Restaurants with Cash Pinned to the Walls

Planning a trip or looking for a local restaurant that will also fulfill your love of coins and currency? There is a tradition to stapling dollar bills on the ceiling of bars. Sometimes, with the name and date you were there, and who you were with; other times with stories, wishes, or drawings.

Many say this tradition has roots in the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush brought over 300,000 transplants to California and with the influx of people came the decline of resources and supplies. Many wasted all their money hoping for gold and never were able to make it home, thus staying, and making California their new home. The struggle for jobs, land, food, and other mainstays left people wondering how they could get home and encouraged new transplants to stow money in a safe place, like on the ceiling of a bar. They would write their names on their “Get Home” money and staple it to the ceiling of the local bar. If they did not find gold, they could come back to the bar, still having enough money to get back.

Another theory of how the tradition began is with sailors. Sailors we’re said to have tacked money to the bars before they left for sea. This is so when they returned, no matter what occurred on the trip, they would at the very least have enough money for a drink.

 Regardless of the history of the tradition, it has become a common way for eclectic restaurants and bars to stand out and provide a unique atmosphere for their customers. We have rounded up a list of restaurants across the United States (well, mostly in Florida) that  are famous for using cash as decoration!

McGuire’s Irish Pub | Destin, Florida

destin-moneyMcGuire’s Irish Pub first opened in 1977 as a small neighborhood pub in a shopping center. In 1982 McGuire’s moved to its current location; Pensacola’s original 1927 Old Firehouse. Inside the pub you’ll find a turn-of-the-century, New York Irish Saloon themed 615-seat restaurant.

They are celebrated for their atmosphere boasting more than One Million signed dollar bills hanging from the ceilings and walls of the Pub. In 1996, a second location, McGuire’s Irish Pub of Destin opened on beautiful Destin Harbor with the same great food and live Irish entertainment.

 

Willie T’s | Key West, Florida

CaptureWillie T’s Restaurant & Bar offers some of the best home cooking in Key West Florida. Offering everything from savory steaks to mouth-watering hamburgers. Coupled with large 10-foot screen TV’s for the latest sports game enjoyment and a variety of alcoholic beverages to choose from.

The ‘World Famous’ Willie T’s offers the perfect respite in the middle of all the action of Duval Street.They are known for our constant LIVE MUSIC, daily drink specials, delicious food and friendly service. Visit for a festive hangout for tropical drinks & Florida-inspired American eats in a mostly outdoor setting.

 

Siesta Key Oyster Bar | Sarasota, Florida

siSiesta Key Oyster Bar (or as the locals call it “SKOB”) is a hangout with a laid back, beachy atmosphere that will get you right into the Island Spirit. When you’re at SKOB you feel right at home, like you’re hanging out with good friends on your back patio (although chances are the ceiling of your patio is not covered in dollar bills).

Of course there are burgers and wings – they just happen to be award winning wings and some of the most delicious U.S.D.A. Prime mouthwatering burgers you can get anywhere

From Raw Oysters and Fresh Fish to Crab Legs and Crab Cakes – there is something for everyone on the menu. And with over 21 beers on tap along with Domestic, Imports, and specialty bottled beer – you will not go away thirsty!

 

Cabbage Key | Pineland, Florida

fishLocated in the Old House at the Cabbage Key resort, the open-air restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year. The main room of the restaurant is nestled among live cuban laurels dripping with moss. Previous visitors have taped thousands of one-dollar bills to every surface. You can ask your server for a black marker and tape to add yours to the collection.

The front room is the old porch with a view of the marina and sound. Look around at antique fishing gear, classic Cabbage Key photographs and replicas of tarpon, snook and other game fish.

Known by many as “the bar with all the money on the walls”, the Cabbage Key bar has been serving up drinks to boaters for over 60 years. With active fire places, original hardwood floors and Cypress walls, the bar and the formal dining room make up the other two dining locations.

 

Cantina Captiva | Captiva Island, Florida
33885471_1851288058498067_474686223709896704_nThe final Florida based restaurant, Cantina Captiva is located within the Captiva Island Inn. Enjoy a spicy and unique atmosphere while savoring the fine Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.

A customer from TripAdvisor reviewed the Cantina as ‘Mexican in the Tropics’:

Cantina Captiva is our must have lunch while in Captiva or Sanibel. This last visit, we four ladies had great Margaritas, fajitas, tacos and enchiladas for lunch. Everything was excellent including our server. The prices are reasonable and the outside seating is very nice. Definitely worth trying!

