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Research pioneer's signature on New Jersey note

By Peter Huntoon

New Jersey resident William H. Dillistin (1886-1964) was the leading pioneer national bank note researcher who wrote A Descriptive History of National Bank Notes, 1863-1935, 55 pages, privately published in 1956. His Bank Note Reporters and Counterfeit Detectors, 1826-1866, published as American Numismatic Society monograph 114, 175 pages, in 1949 is still cited by academics as the authoritative work on that topic.

His Directory of New Jersey Banks, 1804-1942, Passaic County Historical Society, 98 pages, published in 1942, with several supplements published by the NY FRB as late as 1970, is another classic. This was followed by Historical Directory of the Banks of the State of New York, New York State Bankers Association, 383 pages, published in 1946, also with supplements by the NY FRB.


Dillistin occasionally wrote articles for The Numismatist. He was a state bank examiner who rose to become manager of the examinations department of the NY Federal Reserve Bank. In 1926, he served as president of The American National Bank of Passaic, so his signature graces some of the 1902PBs issued by the bank.

New Jersey national bank note specialist Robert Hearn brought the Passaic note to my attention.

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