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Enjoy this selection reader-owned bank notes and the history behind them as told by expert Peter Huntoon.

Reader’s Showcase: Series of 1929 Notes

By Peter Huntoon

Pete Papadeas has been collecting layout varieties on Series of 1929 notes with particular attention to the odd fonts, special symbols, and punctuations used on New Jersey notes.

A true prize along these lines that he found are the layouts used for this Woodstown bank. The bank received printings from three different sets of 1929 plates. The first was made by the Government Printing Office using a layout prepared at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing that was made as a stopgap measure to print the first printing for the bank because the contractor for the layouts, Barnhart Brothers & Spindler in Chicago, could not turn out their logotype plates fast enough to meet demand at the startup of the series.

The BEP used the very unusual, scarce and highly prized 8-point Pastel bold font to lay out the bank name on the plates for several banks including this one as shown in the top photo. When BBS caught up, they came out with the layout on the bottom photo. Notice that the bank signatures are the same.

As icing on the cake, BBS moved the ampersand to the third line making for a striking difference. A second set of logotypes was made by BBS for the bank because the president’s signature was changed. The layout on it looks identical to the bottom variety shown here except for the president’s signature because they used the same negative of the layout with the new signature spliced in.

This article was originally published in Bank Note Reporter. 

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