Author Peter Bertram has published a new edition of his work on the Confederate Chemicograph Back banknotes. Congratulations. Here's the announcement.
Greetings friends - welcome to another release in my Confederate Numismatica
series of books. I've been fortunate in my data search and have located a good bit of
specialized information and several previously unknown Chemicograph specimens. I
therefore felt that an update to my original Chemicograph Backs article (2018 -
Supplement One) was called for and offer this Second Edition to fulfill the need. It is, to
the best of my knowledge, the only published work on the Confederate Chemicograph
Backs in print and thus fills another void in the study of Confederate Numismatica. I
hope you'll like it!
These unused Confederate 1864 Treasury note backs have been around for about 145
years but have never really received much press. What do you think - time for another
look? OK then, here's a few introductory comments so we can all start on the same page.
The intent of the Act of February 17, 1864 was to reduce the volume of currency then
in circulation by taxing out of existence all earlier notes not funded into bonds by April 1.
But since the fronts of the 1864 notes would be so similar to those of 1863, new reverse
plates would be needed and were ordered from S. Straker & Sons of London, England.
Straker used the trade name Chemicograph for the process they employed to produce the
plates for the $500 to $5 notes.
By early 1864 the 684 plates (28-$500, 51-$100, 80-$50, 125-$20, 200-$10, and 200-$5) were finished and sent in three shipments (Jan 8, Feb 26,
and Mar 15) from England to Nassau where they were transferred to blockade runners for
the run into Wilmington, NC. But by this time less than half of the blockade runners got
through and all three shipments vanished after leaving Nassau. Their probable fate was to
have been seized by a Union warship and later consigned to a melting pot as scrap. So the Chemicograph story could very well have ended right here but for a Mr. Charles Chaplin
(not the old movie's Charlie Chaplin!) who discovered and rescued six of the plates! To
announce his discovery Chaplin sent prints from his plates to the American Journal of
Numismatics and they published them in 1877 and 1878 (pg. 6-7). These were the first
public notification of the survival of any of the printing plates!
So, that's a highly abbreviated account of the Chemicograph background. and brings
us up to about 1878.
The Chemicograph backs story includes Raphael Thian, David Proskey, Lyman H. Low, F.C.C. Boyd, Philip Chase, Dartmouth College, Duke University, and numismatic literature and ephemera. The book is excellently researched and illustrated, and well suited for the library of anyone interested in U.S. paper money, Confederate and Civil War numismatics, and the history of the numismatic hobby and literature.
This is the only published, complete study of these unused 1864 Confederate Treasury Note reverses.
The altering of 4th Printing Type 1 Backs to make them appear to be 3rd Printing Backs (pg 40-41 : to appreciate the price difference, see Price Guide p107).
The convenience of the "Quick Reference" pages 108-109.
For more information, or to order, see:
THE CONFEDERATE CHEMICOGRAPH BACKS REVISITED
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEW BOOK: CONFEDERATE NUMISMATICA SUPPLEMENT ONE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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