 

The Soup Cellar | Leavenworth, Washington

21719_550901808257157_2067690350_nThe Soup Cellar was established in 1988. The current owners took ownership in 1994 and ever since have been striving to create an experience that offers the highest quality of service, food, and atmosphere

A TripAdvisor reviewer states:

What a fantastic experience! It is located in the cellar and the decor is like a bavarian pub. They offer a fantastic salad bar and a soup bar along with the many different brats and other german foods–great saurkraut. The people are very friendly and the service was great! The dinners have great portions on them–so enjoy! They have a big selection of various beers to try also. Very clean place–even the bathrooms!

 

Bill’s Gyro Souvlaki | Atlantic City, New Jersey

11140265_10208091246744969_3071804008456576227_nThis restaurant is the perfect place to stop for gyro while you stroll along the Atlantic City boardwalk. TripAdvisor user reviews it as such:

This is quite the place. The atmosphere is best described as very Jersey but it’s worth it. We all got the gyro sandwich was fantastic. The spinach pie definitely left something to be desired but I also ate it after eating the whole sandwich. The onion rings were pretty good and the fries were decent, but the gyro sandwich is what made me give them such a good rating. There is seating (a lot of places on the boardwalk only have tiny areas or no seating at all. We had a party of 6 and figured 2 of us would sit at the bar but they immediately pulled another table up to seat us together. The staff was pleasant, competent, and efficient. I would definitely go back!

 

Tortilla Flat Superstition Saloon | Tortilla Flat, Arizona

SONY DSCThis saloon is located in Tortilla Flat, an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.

A visit to Tortilla Flat isn’t complete without a stop in the Superstition Restaurant & Saloon. The decor alone will send you back in time, from the Saddle Bar Stools, to the walls of dollar bills from around the world. The food is incredible; the website says they serves the Biggest burgers, hottest chili, and coldest drinks everyday.

 

Dollar Bill Bar | Oatman, Arizona

oatIf you’re looking for an ice cold beer on tap while enjoying a simple Americana bar with a twist, look no further than the Dollar Bill Bar. Patrons are encouraged to sign a dollar bill and then hang it on the wall, ceiling, or really anywhere they deem appropriate. They tout to have over $100,000 worth of bills covering their walls.

 

The Hideout Saloon | Mariposa, California

348sThe Hideout Saloon is a saloon/pub in the Gold Rush Historic Downtown District of Mariposa. You can find 150 yr old dry stack rock wall throughout main bar, original bar wood floor repaired always with reclaimed local barn wood, and first growth Doug Fir original wood floors in secondary rooms.

The Saloon is open every day into the wee morning hours for all. With live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with special performances as scheduled Sunday through Tuesday. Karaoke Wednesday nights. Open Mic always available for performance and jamming any time scheduled entertainment is not performing.

Coin and Currency Sites to Visit on Your Vacation

 

It’s summer, and many people are heading out on vacation. But there’s no reason not to celebrate your hobby on the road! Here’s a list of coin- and currency-related attractions and exhibits in all 50 states (and DC, of course!)
Alabama: The El Cazador Museum, which preserves the artifacts of the 1784 shipwreck, including its shipment of “pieces of eight.”

 

Alaska: The Alaska Mint, a private mint and also the northernmost mint in the US, as well as the starting point for the Iditarod race.

 

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The Good Enough Mine

Arizona: The Good Enough Mine, which provided some of the metal for the New Orleans Mint.

 

Arkansas: Due to a corruption-fighting measure in Arkansas legislation, you can go into the Treasury vault and examine the tax money. You can even take a selfie while holding the money!

 

California: The classic choice is Sutter’s Mill, where the Gold Rush began. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, check out the Penny Bar in the McKittrick hotel, which is completely covered in pennies.

 

Colorado: Of course there is the Denver Mint, but don’t forget the American Numismatics Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs.

 

Connecticut: The Mitchelson Coin Collection at the Museum of Connecticut History has one of the premier collections of American coins in the world, including a 1907 ultra high relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle
District of Columbia: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a must-see, with its exhibit of coins, currency, and medals.

 

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Coin Beach

Delaware: Find coins from old wrecks on Delaware’s Coin Beach!

 

Florida: No visit to Florida is complete without a visit to the king of shipwreck salvage, Mel Fisher’s Treasures.

 

Georgia: The Mint at Dahlonega hasn’t been in use since the 1860’s, but the Dahlonega Gold Museum and Mint (housed in the old county courthouse, since the original Mint building burned down) are definitely worth a visit.

