Uh-Oh! October 29, 1929 (+ 90)

When municipalities ran out of legal tender in the Great Depression, some came up with a creative solution — they printed their own money, called scrip. If Uncle Sam didn’t recognize it, who cared? It helped desperate people survive.  Luther Gulick collected some prime examples of scrip, coins and bills, which we’re proud to showcase in our Gulick Papers collection. They’re listed in our finding aid here:


We’ll be showing these and other images of scrip in a talk Oct. 29 at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street — 90 years to the day after the Stock Market…Cr…Cras…– gosh!, we can’t  bear to say the terrible word.




Of particular interest are some red-baiting spoofs targeting the would-be Socialist Governor of California, muckraker Upton Sinclair, an 1897 graduate of City College, by the way. Sinclair lost his 1934 race but garnered nearly 880,000 votes and, with his EPIC  (End Poverty in California) campaign, left an enduring political and social legacy. (Bernie Sanders, anyone?)




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