"R" experimental.

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by Detecto92, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Detecto92

    Detecto92 Well-Known Member

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  3. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    I think it has to do with the note itself, perhaps the design or material used to print that on, was experimental before printing them in volume and releasing them.

    Kind of like a couple of test strikes are done with brand new dies with or without design changes, to see if there's any tweaking that needs to be done to the dies before striking large numbers of coins.
     
  4. ML94539

    ML94539 Senior Member

    It was released with S over print, one have regular paper, one have special paper.
     
  5. Bedford

    Bedford Lackey For Coin Junkies

    The answer is that they were test notes issued in 1944 . The BEP wanted to find a material that would last longer in circulation. The R actually stands for Rayon & The S stands for Silk. Not regular & special as there were regular notes in circulation already with out the red surcharge that were regular.
     
  6. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Innocent bystander

    The R for Rayon, and S for Silk is a theory of Chip Scoppa.

    For those of you fortunate enough to own a copy of History-Bureau of Engraving and Printing 1862-1962, this subject is addressed on pages 149-150. To quote the book; " Early in 1944 experiments aimed at improving the quality of currency paper indicated that the addition of certain chemicals during its manufacture might prove advantageous. In order to evaluate the findings it would be necessary to produce a quantity of notes embodying these special chemical features; then to issue these notes together with a quantity printed on regular paper for comparison of the serviceability of each type under similar conditions. Notes printed on the special paper bore a small, capital "S" printed in red on face in the lower right corner adjacent to the Treasury seal. Those printed on regular paper were similarly identified with the letter "R". Although no publicity was given to the issuance of the test lots, the public at large apparently was quick to observe the special markings on the notes. Rather than spend the bills and keep them in circulation, John Q. Citizen evidently decided to retain those notes that came his way as curios."

    I trust the book and the Centennial History Staff.........but that's just me.

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    Harry Brown likes this.
  7. Bedford

    Bedford Lackey For Coin Junkies

    Chips theory is accepted by many . His theory was made after the writing of that book.

    Quote frome Heritage-

    "The often repeated story is that the "R" notes were of the regular paper variety and the "S" notes were printed on the special paper. However, recent information has come to light that "R" really stands for "rayon" and these are the experimental notes, while "S" truly means "silk" and thus the "S" notes are really the control group of regular notes. A great amount of silk was needed for parachutes during World War Two and this was a wartime experiment to find a replacement for the silk threads in our nation's paper money. "


    I wonder why the notes have not been tested by some type of lab to get the make up of the papers composition ?
     
  8. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    Probably because such testing would be destructive. Would you offer up one of your "R" or "S" notes as a sacrifice on the altar of numismatic knowledge?
     
  9. Bedford

    Bedford Lackey For Coin Junkies

    I would if my name could be attached to the history as the person who laid the theory to rest ;) I have some low quality ones , I think I could spare $100 for science.
     
  10. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Innocent bystander

    The silk used in U.S. currency paper was used only for the distinctive identifying red & blue fibers. The main formula was 75% linen and 25% cotton. Starting with the outbreak of WWI in Europe (1914), Great Britain placed an embargo on the export of linen cuttings. As a result, the distinctive paper contractor (Crane) was unable to secure adequate stocks of such cuttings. Consequently, by the fall of that next year the Treasury Department authorized the contractor to substitute cotton in place of one-third of the linen formerly used. As hostilities increased, a reduction to 50 percent in the linen content became necessary and by the end of July 1917 this ingredient had to be reduced to 25 percent. By the close of 1917, the world supply of of linen for nondefense purposes was such that the Government had to resort to the use of paper made entirely of cotton. This was used until March 1921 when the supply of linen on the market was sufficient to warrant restoration of the 50/50 formula. In July 1922, the linen content was further increased to 75 percent and then 100 percent by the following spring. Experience showed that this all linen paper was not as satisfactory from the standpoint of printing and wear qualities as that made with 25 percent cotton. In September 1924 the BEP returned to the stock formula of 75 percent linen and 25 percent cotton. The shortage of the world supply of silk took place in April 1942, and the distinctive fibers were originally replaced by nylon fibers. A year later, April 1943, nylon was in critically short supply and the Government had to resort to colored cotton threads of the distinctive features. This type of thread (cotton) was used until it was replaced by another synthetic fiber in 1950.
     
  11. Jamericon

    Jamericon Junior Member

    <<Chips theory is accepted by many. His theory was made after the writing of that book.>>

    Who is "Chip," and why haven't I seen his/her theory published in the numismatic press?

    <<Quote frome Heritage-

    "The often repeated story is that the "R" notes were of the regular paper variety and the "S" notes were printed on the special paper. However, recent information has come to light that "R" really stands for "rayon" and these are the experimental notes, while "S" truly means "silk" and thus the "S" notes are really the control group of regular notes. A great amount of silk was needed for parachutes during World War Two and this was a wartime experiment to find a replacement for the silk threads in our nation's paper money.">>

    Can you provide the auction link?
     
  12. Detecto92

    Detecto92 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info guys. Both notes sold for $380, which is about 10 times as much as I wanted to spend.
     
  13. Bedford

    Bedford Lackey For Coin Junkies

    Here is the link

    http://currency.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=141145&lotNo=32103


    My question is ,if the notes were experimental WHAT WAS the experimental material used in the notes to replace the silk fibers ? Why did the book that was written in 1962 not give that info ?

    So R was for regular (silk) & S was for special (something other than silk) ? Seems bass ackwards to me.
     
  14. Jamericon

    Jamericon Junior Member

    Currency paper is a proprietary material for the Treasury, and its distinctive status is protected by law. When the Treasury conducted these paper experiments, they did so as discreetly as possible. The public had no business knowing what the experiment was about.
     
  15. lettow

    lettow Senior Member

    The rayon/silk theory is BS.

    From the BEP Directors Report for FY1944:

    In an effort to improve the wearing resistance of currency, Crane and Company furnished the bureau with an experimental lot of paper which was used in printing 1,184,000 $1 silver certificates. For purposes of comparison, an equal number of notes were produced under similar conditions using regular [and] distinctive paper. As a means of differentiation between the two types, the letter "R" was overprinted in red adjacent to the seal for currency produced on regular paper and the letter "S" was used in the same manner to designate the special paper. Both lots of currency were delivered to the Office of the Treasurer of the United States in the latter part of June 1944 for distribution.
     
  16. clayirving

    clayirving Supporter**

    Thanks for the reference, Steve! I just tracked down a used copy of this book and bought it.
     
  17. USS656

    USS656 Here to Learn

    If you picked up a 1st edition you will also find some nice intaglio prints in it! The one of Lincoln is my favorite!
     
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  18. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Innocent bystander

    This is a scan of the intaglio print Darryl speaks of.....

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  19. COINnoisseur

    COINnoisseur Professional Amateur

    Never seen these Regular and Special notes before, pretty cool.
     
  20. Chip Scoppa

    Chip Scoppa New Member

    Why are the serial numberings in the opposite order only on this trial. The control sample is last in all the other experiments. Seems funny the BEP would change just for this trial. In my mind they would keep consistant in their actions. Making the "S" the control and hence standing for "Silk". Thanks for listening. Hope to learn more about this.
     
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