is viewable to registered members.  SPMC members who have not yet set up their online accounts can do so https://www.spmc.org/

August 21--150th Birthday of Postage Currency

If you have been reading BNR and the recently issue of Paper Money, you will see that Fred Reed had done a wonderful job of outlining how postage and then fractional currency came into being, the laws, the players, etc.  But when did it actually first begin circulating?  A law was signed into service on July 17, 1862 that began postage currency.  The notes were first issued on August 21, 1862 and lasted until May 29, 1863.  The first notes were printed entirely by the National Banknote Company (which was printing the postage stamps of the day) and came in sheets that had

Postage Currency "Coins"

Fractional Currency has enjoyed an increased popularity over the past few years.  Most collectors have some exposure and knowledge of it, however, very few collectors, other than those with advanced knowledge, know of the coins that were minted to redeem postage and fractional currency.