 

Hawaii: The statue of King Kamehameha I depicted on the Hawaii State Quarter is striking, and something you’ll want to see for yourself.

 

Idaho: Collectors of all types will enjoy the Idaho Falls Collectors’ Corner Museum.

 

Illinois: The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is a solid choice for kids and adults alike. 

 

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Roman coins found in Indiana

Indiana: While digging for construction, workers found a collection of Roman coins that appeared to have once been kept in a leather bag. Some of the coins are on display in the Falls of the Ohio museum

 

Iowa: For currency aficionados, the Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes is definitely something to check out.

 

Kansas: The University of Kansas has an excellent collection of ancient coins.

 

Kentucky: Clay City, Kentucky, is home to one of the most unusual replica coin controversies. (You can also visit the Fort Knox visitor’s center while you’re in the state, but don’t expect to see much gold!)

 

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New Orleans Mint

Louisiana: The New Orleans Mint is a classic choice but don’t pass up Louisiana Treasures: they have an excellent display of World’s Fair tokens.

 

Maine: The Maine Penny is an unusual artifact at the Maine State Museum. It’s a legitimate Viking coin, but found too far south for the Vikings to have brought it. What’s its story?

 

Maryland: Learn more about metal conservation and early colonial coinage at St. Mary’s City museum.

 

Massachusetts: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has a legendary coin room. (Recommended by collector Kevin Cahalane.)

 

Michigan: The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has over 40,000 ancient coins.

 

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Wells Fargo Museum

Minnesota: Wells Fargo is synonymous with business and commerce over a distance, so it’s no surprise they have a Minneapolis museum featuring gold nuggets and coins.  

 

Mississippi: The University of Mississippi museum features an extensive collection of ancient coins.

 

Missouri: The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City also has a Money Museum, perfect for all ages.

 

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50,000 Silver Dollar Bar

Montana: If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, head off the beaten path in western Montana. The 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar in Haugan hosts one of the largest silver dollar collections in the world, displayed on the bar top and walls of the establishment.

 

Nebraska: Don’t miss the Byron Reed collection at Durham Museum in Omaha; it’s an impressive assortment of ancient and colonial coins, as well as exonumia, currency, and historical documents.

 

Nevada: Of course the Carson City Mint is the top choice for Nevada!

 

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Saint-Gaudens Estate

New Hampshire: America’s smallest and least-visited national park is a hidden gem, especially for numismatists. The Saint-Gauden Estate hosts some of the sculptor’s best works.

 

New Jersey: Be sure to check out the Belskie Museum, which contains some of the work of Abram Belskie, sculptor and medalist.

 

New Mexico: If you can find the Santa Clara Museum of Natural History, you just might be able to talk them into telling you where the 7 Cities of Gold are…

 

New York: Much of our financial system was put into place by Alexander Hamilton (including the Mint!) You can see his old house, the Hamilton Grange, in New York City.

 

North Carolina: The old Mint in Charlotte has a museum with a complete set of all gold coins minted there.

 

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Lefor Bank Vault

North Dakota: Sometimes all that’s left is where the coins were. You can see abandoned bank vaults in Lefor and Silva.

 

Ohio: Check out the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Learning Center and Money Museum.

 

Oklahoma: The Midgley Museum of collectibles has something for everyone, coin collector or not!

 

Oregon: A single penny decided the name of Portland, Oregon, and the original Portland Penny is on display at the Oregon Historical Society Museum. (For the pop culture addict, you can also see a Goonies exhibit at the Oregon Film Museum. Sadly, pirate treasure is NOT included.)

 

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US Mint in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania: What would a list of coin sites be without a mention of Philadelphia, the first and current Mint. American coin central!

 

Rhode Island: Coins aren’t just for collecting: have a blast at Spring Lake Penny Arcade, the oldest Penny Arcade Business in America. Not only is it still operating, but it still has the original pricing!

 

South Carolina: Something unusual for a niche currency collector: the US Army Finance Corps Museum.

 

South Dakota: One of the best producing mine in America, the Homestake mine. Not only has it produced vast amounts of ore, but it’s also been important to science!

 

Tennessee: Oak Ridge used to give visitors mildly irradiated dimes to show the changes radiation could make to silver. The site is now the American Museum of Science and Energy, and they definitely don’t give out radioactive coins anymore.

 

Texas: The Money Museum and Rarities Room in Houston is by appointment only, but does host an impressive collection. You can also visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth.

