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Iowa to host bank note seminar

The Higgins Museum 2018 National Bank Note Seminar is scheduled for Thursday, July 26, at the museum in Okoboji, Iowa.


Six prominent speakers have been scheduled: Peter Huntoon, Mark Drengson, Steven J. Sweeney, Larry Adams, Michael B. Scacci, and Mark B. Anderson. Continental breakfast will be available at 8 a.m. Thursday morning, with the program scheduled to get underway at 8:45 a.m.

Headlining the speaker sessions will be National Bank Note authority and Bank Note Reporter contributor Peter Huntoon with a scholarly presentation on the 1873 to 1885 currency design era that was dominated by the work of George Casilear. As chief engraver at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the patented lettering process developed by designer and inventor Casilear dominated every new series of currency produced over that timeframe.

Minnesota specialist Mark Drengson will provide attendees with an insightful examination – National Banks, Bankers and Banknotes of Southern Minnesota – concentrated on his focus on the issues of the southwestern corner of the state. Past Society of Paper Money Collectors president Mark Anderson will offer an exploration of A Tale of Two Wisconsin Banks: Comparable Inceptions, Divergent Outcomes. It is a story about a pair of rural banks that shared close proximities, drawing upon banking history recorded by his grandfather.

Steve Sweeney, co-author of the Iowa National Bank Notes reference and the project’s still active “census keeper,” will contribute The Iowa Census: Evolving & Maturing. This presentation includes valuable insights into the value and vagaries of census records.

Higgins curator Larry Adams and president Michael Scacci will jointly explore counterfeits in the presentation Reasons to Not Fire an Engraver: Counterfeits from 1862 to 1920. This presentation is tied to the Bob McCabe reference Counterfeiting and Technology.

The registration fee for the seminar is $75. Registration applications and remittances should be directed to The Higgins Museum, 1507 Sanborn Avenue, P. O. Box 258, Okoboji, IA 51355.

The Society of Paper Money Collectors is the lead co-sponsor of the seminar. Other sponsors are the Central States Numismatic Society and the Professional Currency Dealers Association. (A discounted registration fee of $60 is available to members of the SPMC, CSNS, PCDA and the Iowa Numismatic Association.)

Established in 1978 by William R. Higgins, Jr., The Higgins Museum of National Banking is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, display and educational sharing of artifacts and reference materials related to the 1861-1935 National Bank Era.

For additional information about the 2018 Higgins Museum National Bank Note Seminar, contact curator Larry Adams at 515-432-1931 or via e-mail at

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.