Upon Opening Mary's ESSO Bank

    We would like to share with the numismatic community our look into this small time capsule of coins pulled from circulation for Mary's bank.
Mary's bank is a glass block bank from ESSO, with a piece of tape across the top on which is written in pencil "Mary's Bank". The glass has the motto "Watch Your Savings Grow with ESSO" with a large ESSO on each face. The bank was full and heavy, with a very large chip but no evidence that it had ever been tapped. So we did! Here is what we found:
    Two red 2 mils Colorado sales tax tokens and two older red Colorado Retail Token Sales Tax and two in alum with cross center cut out; Alabama State Dept. of Revenue sales tax token 1; Alabama sales tax token 5 (three) brass-tone; 1942 Canada cent. Also two 1 mil Missouri sales tax receipt tokens, in dark toned zinc. It is interesting that one has coin alignment and one has medal alignment.
    Paper money, all folded to fit through the hole of the bank, included five series 1935A and six 1935C one dollar notes. These silver certificates were issued 1938-1945 (A series) and 1946-1949 (C series). The C series notes appear to be the last additions to the bank.
    One more note was in the bank, the only $5. It is a North Africa silver cert. 1934 A series. This beautiful note features a yellow seal and blue serial numbers with a large blue 5. It was prepared for use in North Africa during WWII. The first lot was delivered Sept. 4, 1942, and the last lot delivered May 8, 1944. Signatures are Julian-Morgenthau. During the second world war these special silver certificates were printed for use overseas in areas that had the potential to be over run and occupied by the enemy. The yellow seals would have easily allowed the U.S. government to demonitize the currency if large amounts of it had fallen into enemy hands. It has seven vertical folds and a center crease, but is still crisp.
    We were expecting the bulk of a child's bank to contain shiny pennies. Not so shiny really. Covered in goo, actually. The oldest Lincoln cent is a 1910, while newest is 1945. How many cents were found in it? There were 23 1943 alloy cents: 20 are d, 2 are s, and one is plain. We found only one lone mashed Indian head cent from 1907.
    In addition to the inventory shown below, there are eight Buffalo nickels with the dates worn off. Two worn Liberty v nickels dated 1905 g/ag and 1907 ag. Three Barber dimes: 1916S g, 1899 ag, 1916 g. Five standing liberty quarters all about good, but only two have a clear date, 1925 and 1929. There is nothing as big as a half dollar, since it wouldn't have fit through the hole. To Mary's credit, no candy or paper was found.
    Mary's bank came to us in 2001, a year following Mary's death and at least 50 years after she had put anything into the bank. It was given to us as part of an estate inventory for evaluation. We later also received a large box of stamps and coins that had been her parents' collections. They included blue folders of Indian head cents. The parents may have been setting aside coins for their own collections. We think that explains why Mary did not have a little more variety in the bank, such as old Indian head pennies. Her mother's collection of family letters, brought to us a philatelic covers for liquidation, revealed that Mary would was 11 years old at the time she most used her bank. During the last of this, the late war years, her father was a Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corp serving in France.
22 Jefferson nickels
1939 f,vf,ef,ef
1940 ef,vf,vf,au,au,unc
1941 ef,vf,vf,au,au,unc
1942 f/vf,
1942S vf
1943P ef
1943S vf
1943S f
1944D ef

14 Washington quarters
1936 ag
1937 g,vg
1938 f,f
1938S vg
1940 f,vf
1941 vg,f,vf
1942 vf
1943D ef
1945S au

8 Buffalo nickels with date worn off and 18 others
1918 g
1919 g,vg
1920 g,g
1920S g
1923 g
1924 g
1925 ag
1927D g
1930 vg
1935 g,vg
1936 vg,f,vf,vf,ef
1937 ef
36 Mercury dimes
1919D g
1923 g/ag, g
1924 g/ag
1928 vg
1930 vf
1934 vg/f
1934D f
1935S vf
1935 f
1936 f/vf
1937 vf,f
1937D f,f
1938 f
1939 ef with rim nicks
1939D vf
1940 f,f,vf
1941 f/vf
1941S ef
1941D f
1942 vf
1942D ef
1943D au,au, au, ef with tiny scratches
1943S vf
1944D four unc.
one date worn off that may be 1918 fair