 

 Utah: Copper mining made a big impact on this state; there’s a whole museum dedicated to it in the town of Magna.

 

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Site of Harmon’s Mint

Vermont: One of the earliest sites for post-colonial coin minting was East Rupert, where Reuben Harmon, Jr. minted coins for the new state.

 

Virginia: If colonial coins are your thing, visit the museum in Williamsburg. They have an excellent collection.

 

Washington: Blaine, Washington, right on the border with Canada, is home of the original wooden nickels.

 

West Virgina: Need a favor? The ghost that haunts this grave accepts coins in exchange for granting wishes.

 

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Largest penny in the world

Wisconsin: It may not be the most detailed penny in the world, but it’s (probably) the largest!

 

Wyoming: The Carissa gold mine and mill is an excellent historic site well worth a visit.

 

(All photos used under fair use.)

 

 

 

Lemons, Loonies, and Lakhs: Money Slang From Around the World

Do you have a clunky silver echidna? Or maybe some spare watermelons? Most people are familiar with slang names for coins like “bob” or “loonie,” but some of the currency slang from around the world is extremely colorful and imaginative.

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In Australia, a “clunky silver echidna” refers to a five cent coin (which can also be “dusty shrapnel”), while a ten cent coin can be “Howie’s sticky dollar,” in reference to a politician known for introducing a goods and services tax. The two-dollar coin can be a “nugget,” a “twigger,” or–since it is approximately the same size as the five cent coin but thicker–a “fat echidna.”

 

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In Canada, the one-dollar coin is commonly called a “loonie,” for its well-known design of a loon on the reverse. The two-dollar coin, naturally, became the “toonie,” though some prefer to spell it as “twonie.”
1_rupee_bill_historical.jpgIndia has a denomination called the Lakh, which is equal to 100,000 rupees. The lakh is sometimes called the “peti,” which means “suitcase,” referring to the suitcase needed to carry a Lakh’s worth of notes. Wealthy businessmen may refer to two- and three-crore amounts as “2C” or “3C.”
s-l1600.jpgThe most common Russian slang words for money translate as “cabbage” and “dough.” 500 rubles are sometimes referred to as “pyatihatka,” which literally means “five huts,” perhaps a reference to the buying power of the currency. 1000 rubles can be “kosar” (mower) or “shtuka” (thing.) During the hyperinflation of the ruble during the Russian Civil War and 1980’s, some of the larger denominations acquired nicknames: 1 million rubles is “limon” (lemon) and a billion rubles were “arbuz” (watermelon.)

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Pre-decimalisation coins in the United Kingdom have many names. A “bob” was a shilling, while a farthing could be a “mag,” and a sixpence a “tanner.” The collective term “shrapnel” could refer to all loose change in a pocket, while a “wad” would be a large amount of paper money.

 

 

money-1428584_960_720.jpgRap and hip-hop music have given rise to new slang terms for money, as well. “Bands” refers to large amounts of paper currency, from the rubber bands often used to keep bills in bundles. “Guac,” short for “guacamole,” is also used, presumably due to the green color of both the condiment and American bills. “Cream” is based on the acronym “cash rules everything around me,” most notably used by the Wu-Tang Clan.

 

eight_varieties_of_pearsOne type of slang deserves special mention: the complex and lyrical phenomenon of “rhyming slang.” The best known example of this form is Cockney rhyming slang. In this system, the object is paired with a two-part phrase, the last part of which rhymes with the object. Sometimes the rhyme is left at this stage, but in many instances, the second part of the pairing is dropped, leaving an unrelated word to signify the object. For example, “stairs” could be paired with “apples and pears.” Then, “pears” would be dropped, leaving “apples.” (This is the system that lead to the phrase “blowing a raspberry;” the full rhyming phrase would be “raspberry tart.”) This manner of speaking can be extremely confusing to anyone not familiar with the system and its customs. In some instances, the original slang word is rhymed again, leading to even more distance from the original subject. This unique speech art began in the East End of London in the 1840s.

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In Australia, this can be seen in the slang terms for the twenty cent coin, which is referred to as a “splatty” or “fatty,” rhyming with the “platy” (platypus) on the coin. The 10 cent coin, which features a design of a bird, is sometimes called a “turd” for the same reason.

 

Whatever you call your currency, one thing is for certain: we’ll never run out of weird slang to use in describing money!

 

The Coins and Currency of Brazil

 

 

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The Portuguese real (plural: réis) was the first currency used by the settlers in Brazil, but the 1654 Dutch real was the first circulating money to actually bear that name during the Dutch occupation of northeastern Brazil.

