The hobby of collecting paper money is red hot.  Many people are becoming interested in the fascinating hobby of numismatics, which combines banking, currency, history, art, and genealogy.  Hobbyists have taken to collecting national bank notes as a unique way to stay connected to their hometown.  Maryland Paper Money: An Illustrated History, 1864-1935 provides a basic understanding of the national currency era, and explores the beautiful currency in detail.  During the national currency era Maryland supported 141 national banks, and all but three of those banks issued the beautiful currency, which remains legal tender today.  

This non-fiction highlights years of work including hundreds of interviews and thousands of research hours.  The research involved cataloging surviving bank notes, documenting history of the banks, and bringing to life the 810 bank officers who signed the bank notes. The research pulled extensively from the U.S. National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Maryland Historical Society, local historical societies, Comptroller of Currency Annual Reports, U.S. census records, and family interviews.

Almost 300 photos of surviving notes are shown, including many rarities from the landmark Marc Watts Collection of National Currency.  Proof impressions from the Smithsonian Institution were provided for banks where no notes have survived.  Bank building illustrations were provided by Kathleen Benton.  Please contact the author at to contribute notes or images for the Second Edition. Note of the Month.  Here is a Series of 1902 $10 Plain Back, from The First National Bank of Mount Rainier, Md., charter #12443.  One of six known, this beautiful note was graded Extra Fine by PMG, and recently sold at auction for $4,815, including a 20% buyer's commission.  This note has stamped signatures of Clarence F. Schatz, cashier, and Wm. Burton Spire, president.  Schatz was a career bookkeeper and real-estate broker, but plead guilty to "misapplication of bank funds" in 1929 and the bank closed.  Spire was a local pharmacist.