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Issue: Printed 08/21/186205/27/1863
Though hastily enacted and signed
into law by President Lincoln on July 17th, 1862, the first issue of
"Postage Currency" was no less artful than the stamps upon
which their designs were based. In perhaps more of a hurry than they
should have been, the government assigned the obverse and reverse engravings
to two different companies, the American Bank Note Company, and the
National Bank Note Company. The earliest issues maintained the "perforated"
edges of regular stamps. They were short-lived and therefore more rareand
today more dearthan the "clean edge variety. They came in
5, 10, 25, and 50-cent denominations, the 25 and 50-cent examples created
by simply repeating the portrait pattern across the notes.