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1859 Bank of Western Canada Notes

There was a Bank of Western Canada in operation for a few years, but it was a shady concern more interested in pushing its notes into circulation than in doing legitimate business. Their charter was finally revoked in 1863.

The Bank's head office was nominally in Clifton (now Niagara Falls), but the "bank" was actually controlled by a tavern keeper on the American side of the border. Note redemption was not part of his agenda.

The "bank" issued attractive $1, $2, $4 and $5 notes as seen above which have collector value, depending on condition and signatures, starting at $50 for Very Good (heavily circulated).

Reproductions of the $1 notes were produced about 100 years after they were first issued and were distributed as a prize in cereal or something similar. They all have the same serial number, are stained dark brown, feature coarse-looking vignettes, and have the imprint removed from the bottom centre. On the reproduction the protector is black; on the genuine note, it's red.

Contributor: RJG

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