Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Oddest Imprinted Checks I've Ever Seen

eBay seller Mike Kazanjian has been listing some checks on eBay which he describes as having been written by hand - "holographic." When I saw these, my first reaction was that it couldn't have happened. With Mike's cooperation I discovered I was right, but I still consider these likely to be the oddest imprinted checks produced in the entire Spanish American War tax period.

To get an imprint on checks during the tax period, a user first had to have the checks printed. They then took or sent them to a Revenue Agent housed at one of the 28 or so printers authorized to print imprints, along with their payment. The Agent would give them to the printer, who would imprint them and return them to the user. This process left no room for a user to get a supply of otherwise blank imprinted paper that they could use to create a holographic check. Oh, a piece of imprinted printer's waste could have escaped and someone could have risked the wrath of the IRS by trying to use it to defraud the government of two cents, but likely not more than once. And there were a number of these checks.

I ended up with four of them - two used during the tax period and two used later. All appear to have been made out in dark black ink, with a lighter black used for the amount, payee and signature. All are printed on lightly-ruled graph paper.

And yes, printed. If you look closely at the dark-ink parts, they are perfectly identical. They may look like script, but they are printed. The only handwritten thing about these is the amount, payee, and signature.

So - it didn't happen. These aren't holographic. But they are my candidates for the strangest imprinted checks used during the 1898-1902 tax period.

What must the IRS Agent have thought when he received them for imprinting?

No comments:

Post a Comment