Saturday, March 20, 2010

N. F. Seebeck and Hamilton Bank Note Company

Many collectors believe that the Hamilton Bank Note Company during the Seebeck period was a “kitchen table” operation. It was not. Seebeck was associated with Hamilton for 15 years, from 1884 until his death in 1899.

Stamps were only a small part of Hamilton’s business as its major business was printing tickets for New York City’s railways and bridges – tens of millions at a time. It was a fiercely competitive business. Hamilton was in court for years contesting a suit brought against it by New York Bank Note Company for mis-use of proprietary ticket-printing equipment.

Here are some tickets printed by Hamilton.

This is a litho proof of ticket by New York Bank Note Company.

Hamilton did other security printing, such as tickets for the 1888 Louisiana State Lottery, which was supervised by two Confederate war heroes, P.T.G Beauregard and Jubal Early.

All items are from the Bill Welch collection.

When financiers took control of Hamilton in 1893 part of their plan was to bid on the contract for U.S. stamps, which they did, but it went to the Bureau of Engraving & Printing instead, in 1894.


  1. I am doing research for a novel and would like to include a Seebeck El Salvadorean stamp as a clue -- if it were an original, not a reprint, what would the ballpark value be for it?

    Thank you!

  2. That would depend on the issue and denomination. Some originals are faily common while others are extremely rare. Thus, I can not give a general answer. Your best chance of finding an original for a low price would be the 1c and 2c on paper with a vertical mesh of the 1890 issue.