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GregAlex
@oklahomadanny reminded me about a topic I have been intending to post for quite some time. There seems to be a fair number of MPC collectors on this forum (Military Payment Certificates for the uninitiated). These notes circulated as paper money in military installations around the world from 1946 into the 1970s.

To save on costs, MPC were all printed lithographically. As an anti-counterfeiting measure, numerous colors were used, giving many of the notes a striking visual appearance. In designing MPC, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing drew from the vast library of engravings in their archives. Many images from earlier U.S. currency, stamps, and other documents were creatively repurposed.

MPC vignettes in their original engraved form are available on some expensive early greenbacks and scarce vignette proofs. But there’s another, more practical alternative for collectors: souvenir cards (now termed “intaglio prints” by the BEP). I’ve been collecting these for about 40 years now and as I became more familiar with MPC, I started to notice how many matching designs there were. A comparative analysis of both sides of all MPC reveals well over a dozen souvenir cards with matched engravings. I’d like to share them here. [NOTE: A number of cards show MPC printed using four-color process printing, notably the recent Defenders of Freedom and Defenders of Democracy sets. I am only listing those cards that show engraved designs.]

While I am an avid collector of souvenir cards, I am only a marginal MPC collector. Most of the representative MPC shown here are not mine, just images I found online. The catalog numbers used on the comparative list are from the Souvenir Card Collectors Society.


Military Payment Certificate        Souvenir card(s)

Series 481 $1 ................................. FM-10
Series 481 $5 and $10 ..................... B77
Series 521 $1 ................................. B308
Series 521 $5 ................................. B296
Series 521 $10 (back) ..................... B307
Series 541 5¢ - 50¢ (back) .............. B188, B316
Series 541 $10 (back) ..................... B282
Series 591 $10 (back) ..................... B308
Series 651 5¢ - $10 ......................... B189
Series 681 5¢ - 50¢ ........................ B244, B321, B310 (front) and B36 (back)
Series 681 $1 ................................. B312, B323, VD2014 (front and back)
Series 681 $5 ................................. B310, B321, VD2014
Series 681 $10 ............................... B246 (front) and Veterans Day 2014 card (back)
Series 692 5¢ - 50¢ ......................... F1973B
Series 692 $1 (back) ....................... B47 and B270
Series 692 $10 ................................ B132 (front) and B210 (back)
Series 692 $20 ................................ FM-13

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GregAlex
Series 481 $1 and FM-10. These two figures, designed as corner pieces, make an elegant arch when joined on the MPC. Engraver is unknown. This one of the BEP’s FMA cards, printed and sold to benefit the Federal Managers Association.

Series 481 $1.jpg 
FM-10 cu.jpg FM-10.jpg 

Series 481 $5, $10 and B77. This vignette, entitled "The Mechanic," shows a mustache on the souvenir card, but is clean-shaven in the MPC. Apparently the military didn't want to promote facial hair.

Series 481 $10.jpg 

B77 cu.jpg 
B77.jpg 

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GregAlex
Series 521 $1 and B308. “Liberty” was engraved by G.F.C. Smillie in 1914 and also appeared on a Puerto Rico gold bond in 1919.

$1 series 521.jpg 

B308 cu for 521.jpg 
B308.jpg 

Series 521 $5 and B296. Entitled “Flowers of the South,” this vignette was engraved by G.F.C. Smillie in 1895 with additional engraving in 1897 by Louis S. Schofield. It appears on several Philippines notes, during U.S. administration.

Series 521 $5.jpg  B296 cu.jpg 
B296.jpg 

Series 521 $10 and B307. “Justice,” at the top right of the souvenir card, was engraved by Marcus Baldwin. Note that on the MPC the shield has been altered slightly to resemble a coin.

521 $10 back MPC.jpg 
B307 cu.jpg 
B307.jpg 

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GregAlex
Series 541 5¢ - 50¢ and B188, B316. The top figure on this vignette shares the same head as the one on the back of the fractional Series 541 MPCs. It was engraved by Marcus Baldwin and appears on two very large cards, including the 2015 reprint of the Award Diploma for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

Series 541 5¢ back.jpg 
B188 cu.jpg 
B188.jpg 
B316.jpg
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GregAlex
Series 591 $10 and B308. John Eissler engraved “Patria” in 1936. A much enlarged version is depicted on the souvenir card (posted above).

$10 MPC Series 591 back.jpg 
B308 cu for 591.jpg 
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GregAlex
Series 651 5¢ - $10 and B189. All the notes in series 651 show The Minute Man statue on the left side; the $10 has the least obscured version.

Series 651 $10.jpg 
B189 cu.jpg 
B189.jpg 

You may also notice the head on this MPC closely resembles a figure on the back of the $2 1896 Educational series note (which also appears on a souvenir card). Though this was a separate engraving, the design model must have been the same.

