Topic: $2 1897-Dominion of Canada Note-Question regarding the Fisherman found on bill  (Read 7434 times)
  • Guest

Good day,

First post on this site and I sure hope that  someone may be able to help me with some information surrounding the subject 1897 $2 Bill. It's a bit of a long story, so I'll try to keep it to the point.

One of the family stories past down through the generations was that one of the fishermen found on the bill was my Great Great Grandfather. I have managed to track down photographs from the late 1800's that look very similar to the watercolor used on this bill.

After conferring with the curator of the currency museum in Ottawa, he stated that it was customary that the artist would alter the look of the individuals used in such artwork . My counter to that was that these were virtually anonymous fishermen from the Lower North Shore of Quebec that few would recognize and the chance of any fishermen in the area where the picture/painting was taken that they would be holding such a bill would be nearly impossible as they earned loose change for a year's work.

So my question is posed to you knowledgeable collectors, is there any possible way to positively identify these fishermen? I have attached a link to an online exhibit to a Museum located in St. Paul's River, QC with the picture that looks very close to the one found on the bill itself. If any of you have any background information on this bill, it would be greatly appreciated.


Link to exhibit photo:

Link to Bill at Currency Museum:   
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 599
  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time,Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Welcome to the forums!

As per your question, in my opinion it would be extremely hard if not impossible to truely identify these fishermen. Whether any likeness' was intended or untended can not truely be verified. Only way I would think your request is possible is if we actually managed to ask the engraver/artist him/herself how or from where he got the image from.

Again this is just from my logical thinking. Anyone else thinks differently feel free to chime in!

  • Junior Member
  • **
  • Posts: 80

Sounds like this would make a good episode of "Ancestors in the Attic".
  • Very Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,879
  • CPMS 1593

I assume this is similar to the past issue of the identity of the veteran on the $10 Journey note?

Always looking for #1 serial number notes in any denomination/any series
  • Guest

Hi again, thanks for the replies.

I understand that this is a long shot to get the proper identification of anybody within the bill. My first thought was to work from the picture and then cross reference that info with that of the bill to get the identities. My belief is that the older looking man crouched down in the middle wearing what looks to be a sou-wester of the bill is William Whiteley, the inventor of the cod trap. At best guess, my belief is that the man standing in the bow of the boat (furthest left) is my Great Great Grandfather... but that's just going from family resemblance.

As for identifying from the bill first, I had contacted a representative with American Bank Note to see if they had any background information, but they had released all documentation to what had become Canadian Bank Note. I had sent requests to the Canadian Mint with no replies as of yet. And my best  bet so far was with the Currency Museum in Ottawa. They had the original watercolor of the bill as well as they first mockup layout which would have been used by the engraver to made the plates. But other than that, they did not have any info surrounding who made the watercolor, or who the men are in the picture on the bill.

Since the stories were told from my now deceased Great Uncle, I have no way to know where the origins of the stories came from or how they knew that the picture on the bill originated from a scene in the Lower North Shore of Quebec. But the picture I had found looks very similar to the layout of the bill. If I had a better resolution image of that photo, I may have some better luck in locking in these details. So I guess my next best bet is to track down a better copy of that photograph and get the identities from there.

Thanks for the input again and if anybody has any recommendations on getting historical info from the mint for paper bills, please let me know.

Thanks, Curtis

Login with username, password and session length