 

 

In the mid 18th century, coins of many denominations circulated: 5, 10, 20, and 40 réis coins in copper, 75, 150, 300, and 600 réis coins in silver, and 1000, 2000, 4000, and 6400 réis coins in gold. In 1778, the silver coinage was reconsidered, and coins in 80, 160, 320, and 640 réis were introduced; over the next few years, gold coins worth 800, 1600, and 3200 réis were added to circulation. Copper and silver coins were counterstamped with Portuguese arms in 1809, increasing the value of some coins, and doubling others. In the early 19th century, 8-real Spanish coins were overstruck, creating coins for 960 réis.

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587px-BRAZIL_1829_-20_REIS_a_-_Flickr_-_woody1778a.jpgWhen Brazil gained its independence in 1822, the real was retained; despite ever-growing inflation, the real was not subdivided into smaller denominations.During the decade of of 1823 and 1833, Brazilian copper coinage varied widely, including denominations of 10, 37½, 75, and 80 réis coins, amongst others. Copper coins were standardized by 1835; other reforms later in the century standardized gold and silver coins, and reduced the amount of precious metal in each. The currency fell in 1889 after the founding of the Republic, with further devaluations into the mid twentieth century. Cupro-nickel coins were introduced beginning in 1901, with aluminium-bronze coins coming in 1922, and other base metal coins in 1936. The cruzeiro replaced the real in 1942.

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In 1942, the cruzeiro was adopted as the currency of Brazil. The term “cruzeiro” refers to the Southern Cross constellation, which is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, and is a common emblem in Brazilian culture.

 

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The initial cruzeiro was used between 1942 and 1967; according to Wikipedia, it “had the symbol Cr$ or ₢ (in Unicode U+20A2 ₢ CRUZEIRO SIGN (HTML ₢)). The ₢ sign was the only monetary symbol created specifically for Brazilian currencies: All the others used combinations of uppercase letters (in some cases, uppercase and lowercase) and the cifrão ($), including the current Brazilian real, which uses R$.” Cupro-nickel 10, 20, and 50 centavo coins were also introduced at this time, though the coins were quickly switched to aluminium-bronze and finally to aluminium. The centavos were withdrawn entirely in 1964, with other coins following suit by 1968.

 

 

s-l1600 (1)The second cruzeiro circulated from 1967 to 1986 after the country suffered economic collapse. Introduced as the “cruzeiro novo” or “new cruzeiro,” it used the symbol NCr before simply being known as the cruzeiro. In 1970, the symbol changed to Cr$; the original ₢ sign was eliminated due to lack of technical support: few typewriter keyboard carried the symbol. (In fact, the ₢ is still available for standard Brazilian keyboards; it can be produced with the key combination AltGr+C.) New coins appeared in 1967: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 centavo coins, with a 1 cruzeiro coin released in 1970. Several of the initial coins were struck in stainless steel; all of the coins were soon switched to steel.

 

A third cruzeiro was issued in 1990 after a series of currency changes, using the symbol Cr$. All cruzeiros could be divided into 100 centavos. This currency remained in use until 1993, when it was replaced by the cruzeiro real. The cruzeiro real, in turn, was only used for a few months between August 1, 1993, and June 30, 1994. It could be subdivided into 100 centavos, but this was only used for purposes of accounting. 1000 cruzeiros equaled 1 cruzeiro real.

 

Before the final switch to the current real was made, Brazil used the unidade real de valor, which was held at parity with the United States dollar. This allowed the people to get used to a stable currency before the introduction of the current real.

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5_CENTAVOS_Brasil_1998.jpgCurrently, the Brazilian real is subdivided into 100 centavos, and was adopted as part of the widespread reform package of the Plano Real in 1994. The real was intended to have a generally fixed exchange rate of 1:1 to the US dollar. In 1999, the real underwent a sudden devaluation and fell to 2:1 against the dollar, reaching as low as nearly 4:1 in 2002. It began to recover, but suffered a setback in 2015 during a domestic economic crisis.

 

The first new coins were introduced in 1994, in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 50 centavos, and 1 real, with the addition of a 25 centavo piece soon after. All coins were struck in stainless steel; the original 1 real coins with dates from 1994-1997 have been withdrawn from circulation, but all others are still in use.

 

These Unforgettable Journeys Display the Best of Human Courage

Exploration has been a part of the human experience from the very beginning, and we have commemorated our journeys in every form of art imaginable. One of the most popular ways to memorialize our journeys has been on postage stamps. Here are a few of our favorites.