Comparison B17 cu.jpg 
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mfontes
WOW GregA. This is outstanding. I love MPCs and the engraving history is very interesting. Thanks for posting.
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GregAlex
Series 681 5¢ - 25¢ with B244, B310, B321 (front) and B36 (back). This MPC is matched on both sides by souvenir cards. The astronaut has been flipped, but the image is the same. The nuclear submarine (the USS Thomas A. Edison) was engraved in 1966 by Edward R. Felver. The sub vignette is enlarged on the later souvenir cards.

Series 681 25¢ front.jpg 
B244.jpg 
B310 large cu.jpg 
B310.jpg 

Series 681 25¢ back.jpg 
B36 flipped.jpg 
B36.jpg 
 

Series 681 $1 and B312, B323.  The vignettes on B312 and B323 – “Four Aircraft in Flight” and “Head of Pilot” – were both engraved by Charles A. Brooks in 1966. It appears that these vignettes, produced the same year, may have been in anticipation of use on MPC.

681 $1 front MPC.jpg   
681 $1 back MPC.jpg 
B312 large cu.jpg 
B312 cu.jpg 

Series 681 $5 and B310, B321. The engraved elements of the Defenders of Freedom and Defenders of Democracy intaglio prints are identical. The sailor vignette on both cards, engraved by Joseph S. Creamer, Jr. in 1966, is reversed relative to the MPC. It’s uncertain which format shows the original orientation. (Complete card posted above.)

681 $5 MPC.jpg 
  B310 sailor cu.jpg 
 

Series 681 $10 and B246 (front), 2014 Vets Day card (back). Another double match. The vignette of a Green Beret was engraved by Charles A. Brooks in 1966. A flipped engraving of the tank appears on a 2014 card produced by the BEP and inserted in the program for the Bureau’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony. This special print also features two other MPC engravings, including a flipped sailor vignette.

Series 681 $10.jpg 
B246 cu.jpg 
B246.jpg 

681 $10 back.JPG 
  Veterans Day 2014 tank cu.jpg 

Veterans Day 2014.jpg 

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GregAlex
Series 692 5¢ - 50¢ and F1973B. Here's another example of an alteration to the original design. The engraving of a statue at the National Archives in Washington, DC was reversed for use on the MPC (I flopped the souvenir card vignette for comparison). These four DC statues were engraved originally for the 1955 International Plate Printers convention booklet and used on later union cards.

 
Series 692 50¢.jpg 
F1973B cu.jpg 
F1973B.jpg 

Series 692 $1 and B47, B270. “Pablo,” the famous bison from the 1901 $10 U.S. Note, was engraved by Marcus Baldwin, based on a drawing by Charles Knight. A later card, B270, also shows this note.

Series 692 $1 back.JPG   
B47 bison.jpg 
B47.jpg 
B270A.jpg 
 
Series 692 $10 with B132 (front) and B210 (back). Another MPC with both sides matched. The portrait of Chief Hollow Horn Bear, engraved by L.S. Schofield, is perhaps the finest portrait of a Native American produced by the BEP. Conflicting information exists on whether the eagle was engraved by William O. Marks or Charles A. Brooks, but it was likely created some time in the 1940s.

Series 692 $10 front.JPG
  B132 cu.jpg 
B132.jpg 
Series 692 $10 back.JPG
B210 cu.jpg 
 B210.jpg 

Series 692 $20 and FM-13. Chief Ouray of the Ute Nation, was engraved by F.H. Noyes, circa 1880. This card was the last of a series the BEP printed as fundraisers for the Federal Managers Association.

Series 692 $20 front.JPG

FM-13 cu.jpg 
FM-13.jpg 

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GregAlex
Whew! That's about it … but a couple more notes:

• The Great Seal of the United States appears on MPC throughout the first three series: 461, 471, and 481. It can also be found on several souvenir cards, but apparently the BEP engraved many versions of this seal. After careful examination, it doesn’t appear that the seals on MPC are an exact match for any on the cards.

• Though it was never issued, Series 701 also has some matching Bureau engravings. I can post those as well, if anyone is interested.

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mikelaw
Amazing research and posting skills. I own a couple of the BEP prints posted above including the large diploma like one that it framed and hanging in office. Four thumbs up .....
Mike
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mikelaw
mikelaw wrote:
Amazing research and posting skills. I own a couple of the BEP prints posted above including the large diploma like one that it framed and hanging in office. Four thumbs up .....


Edited for typos: “..that IS framed ..”

Mike
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flmason
Mike:

That print looks beautiful framed. Mine is still in the original packaging. Thanks for giving me an idea for the future.

I bought the print series to preserve history. I was not alive in 1915 and will not be alive in 2115 so it made since to celebrate the Panama Canal in 2015.
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DepressionScripGuy (Rod)
Great posts Greg.  Being an ex-submarine man, the series 681 has always been a favorite of mine. Here is the original picture that was more than likely used for the engraving of the sub.  Also, the SSBN (ballistic missile sub) Thomas A. Edison is the only sub in the fleet to ever have a Steinway piano installed on board for 22 years.  Why, I can't imagine.  Having a piano on board is completely against all logic to keep things quiet on a ballistic sub during active patrols.  We even had special shoes to wear with soft soles to keep things quiet.  There is even a mode of operation where you wore only socks to go even quieter.  Even the slightest noise could easily transfer to the ocean outside and be picked up by the enemy.

