Farmers Bank Note
1 15/16 x 3 3/4 in. (5 x 9.5 cm)
Wm. Everdell's Sons
Medium and Support:
Printer's ink on paper
Joseph T. Simon Fund
Location: Not currently on view
As the owner of a hardware store, Hiram W. Dixon, in conjunction with the Farmers Bank in Hudson, New York, issued this note valued for 50 cents as a substitute for currency. Known as merchant scrip, this was a form of credit or a means of exchange. Hiram W. Dixon issued scrip for 5 cents, 10 cents, and 25 cents as well as two different types of 50-cents scrip. The padlock in the center of the note was an appropriate symbol for Hiram W. Dixon’s hardware business.
The inflation associated with the Civil War led to a dramatic increase in the prices of precious metals, causing coins to disappear from circulation which resulted in hoarding. Merchants, farmers, and community groups, in conjunction with the banks, substituted their own private scrip as a convenience and a necessity. The notes were used in good faith as a means of payment for small purchases when currency was unavailable.
Colleen Piccone, Luce Conservation, Oct. 2010