It’s all about the Benjamins (Harrison, that is) and McKinleys and McCulloghs

Last week Bob Kotcher of Hackensack, NJ, a researcher with an interest in New Jersey’s national banks and the currency they issued, called us after he saw this image on our website and he wanted to know if he could buy the original or get a better scan. This post is the result of an exchange of emails that turned out to be a win-win, as they say. Since we do not own the original postcard I sent him a high-resolution scan of the Palmyra National Bank real photo postcard and he gave me a history lesson on the practice of such banks to issue currency back in the day.

According to Mr. Kotcher, New Jersey’s 342 National Banks issued National Banknote Currency generally between 1863 up until May of 1935. The Palmyra National Bank, Charter #11793, started in business on July 2, 1920 and issued $157,270 in $5, $10 and $20 National Currency before it was placed into receivership on January 6, 1934. See the scan for the proof sheets below.

#11793 Palmyra $5-$10-$20 Proof Sheets, scan courtesy of Bob Kotcher

Bob writes:

I did work for the Smithsonian back in 2003 along with a fellow collector and my mentor in this hobby.   We wound up sorting all the New Jersey Proof Sheets putting them into Federal Charter number order.  That took us 2 days, but in return, we were allowed to photo copy any of the New Jersey Proofs that we wanted.

This represents one proof for each of the bank’s printing plates.  The proof sheets were pulled off the newly made printing plate to make sure that the plate accepted and transferred ink properly.  Proofs were pulled prior to the plates being put into production to minimize any problems in production.

Palmyra Bank Officers 11793

I am also attaching an index card that I use to show the progression of bank officers at the bank.  The Cashier is on the left and the President on the right.  The large size National Banknotes were produced at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing then sent to the Comptroller of Currency, who then distributed them to the bank itself.

The Large Size notes from this bank were shipped unsigned to the bank.  Upon arrival at the bank, the Cashier would sign his name on the left and the President would sign on the right.  Assistant Cashiers would sometimes sign for the Cashier, and Vice Presidents could sign for the President of the bank, as long as they noted their title on the note.

Curious about our own Cinnaminson National Bank, I asked Bob about it and he replied:

Cinnaminson Natl Bank, Riverton, NJ 1910

The Cinnaminson National Bank of Riverton, New Jersey.  This National Bank Chartered in December of 1906, and issued $311,350. in large sized $10 and $20 National Currency before it was placed in voluntary liquidation on April 1, 1925.  My records show that it was succeeded by “The Cinnaminson Bank and Trust Company, Riverton”.  Once they dropped their National Bank Charter, I basically have no knowledge of them, as they would not have been able to issue their own currency.

Checking our archives yields a 1909 New Era Christmas Issue with some more information about Cinnaminson National Bank.

1909 New Era Christmas Issue, p17-18
Cinnaminson Bank – c. 1930s, scan courtesy of Betty B. Hahle

And to further illuminate the history and development of Cinnaminson National Bank and its successor Cinnaminson Bank and Trust Company, see Town Historian Paul W. Shopp‘s detailed article What’s Old is New Again at the Bank on Main from a May 2011 post.

Now all we need are some scans of proofs or actual banknotes issued by Cinnaminson National Bank.

Turns out that the banknotes for these two hometown banks can be quite scarce.

This image of a Palmyra National Bank banknote is courtesy of

Palmyra Nat’l Bank banknote courtesy of

I found this source that has additional information about the denominations and dollar amounts of notes issued for both banks. See the entries for Palmyra National Bank and Cinnaminson National Bank.

Thank you to Bob Kotcher for sparking this deep dive into two of the area’s old national banks.

We are always anxious to acquire more images, artifacts, and particulars about Riverton history, so please contact us if you can help.

Bob Kotcher adds that he really wants to buy that original Palmyra National Bank RPPC that started this whole thing, so please contact him through the comment form below. – JMc


What’s Old is New Again at the Bank on Main

Cinnaminson Bank - c. 1930s
The Bank on Main - 2011

In Riverton’s latest example of “What’s old is new again,” the newly transformed bank building at the corner of Main and Harrison Streets will be the scene for the next HSR general membership meeting on June 9, 2011 (See the May 2011 Gaslight News for details).


Long a Main Street landmark, the building has been home to a number of financial institutions since it was constructed. But, how many and when?

Fellow HSR member and professional historian Paul W. Schopp refreshes our memory as he relates below the history of the decades-old bank building, now called The Bank on Main, which has been re-purposed as a new private venue for social and business events.  – JMcC, Ed.

The Cinnaminson National Bank of Riverton incorporated in the fall of 1906 and acquired a lot on the east side of Main Street in November 1906. The new banking firm immediately began erecting the brick building and frame wagon sheds on the lot located between Freddie’s Shoe Repair and the former Riverton Post Office. In 1928, the Cinnaminson National Bank received permission to offer Trust services to its customers. As a result of this action, the bank reincorporated as the Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company and then constructed a new building at 604 Main Street. The bank retained the architectural design services of Davis, Dunlap & Barney of Philadelphia. This partnership dissolved in circa 1928, so the bank building in Riverton can be numbered among the firm’s last commissions.

The Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company continued to operate under that name until at least 1966, with a branch in Palmyra and in Cinnaminson, when it may have changed its name to Garden State Bank. In the late 1960s Camden Trust Company requested permission to merge the Cinnaminson Bank & Trust Company into itself. In 1969, Camden Trust restyled itself as The Bank of New Jersey. The following year, The Bank of New Jersey did receive permission to proceed with the merger and the Cinnaminson Bank and Trust Company/Garden State Bank entered the realm of banking history. In 1982, Princeton Bank received permission to merge The Bank of New Jersey into itself with Princeton Bank being the successor firm. Chemical Bank New Jersey and Princeton Bank merged in 1990. Chemical Bank New Jersey became part of PNC Bank New Jersey in 1995 and the Riverton Bank operated as a PNC Bank for just over a year. In the second-half of 1996, Farmers & Mechanics Bank took over operations at 604 Main Street, although it is unclear whether they owned or leased the building. Farmers & Mechanics merged into Beneficial Savings Bank of Philadelphia in July 2007. In a cost-cutting move, Beneficial closed its Riverton branch and the building remained empty until The Bank on Main acquired the former bank for a catering hall.  – PAUL W. SCHOPP

The images in the picture gallery above show some items from the HSR archives. We welcome comments about the bank which has served generations of Rivertonians and would like to post scans or photos of any mementos that readers may have. – JMcC, Ed.

P.S. Also posted today were a number of postcard scans; 24 additional Avalon, NJ images, 7 Ocean City, NJ images, 6 Collingswood, NJ images, and 4 Sea Isle City which were cataloged in with the Miscellaneous grouping.