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ABNC during the revolution

To help compensate for the shortage of fractional coinage and the disappearance of silver pesos on 19 November 1913 Huerta authorized banks to print $1 and $2 notes, denominations which had previously been banned by the 1897 Ley General de Instituciones de Crédito. He later added 50c notes on 30 March 1914.

Also, on 7 January 1914 Huerta decreed that as the shortage of banknotes was one of the causes of the existing economic crisis, the Ley General was to be modified to allow banks to issue up to not twice but three times their cash holdings. Then in March his government “persuaded” the banks to take millions of pesos in government bonds, authorizing the banks to issue notes for the same amount, in order to pay the Tesorería de la Federación. These three actions account for the dramatic increase in the issue of notes by many of the banks.

Several banks received large consignments of new notes in the existing denominations from the ABNC in 1913 and early 1914.

Several banks took advantage of Huerta’s decree to issue $1 and $2 notes. Of these, the Banco Nacional de México, the Banco Minero in Chihuahua and the Banco de Nuevo León had the ABNC reuse plates from the 1880s and 1890s for $1 notes (and $2 notes in the case of the Banco Nacional de México), whilst the Banco de Guanajuato got the ABNC to engrave new $1 and $2 notes and the Banco de Hidalgo ordered $1 notes.

However, for reasons of costs and speed of delivery, banks also used two local printers, Bouligny and Schmidt and the American Book & Printing Company, neither of which could produce notes to the ABNC’s exacting high standards.

Also known only as proofs or remainders are 50c Banco Nacional de México and 50c, $1 and $2 Banco Oriental de México notes from the ABNC. Two million 50c Banco de México notes were printed by the ABNC in May 1914, one million 50c Banco Oriental de México in June 1914, and one million $1 and 250,000 $2 in July 1914, but these were never delivered.

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