Hey, everyone–sorry to keep phoning it in with reblogs, but I'm exhausted from the holidays and don't have the strength to dig through my own research for interesting stuff every single day. I found the following story on Futility Closet's blog here.
"Counterfeiting was a lot harder in the old days.
"In the 1880s, Emanuel Ninger, known as 'Jim the Penman,' drew $50 and $100 bills by hand, spending weeks on each one. Fifty bucks was a lot back then, about $2,000 in today’s money, so the effort was worthwhile. This also meant that his 'work' ended up in the hands of rich people, and he actually gained a perverse following who realized the forgeries’ value as works of art.
"He drew this note in 1896, just before the Secret Service nabbed him. He’d left a note on a wet bar, and the bartender saw the ink run. Ninger served six months and was forced to pay restitution of $1. He never forged again."
Here is an example of a Ninger note:
It's actually a shame they stamped "COUNTERFEIT" over it–he clearly had some serious skills.