Topic: Washed Notes from Bygone Days (Just for Fun)  (Read 23711 times)
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« on: February 16, 2016, 06:02:42 pm »

Just for fun..... 

This came from the CPMS Journal Vol 3 #2 April 1967 from the Editor Fred Jewett:

From time to time we see bank notes listed with the additional remark
"washed". We consider this comment as irrelevant as if your favorite used car
lot advertised a 1957 Chevrolet as "never been touched by a mechanic, or service
attendant." In both instances, proper care frequently requires the attention of
someone skilled in the object's needs. (For bank notes, refer to Waiter Holmes'
excellent article in the January, 1966, issue of this "Journal").
In many instances we have examined such "washed" notes, and have come
to the conclusion that the description should have been "showing extensive
surface wear." Removing the soil has merely revealed its true condition.
As a matter of fact, we would rather see the comment after a note described as
VG-F "needs washing to reveal its true state."
What do you think?

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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 06:24:23 pm »

Times have changed!!!

From the CPMS Journal  Vol 2 #1   by Walter Holmes

The editor's note read: 
As one of the senior collectors of paper money in Canada, author Holmes, our Second Vice-President, brings a fund of experience to us in this article on a most important aspect of our hobby.

Cleaning Paper Money
by Waiter G. Holmes C. 36
At the recent get-together of Canadian Paper Money Society members, at
the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, the severe cold and stormy weather made it impossible
for some members from distant points to attend. But many serious collectors
were present and had an opportunity to "trade" experiences. It was inevitable
that the question would arise "Do you wash bills?" and in most instances the answer
was a qualified "Yes". In my own case I added "If the bill can take it."
Over the past fifteen years I have attended many Spring and Fall conventions
of the Michigan Numismatic Association and also have attended the fine shows
at Cleveland, Rochester and other cities. At these shows, I found that one paper
money exhibitor stood out above the others, and the judges merely had to place
the balance of the exhibitors. The dean of exhibitors was the late James Kirkwood,
of Cleveland, and I was fortunate to make his acquaintance. He described himself
as a "hammer and saw" man - meaning a carpenter - and said he liked paper
money. He always was able to put together an outstanding collection and at the
close of the shows he disposed of his collection and started over again gathering items
for his next display. I was fortunate to pick up several pieces of Newfoundland paper
money from him but, more important, I managed to cultivate a warm acquaintance
that was valuable at least to me. Mr. Kirkwood suffered a serious illness a few years
ago; he got up from a sick bed to attend the American Numismatic Association
Convention in 1964 at Cleveland and passed on a short time later; a serious loss
to paper money collecting.

Mr. Kirkwood's method of cleaning bills is simple but it should be tried out
on a bill of current issue which is not too valuable, until one gains some confidence
in one's ability and is sure of the result.

Half fill a large, shallow soup dish with room temperature water and add a
heaping tablespoon of coarse table salt or epsom salts. The purpose of .this is to
fix the colors, ink signatures, printed serial numbers, etc., on your bill. When the
salt has dissolved immerse your bill, and leave it until it has become thoroughly
soaked - usually a matter of a couple minutes depending on the texture of paper.
Some broken bank bills are thin as well as delicate and don't take long to soak

Now put some warm water in a second dish and dissolve some soap flakes
(Mr. Kirkwood favored Ivory), immerse your bill and let it soak a half minute
Remove the bill and put it on a glass or steel surface; smooth it out carefully
turn back any turned edges and corners. Now sprinkle a few soap flakes over the
bill and rub it carefully with your fingertips. You are working with specially made
paper and it will usually stand a lot of careful use but don't overdo it by rubbing
too hard. Light lead-pencil marks will often yield and the stain usually present
at the righthand side of bills that have seen considerable circulation will usually
be not so noticeable. But do not use an eraser - I believe that is inviting trouble.
When you feel you have gone as far as is wise, rinse the bill in clean water
and lay it out smooth, all tears closed up as near as possible, corners and edges
in place and the bill smoothed out as much as seems possible. If the folds in
the bill were pretty heavy a little pressure with a fingernail up and down the
fold and lightly across will often do wonders in the final appearance of a bill.
The bill should now be put between two pieces of good quality letterpaper; take
a good look to be sure that no folds or wrinkles have crept into the bill. Put the
"parcel" between the leaves of a book to keep everything flat. Now put a weight
of 40 or 50 pounds on the book. The wet bill will lose its moisture to the paper
above and below it and in abollt 24 hours (longer if you are content to wait) your
bill will be dry enough to handle. I am sure if you follow these rules you will
see great improvement in your treasure!

If you have the use of a letter press for this you are indeed fortunate.
Some of the paper money of the 1850's and 1860's is pretty flimsy but if
handled carefully it will lose its flimsy nature and take on "body".
Here is my sincere hope that you will find these few instructions do "fill the
bill" and give you the results you are hoping for.


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