1 Dollar Northern Bank of Kentucky Note, 1856

Description
The Northern Bank of Kentucky in Lexington issued this one dollar bank note on May 3, 1856. The note was printed by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Company of Philadelphia, which was well known for printing both currency and stamps during the 1850s. The center of the note depicts a pastoral scene with an allegorical image of Progress holding the bank’s charter, with Lexington’s railroad and skyline in the background. Two portraits of unknown persons are at the upper left and right of the note, with a portrait of George Washington at the lower right. The note is signed by the bank’s cashier, A. F. Hawkins, and its president, M. T. Scott. Notes that had been printed were not considered valid until the note was signed.
From 1790 to 1863, states and private banks issued their own currency to supply capital in a young nation without a national currency. This currency was backed by the hard money the banks had on deposit, and was only used locally where the bank and its operators were trusted in the community. However, banks often oversupplied notes, and this overextension caused bankruptcy among private and state banks when financial panic struck, particularly in 1837. Currencies from these failed banks are known as “obsolete bank notes” or “broken bank notes,” and several are held in the National Numismatic Collection.
Object Name
paper money
maker
Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 74 mm x 182 mm; 2 29/32 in x 7 5/32 in
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
1979.1263.00004
accession number
1979.1263
catalog number
1979.1263.00004
collector/donor number
CM01526
subject
Coins, Currency and Medals
American Enterprise
See more items in
Armed Forces History: National Numismatic Collection
American Enterprise
Exhibition
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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