Presidents, prime ministers, and notable military leaders signed banknotes in a collection assembled by a U.S. Air Force Major General.
(Phoenix, Arizona) January 26, 2023 — Visitors to the American Numismatic Association 2023 National Money Show in Phoenix, Arizona, March 2-4, can see the unprecedented, 64-foot-long display of “short snorter” banknotes autographed by World War II-era dignitaries. The exhibit, courtesy of the nonprofit Short Snorter Project, features over 300 signatures of generals, admirals, presidents, prime ministers, and ambassadors.
“This display of 140 historic banknotes will be of great interest to veterans and collectors of militaria. It includes five complete sets of rare specimen-marked Allied Military Currency,” said Tom Sparks, founder of the Short Snorter Project.
The tradition of signing banknotes apparently began in 1925 with Alaska bush pilots. The term “short snort” was a slang expression for less than a full shot glass of liquor, and “short snorter” became a nickname for pilots who moderately enjoyed only a small drink or two before flying. The autographs on the paper money were typically obtained while the dignitaries or others were traveling together, usually in flight.
“This unprecedented collection was assembled by United States Air Force Major General Clayton Lawrence Bissell (1893–1972) and is now owned by former American Numismatic Association President Jeff Garrett, who is loaning it for the exhibit at the ANA convention in Phoenix,” explained Sparks.
According to Sparks, autographs on the notes include U.S. Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and future President Dwight D. Eisenhower when he was an active duty general, as well as presidents of eight other countries. Prime Ministers’ signatures include Britain’s Winston Churchill.
In addition to Eisenhower, the many notable military leaders represented are U.S. Generals James Doolittle, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, and George S. Patton. Famous U.S. Admirals include William “Bull” Halsey Jr. and Chester Nimitz.
The exhibit will be in booths 1120–1126 in Hall F of the Phoenix Convention Center, 100 N. 3rd Street in downtown Phoenix.
Sparks will conduct a Money Talks educational presentation about the collection, “The Short Snorter of Major General Clayton Lawrence Bissell, U.S. Army Air Service,” at 3:00 pm on Friday, March 3, in room 154 of the convention center.
Public hours for the ANA 2023 Phoenix National Money Show are Thursday and Friday, March 2 and 3, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturday, March 4, from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Admission on Thursday and Friday is $10 for adults. Children 12 and under, as well as active duty and retired military personnel with valid IDs with up to three guests, are admitted free. Admission is free for everyone on Saturday.
Additional information about the Short Snorter Project is available at www.ShortSnorter.org, and information about the American Numismatic Association National Money Show is available at www.NationalMoneyShow.com.
Press release courtesy of the Short Snorter Project