The Commercial National Trust and Savings Bank of Los Angeles, CA (#6864) was chartered in 1903 and closed in 1927. It is not a rare bank with 55 notes reported in the census (www.nbncensus.com). What makes this note particularly rare (one of two known) is the Vice-President who signed the note: Cecil Blount deMille.
Cecil Blount deMille was born August 12, 1881 in Ashfield, Massachusetts. He made his acting debut on stage in New York (1900) and in 1913 formed a partnership with Jesse Lasky and Samuel Goldwyn founding the Lasky Film Company, later known as Paramount Pictures. His film production credits include The King of Kings (Director, 1927), The Ten Commandments (Director, 1923), The Greatest Show on Earth (Producer, 1952), The War of the Worlds (Executive Producer, 1953), The Ten Commandments (Director & Narrator, 1956), and he played himself in Sunset Boulevard (1950). deMille was a co-founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. During his career he directed and produced over 80 films.
deMille signed the illustrated note in his capacity as Chairman and Vice-President of motion picture loans for the bank.
Every trip to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian contains fantastic surprises. We were able to finish scanning the Small Size Type from the Treasury Collection, which will appear in the Spring of 2013 (Part II of the Treasury Highlights Exhibit).
While looking at some boxes from the Chase Manhattan Bank Collection, one label stood out, “Checks – Famous People.” We scanned a small handful of these checks/drafts signed by the people depicted on U.S. Bank Notes and who are featured in the “Portraits on U.S. Bank Notes” Exhibit http://nationalcurrencyfoundation.org/portraitgallery.html
Almost half of the bios in the exhibit now have an image of a signed check or draft.
A very quick search of the internet reveals some colorful slang terms for currency (generally paper). Please feel free to add any that have been left out.
big one ($1000)
double sawbuck ($20)
The attached article “Our Circulating Medium” was found in the Bismarck Daily Tribune (10/9/1907) and provides insight into the diffusion of National Bank Notes throughout the county.
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