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Early Paper Money of America / Pennsylvania / 1739 August 10

£80,000 in legal tender Bills issued pursuant to the May 1, 1739 Act primarily to replace prior issues which had been extensively counterfeited. All prior emissions were made incurrent after Aug. 10, 1740. Only £11,110 5s of the issue were to be used for 16 year loans. Approved by England on May 12, 1740. This style of bill generally continued in use through 1776. The number of crown symbols is keyed to each of the four highest denominations. Thomas Leech prepared the Arms and border cuts. The backs of the four highest denominations contained an identical nature print in various positions. Benjamin Franklin in printing this issue introduced nature printing on Pennsylvania paper money as a major deterrent to counterfeiters. Signers were Abraham Chapman, Joseph Harvey, Thomas Leech, William Monington, and Samuel Smith.

Spelling & Type Variations
The August 10, 1739 Pennsylvania issue also introduces the oddity of deliberate variations in the spelling of the provincial name on different denominations and the setting of those names in varying type styles and sizes. The four spellings of the provincial name are Pennsylvania, Pensylvania, Pennsilvania, and Pensilvania with the English old style f used as an s.
The three variations in type style are:
1. An italic capital followed by lower case italic letters.
2. A Roman capital followed by lower case Roman letters.
3. A Roman capital followed by smaller size Roman capitals.
The variations seem to be a complex plan both to prevent and to detect alteration of the money from a lower denomination to a higher denomination, a scheme Benjamin Franklin undoubtedly created and enjoyed using. The typesetters knew the correct spelling of Pennsylvania even though the public often misspelled the name. Where more than one form of the same denomination of the same issue was used for printing (such as Plate A, B, C, etc.) the identical spelling and type style was consistently used. The system as a whole was modified from issue to issue and continued through the issue of April 20, 1781.

The plan may have become too complex to be worthwhile, resulting in a very confusing ruse. In this catalog for this and subsequent issues the variation in spelling of the provincial name, if available, follows each denominational listing and uses the same general style of type for the spelling of the name as it appears on each bill.

1s [10,000]
18d [10,000]
2s [10,000]
2s6d [10,000]
5s A & B Plate letters [30,000]
10s A, B, C & D Plate letters, Pensilvania [40,000] ▷CF◁
15s A & B Plate letters, Pensilvania [20,000]
20s A & B Plate letters, Pensilvania [34,000] ▷CF◁  Very Fine $5,750 Stack’s May, 2004 

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