LSRNs: 1902 Plain Backs

In our article, Peter Huntoon and I call 1915 the end of the era when old style font presses were used to make up replacement sheets of nationals.  At the time it was written, we had not found a single Plain Back replacement.  That has changed, but the picture is somewhat fuzzy.

I have located four replacement Plain Backs, but the fonts are not exactly what I expected.  The serials in these notes have the old style 2s and 3s, but on two of those the 4s have been upgraded to be very similar to their new style counterparts.  It appears that sometime after 1915 some of the numbering blocks were changed in the manufacture of replacements.  I call the use of the newer style a "hybrid" font, because the font contains elements of the old and new styles.

Admittedly, I have not done a thorough or systematic job going through the images at Heritage ( or the NBN Census ( in search of 1902 Plain Back replacements.  There are simply too many Plain Backs for me to examine, and I hope to draw upon the watchful eyes of the collector community to report findings in the forum area.  Here is what I've found so far:


Data through 8/31/2012 $5 $10 $20 $50 $100 Total
02PB #1 Notes 0 0 0 0 0 0
02PB Not #1 4 0 0 0 0 4
02PB Total 4 0 0 0 0 4
Overall Total for All Types 42 31 6 1 0 80


Sometime around 1920, either the BEP discontinued the practice of making replacement notes, or they changed the process of manufacturing replacements so that they are virtually indiguishable to normal production notes.  Peter mentioned that he has seen ledger entries from the Plain Back era that show the cancellation of misprinted or damaged notes, indicating that no exact replacements were made.  We don't know for sure when the policy of handling such notes changed.

Here is an interesting pair, where the #4 note is a replacement:

Next week we'll get into 1882 Value Backs.