1978.51.6.120 ( Fractional Currency)

1978.51.6.120 ( Fractional Currency) image

Spencer M. Clark, Fractional Currency, Five Cents, Third Issue, Variety 1238. Spencer Clark was the first Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau.

According to the U.S Bureau of Engraving and Printing in 1862, Spencer M. Clark was Chief Clerk in the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Construction, at the time Clark used experimentation with two hand-crank machines for trimming and separating cotton money paper. Later that year, Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase directs Clark to proceed with trials using steam-powered machines to trim, separate, and seal $1 and $2 United States Notes.

The 5-cent note of the second issue of Fractional Currency features the portrait of Spencer Clark, causing a public uproar.

it is said from CoinBooks.org that Congress wanted the print to honor William Clark, from the tail "Lewis and Clark" but allegedly the document sent to the Bureau only said "Clark" so Spencer decided to use this to his advantage and put his own face on the note.

In 1866, Congress prohibits the portrait or likeness of any living person on currency notes, bonds, or securities

Artifact Title: 
Spencer Clark, Fractional Note, 5 cents

All Images of This Object

1978.51.6.120 ( Fractional Currency) image
1978.51.6.120 ( Fractional Currency) image