Leading Paper Money Society Turned Golden With Card|
March 01, 2012
This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine.
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Last year the Society of Paper Money Collectors (www.spmc.org) celebrated its 50th anniversary with celebrations at shows in Memphis, Chicago and elsewhere.
At year’s end the society also issued the souvenir card illustrated here. All members received a card free, tucked into their November-December issue of the society journal.
The card is the work of Mike Bean, formerly of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. A retired BEP plate printer, Bean is well known to hobbyists having traveled extensively to numismatic and philatelic conventions across the country to display an antique intaglio spider press and produce souvenir imprints to display the printer’s art.
As can be seen, in addition to the SPMC logo and commemorative inscription and dates, Bean’s balanced design has dual “50” counters, and a lovely vignette of two girls, called The Reapers, according to Gene Hessler.
The SPMC logo that appears on the card is the official brand adopted by the society in 1962. The design represents a currency note being drawn off of an intaglio printing plate.
The logo was drawn by member Brent Hughes, a graphics designer for the FBI, after a concept by member and former printer Forrest Daniel.
In 2000 Hughes and Daniel were belatedly awarded SPMC Medals of Merit for “conceiving, designing and executing the SPMC logo, which has served the society and its membership so well for so long.”
Plate printer Bean has also produced souvenir cards for the International Plate Printer’s, Die Stamper’s, and Engraver’s Union, Florida United Numismatists, Memphis Coin Club, Souvenir Card Collectors Society, World Philatelic Exposition, and other groups. Ten years ago he also produced a 40th anniversary card for SPMC, too.
The SPMC is an international organization of collectors of bank notes, stocks, bonds, checks, engravings, proofs and similar fiscal items. Membership presently is about 1,750.
The group has a highly acclaimed bimonthly journal, called “Paper Money,” which publishes popular and scholarly articles. SPMC hosts spirited educational meetings annually at the Florida United Numismatists January shows, Memphis International Paper Money Shows, the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, and other regional shows.
SPMC is committed to fostering numismatic education. To this end the society has published numerous books on obsolete U.S. currency and National Bank Notes.
The society also offers research grants to authors working in the fields of finance, banking, currency and related matters.
I am indebted to SPMC for three of these research grants over the years. These monies from SPMC have allowed me to travel to examine archives and libraries from Texas to Tennessee to Rhode Island in search of information and illustrations for my books over the last decade.
In one interesting case, an SPMC grant permitted me to travel to Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., where I cataloged the use of significant Lincoln illustrations (i.e., cover, frontispiece, title page illustrations) in that university’s extensive Lincoln Museum and Library collection.
By doing so I able to prove the extent to which Lincoln money images influenced depictions in mass media (specifically book media), a remarkable discovery that appeared in articles in both SPMC’s “Paper Money,” and the prestigious “Lincoln Herald.”
The society also sponsors annual authors forums that bring writers of newly published numismatic books, book lovers and other authors together in a workshop environment.
These forums are held at Memphis in June.
Dues are $30 annually to U.S. addresses, $35 to Canada and Mexico, and $40 elsewhere. Life memberships are also available.
Complete information is available from Membership Director Frank Clark, P.O. Box 117060, Carrollton, TX 75011. Tell Frank that “Fred sent me.”
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• Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition
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