Friday, February 17, 2012

Huntington's Historical Checks

This week Huntington Bank brought their collection of 16 historical checks signed by Presidents for display here!

We've gotten some great newspaper coverage about it (click here for the Repository's article, click here for the Akron Beacon Journal's article). This is truly a one-of-a-kind collection, and we're THRILLED to have them here.

When the checks arrived on Wednesday, I was guarding the box while the delivery men went back out to their truck to get the cases. I reached down to pick one up, and as I looked at it, I could hardly believe what I was holding.

A check from 1799, signed by GEORGE WASHINGTON.

Amazing! I mean, honestly, AMAZING.

There aren't very many people who have the opportunity to hold something George Washington touched! (Even if the check was framed)

It reminded me of how privileged I am to work in a museum. I get to see things close up that most people have to view through the glass or from behind the ropes. I get to handle unique artifacts every day in my line of work. Some are attached to famous people, but others are just as impressive because they are beautiful, or very old, or rare.

It is humbling to think of my career in that context. I am the caretaker of history, for the future. It is an incredible responsibility, and is not something I take lightly. But on the other hand, I am bewildered at the opportunities I have to experience history first-hand.

Back to the checks.

The following Presidents are represented in the exhibition:
  • William McKinley
  • John Q Adams
  • James Garfield
  • U.S. Grant
  • Warren G Harding
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • William Henry Harrison
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • William Howard Taft
  • George Washington
The checks are on display in Gallery B of The Stark County Story, near the 1950s kitchen.

They will only be on view for a limited time, so be sure to stop in soon! They will be leaving on February 28.

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