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Type 2 Carteret Find Significant
By Peter Huntoon, Bank Note Reporter
August 27, 2012

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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The Type 2 Carteret note that graces this article is a very special and significant discovery note. Its major distinction at this moment lies in the fact that it from the last 1929-issuing bank in New Jersey from which no notes had been reported.

This fact is significant because New Jersey had 257 banks that issued small-size nationals. In addition there were six title changes among them during the small note era. Now there is at least one surviving small note from all 263 titles.

New Jersey ranks as a medium-size state in terms of numbers of 1929-issuing banks, so completing the state is a genuinely significant collective feat for the New Jersey collectors.

14000 Charter

Adding icing to the cake is the fact that the First National Bank in Carteret has a 14000 charter number, 14153 to be exact.

Notes from the issuing 14000 charter numbers always have been avidly collected. Those banks came at the end of the National Bank Note era in 1934 and 1935, issued only Type 2 notes and numbered only 148 nationwide.

New Jersey was rich in issuing 14000 charters, having a total of eight such banks. The Carteret bank was the second smallest issuer among them with a total of 2,022 notes, split out as 1,517 $10s and 505 $20s.

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Bob Kotcher turned the note up in New Jersey.

It is surprising that it took so long for a Carteret note to reveal itself. The reported survival rate for $10 and $20 Type 2 nationals currently is around 1 per 500 issued nationwide.

New Jersey Census

The discovery of the note just before the Memphis show in June 2012 was fortuitous. A dedicated cadre of New Jersey collectors has for decades compiled a comprehensive census, one of the best for a state of its size. The prime movers in this group are Bob Hearn, Bob Kotcher, Bob Kvederas and Barry Carol. Barry was the one who maintained the data base on a computer.

They folded all their data into the national census now being maintained by The National Currency Foundation operated by Andrew Shiva just a couple of weeks before the Memphis show. The national census, started by John Hickman, greatly expanded by Don Kelly, and added to by Martin Gengerke, already had 12,000 New Jersey listings. The New Jersey group added an additional 2,800 entries to that data base, increasing it by almost 25 percent.

Of course, it is these censii that allow us to analyze what is reported and to have definitive information on just how far along regional collectors are in achieving a goal such as the one reported on here.

It seems as if merging the regional New Jersey census with the nationwide census created sufficient karma that the Carteret note simultaneously dropped into place. Karma is everything in this game. You reap what you sow.

Borough of Carteret

The borough of Carteret straddles the New Jersey Turnpike between Elizabeth to the north and Perth Amboy to the south. It lies west of Staten Island across Arthur Kill, a tidal estuary that widens into Staten Island Sound to the south.

As expected of such a prime location, the borough developed into an industrial area owing to lying along the major land arteries connecting Philadelphia and New York City, coupled with frontage on the Atlantic Ocean via Staten Island Sound.

During its agrarian days, Carteret was part of Woodbridge Township until 1906, when by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, it became the Borough of Roosevelt. By then industries had moved in and there were two post offices, Carteret and Chrome. Chrome was an industrial district that lay to the east along the waterfront and was named for the metal being processed there.

The name of the borough was changed to the Borough of Carteret in 1922.

Now heavy industries occupy the northern Chrome district along the waterfront whereas considerable reclamation has taken place in some of the lands to the south in the heart of the area where the chrome industry used to exist. Major petroleum tank farms extend into the tidal meadowlands to the northeast of the Chrome district. Sprawling industrial areas including warehousing and distribution facilities lie west of the N.J. Turnpike. A sizable residential area, which lies east of the turnpike, forms the central core of the borough.

Carteret was named for Sir George Carteret who gained fame against North African pirates, wherein he liberated English, French, Dutch and Spanish captives. He fought under Cromwell against the Parliamentarians, yet was instrumental in installing Charles II as king after Charles I had been executed.

In 1664 King Charles II granted land to James, Duke of York, in the New World. James in turn through deeds of lease and release in June 1664 gave the land now called New Jersey to Sir George Carteret and John Lord Berkeley. Sir George’s son, Philip, was the first Royal Governor of colonial New Jersey.

First National Bank in Carteret

The First National Bank of Roosevelt was chartered in 1906 with No. 8437. It was renamed The First National Bank of Carteret Jan. 16, 1923, shortly after the name of the borough was changed. The depression rolled over the bank in 1934, so it was liquidated Jan. 16, 1935. The officers were president Robert Carson and cashier E.M. Clark at the time.

In the meantime, the First National Bank in Carteret was organized as the successor bank in May 1934. The bank received charter No. 14153. Edward J. Heil was installed as president, and P.T. Wood, as cashier. Wood was replaced by H.D. Clifford in 1935. Heil and Wood are the signers on the note shown here.

The bankers in the new bank had a circulation of $80,000 when their bonds were called in 1935, but most of the notes consisted of circulation assumed from charter 8437. They only had enough time to press a total of $25,270 worth of notes bearing their new title into circulation during the brief time that the new bank could issue.


A couple of factors are worth discussing here. The most obvious is that the key New Jersey collectors, although fierce competitors, have cooperated faithfully over the decades to develop a comprehensive census. That census has served them well in allowing them to assess the relative rarity of notes from their banks and it has helped guide their collecting strategies.

For example, they have excellent data to judge what should be expected in the way of large- and small-size notes from given banks. Such information provides insights on the voracity of pricing when new notes come on the market.

They have been particularly interested in determining all the different signature combinations on their 1929 notes. This information gives them more varieties to collect, which greatly enriches their pursuit.

Mutual cooperation with the census has cemented the bonds between them. The result is that it has helped keep them more active and active over a longer period in contrast to isolated collectors from many other locations. The result is that New Jersey always has been a steady, strong state in the national bank note market.

It is not a surprise that at least one small note from all the 1929 issuers has been reported from this mid-size state. None of the 1929 issuances from any of its 263 different titles is minuscule. The smallest is 648 notes from The First National Bank of Tuckahoe. That’s small, but nationwide there are several issuances of less than 100 notes.

Many states have statistics that are similar to New Jersey, yet there remain many unreported banks from them in the 1929 series. That is mainly a problem of under reporting and haphazard census taking. Sometimes it is a symptom of data hoarding, where selected data hoarders think obfuscation increases the value of his holdings. That’s not true.

Astute collectors analyze notes from their banks using well reported states like New Jersey to judge rarity claims being made for similar notes from similar banks that are coming onto their markets. When seller hype is out of line with realistic expectations, notes don’t sell for inflated reserves.

It is a fact that the smaller the state and the more pricey its notes, the more thoroughly documented are its notes. Long ago specimens from all the 1929-issuing banks were recorded from such small states such as Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. The reason for this is obvious. The pricey notes get greater national visibility and consequently have been better reported.

It is clear that collectors in a number of the mid-size states have a way to go in exposing, corralling and recording the rarer issues such as has been accomplished in New Jersey. Work together. It makes for a more enjoyable rewarding experience.

Sources of Data

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