During the Civil War, both the North as well as the South developed their own currency. Ripped apart by war and teetering on bankruptcy, Congress ordered the printing of a number of notes. These Large Size Notes were commonly called horse blankets because of their dimensions. Issued from 1861 to 1928, their original size was approximately 7.42 inches by 3.13 inches. Cost cutting measures have reduced todays note to the more familiar 6.14 inches by 2.61 inches. Demand Notes or Greenbacks minted only in 1861 represent Americas first type of Federal Bank money.
All notes that was printed and issued to the public is still legal tender today and can be redeemed to any bank for face value. They exception is the 1900 $10,000 gold certificate that was tossed out of a window during a fire in 1936. They were punched cancelled and therefor have no face value for redemption except for collectors.
Large Size-Federal Reserve Bank Notes
The large-size Federal Reserve Bank Notes (FRBNs) , also known as National Currency, was issued in two series and in denominations of $1 to $50. They are often confused with National Bank notes because they have the inscription "National Currency" across the top. They feature blue seals and blue serial numbers.
The first issue, Series issue 1915 was authorized by Federal Reserve Act of December 23rd, 1913 and consisted of only of $5, $10 and $20 notes. They were issued by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco. They are titled as National Currency and are similar to National Bank Notes. The obligation to pay the bearer falls to the specific Federal Reserve Bank, not the United States Treasury Department. The San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank issued only $5 notes. The obligation to pay the bearer is similar to that on the first charter national bank notes, differing only slightly in wording but not in meaning.
The second issue, Series 1918, consisted of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $50 notes issued to all 12 Federal Reserve Banks (though all banks did not necessarily issue all denominations). St Louis was the only district that issued the $50 denomination and is considered a rarity in high grade. The $20 denomination was issued by Atlanta and St Louis only and is also considered a rarity. Although Federal Reserve Bank notes are a rather recent issue, all are quite scarce in high grade.
Treasury Department records show that only slightly more than $2 million is outstanding from a total issue of nearly $762 million.
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