The Shiek

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Ch # 6301

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Sheik Sheck

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Friday art time. The Mellon signatures continue to intrigue. 

Ch_6901_Obverse_Collage.jpg

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The $10 is A2 radar 84348, so A284348.  Statistically, I find that too often in the pool of notes that survived, just to annoy me no doubt :-).  

Is that a K4 Plate on the PB $5?  Good to see your posts again!

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Indeed that is a K4 plate. The red seals are all C plates and I don't know why the 2 blue seals are coincidentally K plates. I am real confused because I saw a date back, blue seal $10 note but the signatures were that of the red seal notes. And all have the same date on them. Why are blue seals from 1902 have two different signature combo's? This bank always surprises me.

Ch_6301_$10_Date Back.jpg

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The $5 Plain Back is the 'youngest' note as it doesn't have a regional sort letter and it has two instances of the bank serial number.  Use of the treasury serial number was discontinued after August 22, 1925 and geographical sort numbers were discontinued in 1924.  The $20 with serial number 451123 is well into the range ordered by The Mellon NB (serial numbers for plain backs of 3X$10-$20 were 249001-696905).  The $5 & $10 red seals were printed prior to the 1903 rotary serial number printing machine (the $20 red seal was not).  Your notes span > 20 years, so not too surprising that the cashier and president changed out over that period of time.  Date backs were replaced by plain backs as I recall mostly at the expiration of the Aldrich-Vreeland act in 1915.  So we know Mitchell and A.W. Mellon were still in charge at that time.  Mitchell gave us a much bolder swirl over the i in his signature on the Date Back.

What's confusing to me is why that $5 Plain Back still has a June 3, 1902 date as I think it was printed after 1925 (the two bank serial numbers indicate this) which spans over 20 years (the length of a charter shouldn't exceed 20 years), so it should display the next charter date (for the Mellon NB ~June 4, 1922 and updated register of the Treasury and Treasurer signatures).  The K4 plate indicates treasury (engraving) ran through the alphabet 4 times for the Mellon.  So why not update the later plates with the new charter date and Treasury signatures? [recall my Salem, OH, Charter 43 post a number of months ago] I think the answer is that treasury just wasn't very consistent.

There's a $5 PB SN 684881/N886932E with Lewis and R.B. Mellon signatures on ebay.

Edited by ddr70

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As always, you are a fountain of information. Thanks for educating me regarding the K4 plate. I assume this subscript essentially means the bank had a lot of currency printed. I assume updating later plates with the new charter date and Treasury signatures was a matter of cost. It would have made life a lot easier for the likes of you and me had the plates changed in a more consistent manner. 

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This is for Ch. 6301 which issued series 1902 Red Seals (RS), Date Backs (DB) and Plain Backs (PB) as well as Ty 1 and 2 Small Nationals.  Using Heritage's archives, I've found all RS and DB have A.W. Mellon as President.  W.S. Mitchell was Cashier for all RS and most DBs, but was succeeded by BW Lewis near the end of the DB issues (one example on a $10 DB where BW Lewis signed with AW Mellon, SN 248880 given a $10DB range of SN 1-249000).  In 1921, A.W. Mellon resigned to take the post of U.S. Treasury Secretary.  You'll find both A.W. and R.B. on notes with the regional sort letter, but only R.B. on notes without the geographical sort letter, as geographical sort letters were dropped in 1924. After Aug. 22, 1925, the treasury SN was replaced with a second instance of the bank SN and as expected only Lewis and R.B. Mellon appear as bank officers.

I've found only one example, a $5 PB, where R.B. Mellon signed the note and a line is engraved on the plate for placement of bank officers' signatures and the plate was a D.  All others have engraved signatures of Lewis and R.B. Mellon and no lines.  Research to date has signatures engraved on $5 PBs starting with Plate A3 and continuing through O4 as the 'highest' plate I've observed.  Early plain back $10s and $20s are found with the signature line and the highest plate 'numbers' observed were DD and J, respectively.  Two PB $10s with TT front plate and a $20 with an N front plate were the highest found.  A bit more research is needed to determine highest plate 'number' for the Mellon NB (someone with track and price could help out here).  So that makes for interesting variants:  a) with engraved signatures and b) older notes without engraved signatures.

Aldrich-Vreeland Act was enacted in 1908 which allowed banks to back their notes with 'other securities'.  The act expired in 1915, so the backing of notes using other securities than treasury bonds was no longer allowed.    It would appear that in the case of Ch. 6301, Date Backs were issued up until the expiration of Aldrich-Vreeland and new plates and use of Plain Backs began.  All plates used for PBs have 'backed by US bonds deposited with the treasury' as do all red seals; red seal issues must have ended by 1908 with date back picking up the 'other securities' backing language.

Mellon's charter date, June 3, 1902, appears on all large size notes even though notes were printed in 1925 after the treasury SN was discontinued.  I assume the Mellon NB renewed their charter at the 20 year mark, but even though dozens of plates were engraved, Lyons and Roberts and June 3, 1902 continued to be used.  The Act of July 1, 1922 extended lifetimes of all national banks for 99 years, thereby ending the need for a new series; the Mellon NB must not have had an order for notes for those problematic 28 days in June.  I'm happy to report I'm no longer confused by Ch. 6301!

In case you are wondering, what are the SN ranges for 6301, here they are:
$5 RS SN 1-116200; $5 DB SN 1-374995; $5 PB SN 374996-1000000; A1-A363739
3x$10-$20 RS SN 1-109670; $10 DB 1-249000; $10 PB SN 249001-696905
$50-$100 RS 1-3070; DB 1-7600

Edited by ddr70

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