 

The 1930 Europe-Pan American Flight of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin

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The LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin was one of the most-traveled airships of all time. Built in Germany in 1926-1928, the commercial craft was named after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, pioneer of German airships. During its 12 years of operations, it flew more than 1 million miles in 590 flights.

 

The Graf first visited South America in 1930, as one stop on a flight between Spain, Brazil, and the United States. The ship offered passenger service, as well as express freight and air mail between all four countries. The first such flight left from Friedrichshafen on the 18th of May, 1930, before stopping in Seville and subsequently departing Europe.

 

The LZ 127 docked at Campo do Jiquiá in Brazil, to the welcoming shouts of more than 15,000 onlookers. It proceeded to Rio de Janeiro, then flew to Lakehurst, New Jersey; after departing for Seville on June 2, it returned to Germany. Two years later, the Graf had an established Germany-Brazil passenger, mail, and freight service; this route was active from 1932 to 1937.

 

graf zepplinFor many of its journeys, including the Europe-Pan American flights, the Graf found its funding from franked stamps on souvenir mail. Anyone could buy a stamp with the Graf’s design issued by Spain, Brazil, and the United States, which would be good for mail to be sent on one or more parts of the Graf’s route. In the United States, these stamps were issued in three denominations: $0.65, $1.30, and $2.60. However, since the United States was caught in the Great Depression during this time, very few stamps sold at such high prices. 1,135,000 of the $0.65 stamps were printed, with only about 20,000 sold or otherwise distributed. The numbers for the pricier stamps are low, too; for the $1.30 stamp, 1,005,000 were printed with only 30,000 distributed. The most expensive stamp only sold 5,000 of its 1,070,000 print run.

 

The stamps were withdrawn from sale on June 30, and over 3 million unsold stamps were destroyed; this made the Graf Zeppelin issues the smallest of the United States Post Office Department issues of the twentieth century.

 

Despite the low sales of stamps in the US, the Graf proved the feasibility of pan-Atlantic airship service. It offered regular services between Germany and South America in the summers for five years. The increase in commercial airplane service, as well as the high cost of the gas used in the zeppelin, contributed to the decline of demand for airship services, and the Hindenburg disaster made such journeys seem unsafe to the general public.

 

The LZ 127 was grounded the day after the Hindenburg crashed, and removed from service after its arrival in Friedrichshafen on May 8, 1937. In mid June, the Graf was taken to Frankfurt on its final flight, deflated, and opened as a public museum. Attempts to revive the airship program failed due to tensions between the United States and Germany. On March 4, 1940, Air Minister Hermann Göring ordered the ship to be scrapped for salvage, and melted for reuse by the German military.

 
Antarctic Exploration

800px-Mt_Murphy,_Antarctica.jpgAntarctica has been a land of mystery for thousands of years, as early geographical theories relied on a large southern continent to “balance” the land mass of the known world. “Antarctic” was coined in the second century AD, though it was not until the Cape of Good Hope was rounded in the 15th century that it was revealed to be a continent unattached to any of the other known land masses. Explorer Captain Cook and his crew were the first modern Europeans to cross the Antarctic Circle, though they did not see the mainland.

 

In the 1800s, Russian and British crews made claims to be the first to catch sight of the ice surrounding the continent, but it is unclear who actually gets credit. It is thought that American seal hunter John Davis was probably the first to actually walk on the ice. During the early twentieth century, various expeditions attempted to reach the South Pole, only to end in disaster and loss of life. On December 14, 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the Pole, after an arduous race with Robert Scott of England. Scott reached the Pole 33 days after Amundsen, and all five members of his party died on the return journey.

 

48759-01__93433.1434408467.1200.1200Sir Douglas Mawson led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition between 1911-1914, focusing on the coastline between Mount Gauss and Cape Adare. The mission concentrated on mapping and surveying the land, and included discoveries such as Ninnis and Mertz glaciers, Queen Mary Land, and Commonwealth Bay. The Australian Antarctic Territory issued its first stamp in 1957.

