During the Civil War, both the North as well as the South developed their own currency. Ripped apart by war and teetering on bankruptcy, Congress ordered the printing of a number of notes. These Large Size Notes were commonly called horse blankets because of their dimensions. Issued from 1861 to 1928, their original size was approximately 7.42 inches by 3.13 inches. Cost cutting measures have reduced todays note to the more familiar 6.14 inches by 2.61 inches. Demand Notes or Greenbacks minted only in 1861 represent Americas first type of Federal Bank money.All notes that was printed and issued to the public is still legal tender today and can be redeemed to any bank for face value. They exception is the 1900 $10,000 gold certificate that was tossed out of a window during a fire in 1936. They were punched cancelled and therefor have no face value for redemption except for collectors.
Large Size-Federal Reserve Notes
Large Size Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) were issued under the Federal Reserve Act, Dec. 23, 1913. All denominations from $1 to $10,000 were issued to all 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
The first series was the issue of 1914 and was issued with Red Seal and Blue Seals. They were issued in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The Red Seals are a lot more valuable than the Blue seals.
The second issue was the series of 1918. It featured a Blue Seal and was in denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000.
$500 bears a portrait of John Marshall
$1,000 bears portrait of Alexander Hamilton
$5,000 bears a portrait of our 4th President James Madison. (8 are known)
$10,000 bears a portrait of Salmon Portland Chase. (4 are known)
The main difference of the Federal Reserve Notes was that the obligation to pay the bearer was borne by the United States Treasurer, not the individual banks. Whereas the Federal Reserve Bank Notes was obligated to pay the bearer on its notes, not the US Government.