The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 37, September 10, 2023, Article 34


Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Toll Scrip

Mark Hotz published a Numismatic News article about the numismatics of tiny Dunbar, PA. While typically focusing on National Bank Notes, Mark veers into the interesting world of toll road scrip. See the complete article online for more. -Editor

  Dunbar National Bank Note

This month we will visit picturesque Dunbar, Penn., an old coal and iron town nestled in the foothills of Chestnut Ridge, between Connellsville and Uniontown in Fayette County, a subdivision located south of Pittsburgh in the southwestern corner of the state. I recently acquired a nice note from this town and had the opportunity to visit it and find its bank. We will also have the chance to visit an old Turnpike Gate in Western Maryland.

Dunbar is located roughly halfway between Connellsville and Uniontown and can be found just a few miles off U.S. Route 119 to the southeast via State Route 1053. This local road meanders and winds before reaching Dunbar, which sits rather forlornly along the Dunbar Run. Although once a rather prosperous coal town, the population boomed in 1910 at 2,000 and has shrunk to half that today. It is typical of the many now shattered coal towns in this part of Pennsylvania.

  Pittsburgh & Butler Turnpike Company script

After visiting the LaVale gate, I became intrigued with the idea of turnpike roads, as I knew that many of these issued their own obsolete currency and scrip. When I got home, I did some research into this. I was unable to locate any issue of currency from the particular gate that I visited in LaVale, but I did find that many Turnpike Road companies along the East Coast did issue currency, as well as scrip that was accepted at turnpike gates.

In general, the obsolete currency notes issued by the turnpike companies themselves are generally available to collectors. I have included a photo of a $1 note issued by the Pittsburgh & Butler Turnpike Road Company in 1822. This type of currency was an obligation of the corporation and issued to fund the construction and maintenance of the turnpike road itself. The small change scrip notes, redeemable for bank notes or accepted for tolls at the gates, are generally considerably scarcer.

To read the complete article, see:
Coal Mining and Toll Scrip (

The Bill Kelly Sutler token Collection

Steve Roach had an article in Coin World about the recent Bill Kelly Sutler token collection sold by Stack's Bowers. Here's an excerpt - be sure to read the complete article online. -Editor

  C. W. Bangs Maine Sutler token

U.S. coins in small denominations were hard to come by in the Civil War, and merchants took matters in their own hands by producing Civil War tokens. These private issues can largely be divided in three groups: store cards, patriotic tokens and sutler tokens.

Sutlers, in their broadest definition, were civilian merchants who sold provisions to armies and established temporary shops around soldiers' camps near battlefields. Their tokens were most often made of brass and were produced by many of the same shops that produced patriotic tokens and store cards. For collectors wanting to learn more, David Schenkman's 1983 reference Civil War Sutler Tokens and Cardboard Scrip is useful, as is Whitman's A Guide Book of Civil War Tokens.

The privately issued pieces were used primarily in the Midwest and Northeast and the Whitman reference explains that these were usually called checks in the era of their use. They were issued by licensed contractors who typically operated camp stores in connection with traveling military regiments and companies, although a few had fixed locations such as military posts.

The sutler era was short lived, and on July 26, 1866, the office of sutler was abolished by an act of Congress and the licensees were generally designated as post traders. While many of the examples in the Kelly collection represented the rarest examples, more common ones can be found for around $200 and up.

To read the complete article, see:
Sutler tokens from collector Bill Kelly sold in auction (

TikTok Video About $2 Bills

Yesrterday my daughter texted me a link to this TikTok video about $2 bills. It's amusing for a knowledgable collector to watch, and a painful reminder of the truth of the statement that most of the internet is made up of five or six websites that are filled with content taken from the other five or six. The 300,000+ followers of The Money Manual are treated to a woman reading sentences from a recent Yahoo Finance article with the clickbait headline of "Check Your $2 Bills — They Could Be Worth Upwards of $4,500."

Can't you wait to find out if her really old bills from 2013 and 2003 are worth big buckaroos? *Sigh* I got a smiley emoji back from my daughter when I texted "Her $2 bills are worth $2." -Editor

  Check Your $2 bills on TikTok 2 Check Your $2 bills on TikTok 3

To watch the complete video, see:

To read the Yahoo Finance article, see:
Check Your $2 Bills — They Could Be Worth Upwards of $4,500 (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2023 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster