MACERATED GREENBACKS BUST OF U.S. GRANT

$295.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1202-136

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Souvenirs molded from macerated U.S. currency were popular tourist souvenirs in Washington, D.C., from about 1875 into the 1920s. This is a small portrait bust of President Grant still showing some bits of paper and color, with a label on the lower front reading: “Made of U.S. greenbacks redeemed and macerated by the U.S. Government, at Washington, D.C. / Estimated at $25,000.”

Instead of burning old currency taken out of circulation, which still left some fragments floating around that might be found and redeemed, the government switched to maceration in 1874, which ground it while wet into pulp. The prospect of seeing many  thousands of dollars destroyed was a novelty and the resulting pulp itself, containing small bits of paper and traces of ink, became the medium for molded souvenirs for sale to tourists of the Capital, with several producers creating portrait busts of notables, patriotic Lincoln or Uncle Sam top hats, miniature buildings like the Washington Monument, but also a wide variety of knickknacks like small animals, shoes, etc. They remained for sale in souvenir shops well into the 1920s, but lost a lot of appeal after 1908 when the government added chemicals to the pulp, destroying the bits of color, though a few entrepreneurs then added their own bits of paper.

This is a nice example of the genre, still showing flecks of green, with the dollar amount indicating the supposed value of the currency destroyed in making the batch of pulp from which it was molded, adding to the novelty.  [sr][ph:m]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire »

Inquire About MACERATED GREENBACKS BUST OF U.S. GRANT

For inquiries, please email us at [email protected]

featured item

CIVIL WAR MUSICIAN’S GROUPING INCLUDING WARTIME IDENTIFICATION DISK, IDENTIFICATION SHIELD, AND FREEMANTLE ROTARY VALVE CORNET/VALVED BUGLE: JOHN J. WEAVER- 10th and 56th PA- AND CUTLER’S BRIGADE BAND 1861-1865

This wonderful grouping includes two wartime identification badges, a rotary valve cornet dating about 1864, along with his GAR membership badge and veteran’s id badge. To top it off, in addition to prior service in the 10th PA from April 26 to… (1179-420). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

25
May

June 29-30: 51st Annual Gettysburg Civil War Relic Show Learn More »

Instagram