National Bank Note Types - Series 1875

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Prior to 1875, the printing of the faces, backs and bank serial numbers for National Bank Notes was outsourced to private bank note companies, which also designed, engraved and maintained the printing plates. The Bureau of Printing and Engraving (part of the U.S. Treasury Department) handled the overprinting of the Treasury seal and Treasury serial number. Starting in May 1874, the B.E.P. also overprinted the bank's charter number on the notes.

In 1875, for security reasons, the Treasury Department started handling more of the printing process. Based on specifications in a civil appropriations bill passed on March 3, 1875, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began printing the faces of all National Bank Notes. (The backs of the notes were still printed by the private bank note companies until January 1877 when the B.E.P. also took over that printing).

A new 'Series 1875' was initiated to distinguish the National Bank Notes where the face, treasury seal, bank and treasury (sheet) serial numbers, and charter number were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. These Series of 1875 notes were issued to newly chartered National Banks, as well as existing National Banks whose printed stock of Original Series notes ran out before the bank's charter was extended.

Series 1875 notes had the same face and back designs as the Original Series, with a red 'Series 1875' overprint on the face to indicate the new series. They were issued in the same $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000 denominations as the Original Series. (As required in the June 3, 1864 National Bank Act, the $1 and $2 notes were no longer issued after the resumption of specie payments on January 1, 1879).

Following are front and back images of Series 1875 notes for each of the 9 denominations issued:

$1 Series 1875 issued by Hanover National Bank of New York, NY. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
$2 Series 1875 (with blue paper) issued by First National Bank of Emporia, KS. Courtesy of Wikipedia
$5 Series 1875 issued by Farmers National Bank of Owatonna, MN. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
$10 Series 1875 issued by First National Bank of Bismarck, ND. Courtesy of Wikipedia
$20 Series 1875 issued by First National Bank of Butte, MT. Courtesy of Wikipedia
$50 Series 1875 issued by First National Bank of Cleveland, OH. Courtesy of Wikipedia
$100 Series 1875 issued by Farmers and Mechanics National Bank of Philadelphia, PA. Courtesy of Heritage Auctions,
$500 Original Series issued by Appleton National Bank of Appleton, MA. Courtesy of Wikipedia. (No $500 Series of 1875 notes are known to have survived. Shown is an Original Series $500 note, with the same design as the 1875 note).
$1000 Original Series Proof for First National Bank of Salem, MA. Courtesy of Wikipedia. (No $1000 Series of 1875 notes are known to have survived. Shown is a Proof of what that note would have looked like).

Return to An Overview of National Bank Note Types issued 1863-1935


  • Don C. Kelly, National Bank Notes, A Guide with Prices. 6th Edition (Oxford, OH: The Paper Money Institute, 2008).
  • Dean Oakes and John Hickman, Standard Catalog of National Bank Notes. 2nd Edition (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1990).
  • Peter Huntoon, United States Large Size National Bank Notes (Laramie, WY: The Society of Paper Money Collectors, 1995).
  • Wikipedia, National Bank Notes
  • The National Bank Note Census,
  • Heritage Auction Archives,