Author Topic: Look ma, no metal detector!  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Look ma, no metal detector!
« on: December 27, 2007, 01:29:12 PM »
Man uncovers 1837 bank notes
Posted by Press News Service December 26, 2007 20:01PM

In a chance find this year, he uncovered the first three $10 notes Saginaw City Bank issued in 1837. The notes bear the serial numbers 1, 2 and 3 and are in perfect condition.

Norman Little, founder of Saginaw City in 1836, served as Saginaw City Bank president and signed the notes Dec. 26, 1837 -- 170 years ago today. "The significance isn't in the value of these notes or in their pristine, uncirculated condition," said Berg, a Saginaw Township numismatic hobbyist and small-time collector. "It's the fact that they still survive today, 170 years later, as a group."

Little's bank issued "wildcat" currency in 1837. His ability to sell land in Saginaw City backed the notes, says "Saginaw's Changeable Past: An Illustrated History," which Delta College history Professor Jeremy W. Kilar wrote.

The name of the bank's treasurer, Nelson Smith -- builder of the first sailing vessel on the Saginaw River -- also appears on the note. The $10 bill carries the likeness of a schooner.

"Wildcat" banks got the name because they produced more money than the state's population needed.

However, James Cooke Mills' history of Saginaw County says organizers of Saginaw City Bank acted in good faith to further the material interests and advancement of the valley. Nevertheless, the bank failed in the financial crash of 1838. About all the evidence of its existence is the paper currency.

Berg said he had permission to sort through "a small hoard of notes" that a friend had acquired at an estate sale last spring. He declined to give more specifics.

"He had a bag of these notes that were stuck together in piles. They're so thin," he said of the rice paper currency. "They hadn't seen the light of day in many years.

Apparently they were locked up in a bank vault." In addition to the set of three $10, he also found a $2 "error" note dated 1827, 10 years before the bank formed; two $5 notes with matching serial numbers; and $10 notes with serial numbers 6, 7 and 9.

"These notes belong to Saginaw and are an important part of the city's history," Berg said.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

BC Numismatics

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Look ma, no metal detector!
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 02:02:55 AM »
Peter,that is a very extremely rare find.I wonder if these are listed in the Pick Specialised Catalogue.

Here's an article about where Saginaw City is located; .