WASHINGTON BUST MADE OF MACERATED GREENBACKS

$125.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1202-143

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 among tourists in Washington, D.C., from about 1875 into the 1920s. This is a small portrait bust of Washington still showing some bits of color, with a label having some minor losses on the  edges but clearly reading: “Made of U.S. Greenbacks / redeemed and macerated by / the U.S. Government, at Washington, D.C. / Estimated at $5,000.”

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, even if the first President looks a little dazed, 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 WASHINGTON BUST MADE OF MACERATED GREENBACKS

For inquiries, please email us at [email protected]

featured item

CDV OF 2ND LIEUTENANT CHARLES E. CROW, 4TH VA. (PURCELL) LIGHT ARTILLERY

This is a very nice CDV photograph of Charles E. Crow in Confederate uniform. It appears to be a second-generation image; photo of an existing photo. Regardless, the picture is clear with good contrast. Crow wears a Confederate 2nd lieutenant's,… (1138-988). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

25
May

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

Instagram