 
The Journey to Space

600px-NASA-Apollo8-Dec24-EarthriseThe greatest journey humanity has ever undertaken is the journey off our homeworld and into space. The 1960’s were characterized by an intense focus on human spaceflight, especially the race to land a human being on the moon. Russia and the United States both had scientific and political reasons for attempting this feat, but after a slow start, the United States quickly pulled ahead. On December 21, 1968, the Apollo 8 mission launched: it would be the first time human beings had left the orbit of the earth. Astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell (better known for his time on the Apollo 13 mission), and William Anders were the first human beings to see the entire planet from space, to see the far side of the moon with their own eyes, and the first to witness an earthrise over the lunar surface. The photo of this event is one of the most famous and evocative photos in history.

 

Due to complications with the Lunar Module, the mission was refocused to go without the module, and to leave a few months earlier than originally scheduled. This placed a great deal of pressure on the astronauts as their training was suddenly intensified. The Apollo 8 mission was the first manned launch of the legendary Saturn V rocket as it blasted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Taking three days to reach the moon, the crew and craft orbited ten times; the crew took this opportunity to share a Christmas Eve broadcast, which was the most watched television broadcast of the time. Upon returning to Earth via splashdown in the Pacific on December 27, 1968, the three astronauts were named Time’s “Men of the Year.” The Apollo 8 mission was crucial to the success of the later moon landing missions.

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The moon race was of interest to the entire human race, not just the countries directly involved. This contemporary gold foil stamp from Dahomey (now the Republic of Benin) shows the Apollo 8 command module, with a cratered lunar surface behind it.

 

Whether we are exploring the furthest reaches of our own planet, or trying to reach the stars, humanity loves to push ourselves further, and to document our journeys in whatever way we can. Whether it’s stamps, coins, fine art, or just graffiti, we know how to say “we were here!” with style.

 

Each of these stamps is available from our store. Please click the links to see more information or purchase!

Large Letter “Greetings From” Postcards

The linen postcard era saw one particularly popular design. Made for travelers to brag about the destinations they made it to on long summer road trips in America, large letter postcards showed the biggest, flashiest, most fun side of any city.

These large letter postcards, now often associated with the 1930’s through 1950’s eras that the postcards were most popular in, had their time in the spotlight in the U.S. They usually started with the words “Greetings From,” followed by large letters or numbers with pictures of the city inside. These cards had bright, saturated colors as a result of the new kinds of inks on the market at the time. They also had a soft focus; the uneven surfaces of linen postcards did not lend themselves to sharp edges. All of this added to a bright, romanticized view of whatever destination the postcard advertised.

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These postcards are quite popular among collectors. Some collect them form their own state, or try to collect one from every state.

Today, any sort of large letter image invokes an image of vintage, roadside America. It’s part of their retro charm that makes large letter design so easily recognizable.

Do you collect large letter postcards? Which ones are your favorites?

Want some large letter postcards of your own? You can go here.

Traveling with Art: Mount Fuji, Japan

What mountain could be better-known than Mount Fuji?

 

These hand-painted postcards featuring Mount Fuji have been created with care in an example of fine handiwork as testament to this famous icon of Japan.

 

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Handpainted postcard showing the view from near Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and is an active stratovolcano. It sits on Honshu Island, the most populated island of the country.

 

The first to climb Mount Fuji was a monk in 663, and the first foreigner, named Sir Rutherford Alcock, reached the summit in eight hours in 1868.

 

When Edo (which is now Tokyo) became the capital of Japan, people began noticing the mountain from the local Tokaido-road. But even before then, people had admired the beautiful mountain.

 

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The Great Wave Off Kanagawa

The mountain has inspired artists, writers and poets for centuries. Perhaps the most famous art is Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Katsushika Hokusai. This set contains views of the mountain from different seasons and viewpoints, perhaps the most famous of which is The Great Wave off Kanagawa which was published between 1830 and 1833.

 

From as early as the 7th century, the mountain has been considered sacred. Today, shrines still sit at the base and on the ascent for practitioners of Shinto.

 

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Art from the Brooklyn Museum, featuring Mount Fuji

Some scientists say that Fuji is due for another eruption soon, though the evidence for such a claim is shaky. The last eruption took place in 1707.

 

Today, Mount Fuji makes for a beautiful tourist destination, whether you’re climbing to the top or admiring from afar. And it’s a majestic view for all of the locals of Tokyo.

 

Have you seen Mount Fuji in person? Let us know in the comments!

Traveling with Art: Pyramid Peak, Colorado

 

It’s no secret: Colorado has some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the United States. So it’s no mystery that artists love it.

 

The artist Lanny Grant painted this piece, titled “Above Maroon Lake”. It shows the snow capped mountain called Pyramid Peak behind golden-yellow autumn trees. This was painted in 1985.

 

(If you’re interested in the painting, you can purchase it here.)

