National Bank Note Types - Series 1902 Date Back

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The Act of April 12, 1902 allowed existing National Banks to receive a 20 year extension, and also called for a new series of note designs to be issued. Over the next 28 years, there were 3 distinct types of Series 1902 bank notes issued: 1902 Red Seal, 1902 Date Back and 1902 Plain Back. Plain Backs are by far the most common type of the surviving Series 1902 bank notes, with 80% of the total notes reported. Red Seals are the rarest type with only 5% of the total Series 1902 notes reported, and Date Backs are in the middle with 15%.

Date Backs were the second of the Series 1902 Types to be issued, and were so named due to the 1902 - 1908 dates printed on their backs. They were first issued in 1908, as a result of the Aldrich-Vreeland Act, which allowed additional securities to back increased note circulation during financial emergencies. A new security clause on the face of the notes, 'Secured by United States Bonds Or Other Securities' reflects this option. 1902 Date Backs were issued to newly chartered National Banks, and were also issued to existing National Banks that had been issuing the now discontinued Red Seals. Date Backs were issued mainly from 1908 to 1915, but some banks continued to issue $50 & $100 Date Backs as late as 1926. Series 1902 Date Backs were issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, and in plate combinations of 5-5-5-5, 10-10-10-10, 10-10-10-20, 50-100 and 50-50-50-100.

Following are front and back images of 1902 Date Back notes for each of the 5 denominations issued:

$5 Series 1902 Date Back issued by First National Bank of Starbuck, MN.
$10 Series 1902 Date Back issued by City National Bank of Griffin, GA.
$20 Series 1902 Date Back issued by First National Bank of Berryville, AR.
$50 Series 1902 Date Back issued by First National Bank of Vermillion, SD.
$100 Series 1902 Date Back issued by Crocker National Bank of San Francisco, CA. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions,

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).
  • The National Bank Note Census,
  • Heritage Auction Archives,