Before the 1930s, sheets of uncut U.S. paper money were significant rarities, only occasionally leaving the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, often given as gifts to well-connected currency collectors and curio hunters. Uncut sheets of large-size National Bank Notes are comparatively abundant, as the notes were sent to the recipient banks uncut, and the bank staff had to separate them. That some of these sheets remained uncut is not surprising.
In 1935, shortly after the switch to small-size notes (initially produced in sheets of 12 subjects), the BEP began selling uncut sheets to collectors, a practice that continued until the early 1950s, after which it did not resume until 1981. Collectors and other BEP souvenir-seekers have been able to purchase four- to 50-subject sheets since then.
View uncut currency sheets in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries archives.