Its been quite a while since my last post. Nearly five years, actually. That is not to say I haven’t been involved in the hobby. Quite to the contrary, my activities therein had a little something to do with my not keeping up with other projects, this website being one of them.
Back in 2017, I was elected to be president of the Society of Paper Money Collectors. I’ve spent my time, with the help of many others, improving the organization with our online presence — an updated website along with some online projects like the Obsoletes Database Project (SPMC membership required) and the Bank Note History Project — and increasing our presence at major shows.
Now that much of the heavy lifting for these projects is behind us, I can spent a little more time on this front. I’d like to highlight some recent monster additions to my collection.
Certainly the favorite pickup was my acquisition in 2016 of the $1 Central Bank of New Ulm — a Santa Claus note with the signature of John Jay Knox. I’ve received a lot of enjoyment out of researching, writing and exhibiting this note. See John Jay Knox in the Bank Note History Wiki for a reprint of my article from the SPMC journal Paper Money, where it received the award for most popular article of the year in the Obsolete Currency category. I’ve also exhibited this note with its story at the International Paper Money Show in Kansas City in 2018 and won Best-in-Show.
Another killer note came out of the blue at the Central States Convention in 2018. While I was returning to the SPMC club table a friend stopped me on the bourse floor and asked what I thought about the note. What note? He led me back to the table to where one of his colleagues had left this rarity. My jaw nearly dropped. This was the note that would complete my collection of issued Minnesota state bank notes, a note that we long thought one day would surface. It came to light in a manor not too differently than I had imagined — in my wildest dreams.
And this little gem came way at the 2018 International Paper Money Show, a heretofore unreported scrip of the Thompson Brothers of Saint Paul, merchant scrip issued by L. Fuller of New Ulm and John W. Young of Saint Peter. Its a thrill see something never before documented in the genre.
There have been many more smaller victories in the last five years. But I like to remind myself as great as these things are, the best part of the hobby is the camaraderie of many like-minded friends.