Speaking of shields, Kay Olson Freeman forwarded this item (part of a funding appeal) from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The Society recently completed the cleaning and conservation of a Fractional Currency Shield in their collection.
This collection of Civil War currency had been in storage for years and was covered in grime and dirt. The conservation staff at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) spent hours carefully cleaning, unfolding, and flattening the document. The photos at right show our staff hard at work.
Today this currency collection--in the shape of a shield--is clean, mended, and flat (see photo below). Writing, which had been hidden by a linen backing, was discovered on its reverse. Thanks to the efforts of our conservation staff, we now know even more about this object, and it is available to any HSP visitor interested in learning more about the Civil War.
This work is possible only through the generous support of friends like you! So far during our December fundraising drive, HSP has raised over $7,000 to protect our historic documents. Will you help us reach our goal of $10,000 before December 30?
To read the complete article, see:
Dirty and Grimy No More! -Civil War currency
Fractional currency shields are made up of thirty nine specimens that are glued to a cardboard back. A total of twenty fronts and nineteen backs make up a shield. These shields were made between June, 1866 and May, 1869. There are three type of shields and they are determined by the color of their background (grey, pink and green).
Most of the shields in existence show water damage. They were stored in the treasury and were damaged during a flood. The population of the shields are as follows: 200-400 grey shields, 20-25 pink shields and 10-14 green shields. Only the pink and green shields have the Grant/Sherman specimens with Colby and Spinner hand signed signatures.
These shields were produced to stem counterfeiting. The government wanted to place them in banks and post offices so that a person could compare their notes with the notes on the shields to see if their notes were counterfeit. This idea never became popular since these institutions didn't want to buy the shields.
For more information on Fractional Currency Shields, see:
FRACTIONAL CURRENCY SHIELDS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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