Well Margined Bright and Original Educational FiveFr. 269 $5 1896 Silver Certificate PCGS New 62PPQ.
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 ranks number five in the 100 Greatest American Currency Notes book by Bowers and Sundman. 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. This note carries a somewhat unusual grade as 62's seldom qualify for the PPQ. This note certainly does, as it is wonderfully original, fully bright, deeply embossed and broadly margined. The assigned grade is due to bumped corners and light corner folds all of which are well outside the design area. This note will certainly sell far in excess of the number implied by the technically accurate grade.
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