Wendell Wolka's Collecting Paper column from the March 23, 2015, issue of Coin World offers an interesting perspective on banknote engraver W. L. Ormsby. Numismatic bibliophiles know Ormsby for his rare publications on bank notes from the mid-1800s. Here's an excerpt from the article. Be sure to read the complete version online.
I’ve always wondered about Waterman Lily Ormsby. He was the “renegade bad boy” member of the bank note engraving community and was always considered an outsider.
Ormsby had a knack for being involved with banks and bankers that weren’t “quite right.” Perhaps it was because he asked fewer questions of his prospective customers or was willing to work on thinner margins than the “big boys” in the bank note business.
In any case, the vast majority of his bank customers were either outright frauds or fragile short-lived ventures.
The Boone County Bank of Lebanon, Ind., was one such customer. W.L. Ormsby did notes for the bank under the name of the New York Bank Note Co. Contemporary documents and records document the deception that involved Ormsby.
The article describes how the bank bamboozled U.S. auditors and the Midwest public and later failed
To read the complete article, see:
Engraver W.L. Ormsby had a knack for involvement with short-lived banks
Wayne Homren, Editor
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