National Currency Collection
South Africa, Sir Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Standard Bank of South Africa, 1 pound : 1900
If MacGyver had to print currency.
During the Boer War, the small British garrison town of Mafeking was besieged by the Boer Army for 31 weeks. Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, future founder of the Boy Scouts, commanded the garrison. In order to maintain an economy, they needed currency. Baden-Powell, always prepared, printed ‘siege money’ using a carved croquet mallet head as a stamp. This paper “money” was to be used only during the siege, redeemable for cash after the end of the conflict. Once the siege lifted, many people chose not to redeem their notes, keeping them as souvenirs of their experience.