Fully Margined PCGS Currency 65PPQ Educational FiveFr. 269 $5 1896 Silver Certificate PCGS Gem New 65PPQ.
Although not appreciated for their artistry when they were issued, the "Educational" series of Silver Certificates, consisting of $1, $2, and $5 denominations, is very popular with collectors today and is considered one of the most attractive U.S. paper money series. The $5 design ranked number five in the 100 Greatest American Currency Notes book by Bowers and Sundman. During the 1890s, houses and businesses were being wired for electricity and new uses were being discovered. The allegorical theme on the $5 is Electricity Presenting Light to the World, also known as Electricity as the Dominant Force in the World. The design, featuring Electricity personified at center holding a lighted bulb illuminating several other allegorical figures, was adapted from a painting by Walter Shirlaw. Among his many accomplishments, Shirlaw helped found the Chicago Institute of Art and he was also the first president of the Society of American Artists. The female figures portrayed on the note are bare breasted which led to an outcry by society women in Boston and in turn led to many bankers refusing to accept the notes. The controversy over the $5 Educational note has been cited by several sources as the origin of the phrase, "banned in Boston." The ornate back features portraits of Civil War Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Philip H. Sheridan. Graded PCGS Currency Gem New 65PPQ, this is a gorgeous Friedberg number 269 example.
From the Kerry Rudin Collection
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