 

Grant specializes in landscapes, especially from remote locations that hardly anyone goes to. He’s always had a fascination with the landscapes in Colorado, and paints the vibrant colors of every season in his work.

 

In this stunning oil painting, Grant shows the view just opposite of Maroon Peak, above Maroon Lake. The lake was carved by Ice Age glaciers and dammed by landslide debris above the valley.

 

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Maroon Lake, Colorado

Pyramid Peak is the 47th highest mountain peak in Colorado, located within the Elk Mountains mountain range in the Rocky Mountains. It’s quite a steep mountain, and mountain climbers finding themselves on its trails are in for a difficult challenge. Loose rock is just one of the roadblocks in climbing this majestic mountain.

 

But clearly, even admiring from afar yields positive results. Grant uses controlled brush strokes and colors of blue, gold and brown in an almost photographic replication of the mountain in autumn in this painting.

 

These mountains are undoubtedly even more stunning in person!

 

Have you been to Colorado? What’s your favorite mountain or hike there?

 

The Incredible Story of Nellie Bly, Pt. II

 

To make a name for herself as a journalist, Nellie Bly never passed down an opportunity for a story.

(Check out Part I of Nellie’s story here!)

Bly was not done making news. In 1888, she persuaded her editor at New York World that she would take a trip around the world, a la Around the World in Eighty Days. A year later she boarded a steamer called the Augusta Victoria to begin her record-breaking journey.

The fictional Phileas Fogg as written by Jules Verne traversed the world in 80 days. Even though his record only existed in stories, it stood as a record worth beating.

But Bly had competition. The newspaper Cosmopolitan sponsored its own reporter, Elizabeth Bisland, to race around the world in the opposite direction. The World sponsored a “Nellie Bly Guessing Match” for the exact second that Bly would return from her trip.

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Bly used a number of transportation methods in her travels, including steamships, railroads, horses, rickshaws and more. In China Bly visited a leper colony and also bought a monkey in Singapore. She met Jules Verne himself in France. As she traveled she sent short reports of her positions.

Bly traveled mostly unchaperoned, a bold move for a woman of her time.

Bly had to take a slower ship than intended on the last leg of the trip, but the owner of the World hired a private train to rush her back.

After a journey of 72 days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds, Bly returned to New York. She set the world record for the fastest trip around the world.

Bisland, the reporter sent to race her, arrived in New York four and a half days later; she had missed a connection and had to finish her journey on a slower ship.

A few months later, a man named George Francis Train beat her record with a trip in 67 days.

Nellie Bly had established herself as an all-star reporter, and her name was later recognized in various pop culture and other references. The New York Press Club, for instance, gives an annual “Nellie Bly Club Reporter” journalism award to the best new journalists in the field.

When Bly passed away in 1922, she had an unmarked grave in New York’s Woodlawn Cemetery until the New York Press Club funded a gravestone with her name in 1978.

 

Traveling with Art: Bangor, Maine

 

Bangor is one of the largest cities in Maine, with an impressive history and beautiful views.

 

The artist Randall Davey, who is best known for his New Mexico watercolor art, painted this scene of Bangor in 1931. The dreary colors perhaps reflect Davey’s recent divorce from his former wife. The painting is available for sale here.

 

Settlers came to Bangor in the 16th century, and the town’s first lawsuit arrived in 1790 when Jacob Buswell sued David Wall for calling him an “old damned grey-headed bugar of Hell” and Reverend Seth Noble a “damned rascall.”

 

The city was off to an interesting start.

 

The Revolutionary War gave Bangor a bit of a spotlight when the rebel Penebscot Expedition fled up the Penebscot River; their ships were overtaken by the British fleet at Bangor. Paul Revere himself escaped into the woods.

 

Ever since its start, Bangor has been a central city for imports and the lumber manufacturing industry.

 

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Great Fire of 1911 Aftermath, seen on vintage postcard

One of Bangor’s most dramatic events was the Great Fire of 1911. The fire started in a shed downtown and, aided by the day’s high winds, spread quickly throughout the downtown area, destroying hundreds of buildings. The flames reached such a height that people could see them from a town over. Amazingly, only two people died from the incident.

 

Bangor, Maine has appeared in plenty of popular culture, including books by Stephen King and Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck, among other works including songs and film.

 

Today, the city is certainly worth a visit. You can see pieces of its history in its architecture, monuments, and parks. It boasts a thriving art scene, an art festival, and the nearby Acadia National Park and Baxter State Park.