Also, I tried once before to find out what the big protrusion on the front of the sub was.  This was not there when it was originally launched.  Maybe some sort of advanced sonar dome during it's time, I don't know.  Very strange add on for this sub.  These subs are meant to be sleek and streamlined to cut down on noise.


0861016.jpg 


GregAlex wrote:
Series 681 5¢ - 25¢ with B244, B310, B321 (front) and B36 (back). This MPC is matched on both sides by souvenir cards. The astronaut has been flipped, but the image is the same. The nuclear submarine (the USS Thomas A. Edison) was engraved in 1966 by Edward R. Felver. The sub vignette is enlarged on the later souvenir cards.

Series 681 25¢ front.jpg 
B244.jpg 
B310 large cu.jpg 
B310.jpg 

Come see a forgotten piece of history...
http://www.depressionscrip.com
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Jim61
Absolutely awesome posts Greg!!! Thanks for taking your time to post so well for all to see and learn. [thumb]

I am sure Danny will enjoy as well.
Looking for:
Any small size UNC $1 FRN with serial 16977961.
2009 $1 LX end -61 - CU.
1935A $1 CC HAWAII end -61 raw or PCGS CU or better, PMG ok.
World serial 00000061.
World replacements serials ending -61.
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TookyBandit
+1
Great thread!!
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oklahomadanny
OK, just a quick WOWZA!!!

I have both the 2014 Defenders of Freedom (thanks to Greg) and the 2016 Defenders of Democracy intaglio prints I could put up later.
[Avengers100px][CIB3-2][geronimo2] 
*Dad* 7/21/1916-12/22/2014 *WWII Veteran* Signal Corps *
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Steve in Tampa
Jim61 wrote:
Absolutely awesome posts Greg!!! Thanks for taking your time to post so well for all to see and learn. [thumb]

I am sure Danny will enjoy as well.


+ 1
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TomTomTomTom
One of the best posts that I have seen in a long time....great job!!!
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GregAlex
Truth be told, this started as an article I wrote for the Souvenir Card Journal about five years ago. But since then, a good number of new matching cards have been issued. I've been meaning to put everything in one place and I finally just took the time to sit down and do it.

So, to be complete, let's add the Series 701 MPC matches. A lot of collectors may not know what this unissued series looked like, so it's worth posting just for that.

Series 701 $5 and B84. "Franklin and Electricity 1752" was originally designed for the 1869 $10 National Currency note. This vignette was engraved by Alfred Jones and Louis Delnoce while they were with the American Bank Note Co. The plates were later turned over to the BEP when the Bureau began printing all U.S. currency.

Series 701 $5.jpg 
B84 cu.jpg 
B84.jpg


Series 701 $10 and PV305.
Strictly speaking, this isn't a souvenir card, it's one of the BEP's Portrait-Vignette cards, some of which are still on sale. Note that the version of Mt. Vernon on the MPC has been altered -- the porch on the near end has been removed.

Series 701 $10.jpg 
PV305 Mt Vernon cu.jpg 
PV305 Mt Vernon.jpg

Series 701 $20 and B38. Robert Fulton is depicted on the back of the 1896 $2 silver certificate (the Educational Series). Charles Burt engraved the portrait.
Series 701 $20.jpg 
B38 cu.jpg 
B38.jpg
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mikelaw
Here’s a group of 14 vignettes purchased from the BEP a few years ago. They’re printed on heavy stock and came in individual envelopes. I wonder if any of them appear on our paper currency, treasury notes, bonds, etc. ? Independence Hall ($100)and the White House($20)look familiar but not sure about the others. What do you think ? This could make a good monthly contest question but that’s for another time.
Mike
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GregAlex
Monticello appears on the back of the small size $2. The Treasury Building shows up on federal bonds and special tax stamps. Several others are featured on souvenir cards.
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mikelaw
Greg...if you have time repost your "Match the the Vignette to Currency "post. Very cool and believe others will enjoy. If not, no big deal. I'm posting from mobile device and can't figure out how to repost.
Mike
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Steve in Tampa
Beautiful engravings and vignettes on this thread.

I don’t own any MPC notes yet, but you would think I would.....my dad served in the Navy for 22 years, my son served in the Army, my brother served in the Air Force, and my son in law served in the Marines. The kicker is, all of them have the first name Joe.
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GregAlex
mikelaw wrote:
Greg...if you have time repost your "Match the the Vignette to Currency "post. Very cool and believe others will enjoy.


I'll get back to that one eventually. I'm lining up another topic first. ;-)
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