For this month’s Mystery Photo, we show you two sides of scrip, a currency Traverse City city leaders issued in 1934, the height of the Great Depression. This money could be redeemed at many Traverse City businesses in exchange for goods. At one point teachers were paid in scrip since there was no other money available to them. The question is—why is the back filled with stamps? What goal did that accomplish? Good luck, history buffs!
The stamps were placed on the back on a weekly basis to ensure wide distribution. Every merchant supplied a stamp and after twenty stamps, the scrip could be turned in for a real dollar!
A quote from the Traverse City Record-Eagle at the time indicated there were problems with stamps falling off, but the system worked reasonably well.