Emergency Finance Corporation
The Emergency Finance Corporation was the brainchild of Thomas W. Meiklejohn of Fond du Lac. Meiklejohn created the Emergency Finance Corporation in January 1933 for two reasons: (1) provide unemployment relief, and (2) provide aid to local farmers. His mechanism for achieving both of these goals was a form of stamp scrip.
The Emergency Finance Corporation was capitalized at $25,000.00. The capitalization of the corporation was deposited with the First Fond du Lac National Bank as backing for an issue of stamp scrip. The initial issue of scrip was issued in denominations of $.50 and $1.00. Farmers were paid $1.25 in scrip for every $1.00 in produce. Merchants could buy the scrip at its discounted price to use to pay farmers at its face value. It could also be bought by low income wage earners at the same discount.
Circulation of the scrip required affixing a $.01 stamp for every half dollar of scrip per transaction. After 50 transactions, the scrip was redeemable for cash as it had been fully liquidated by the purchase of the stamps. The profit generated by the scrip was used for unemployment relief.
Local employers also looked to the Emergency Finance Corporation and its scrip to provide money for payrolls. The second and third issues of scrip were printed for this purpose. These notes circulated without the stamp requirement and were redeemable in cash upon expiration of the banking emergency.