I’m gonna go off topic today. When I wrote about the Lottery Ball back in July, I mentioned that “The history of the lottery in the United States dates back to the 1600’s, while Europe was colonizing North America. Many colonies saw gambling as harmless fun, but as English investors waned to profit from the New World, this changed quickly. As time went on, each of the 13 original colonies had a lottery system in place to help fund the colonies. It became a civic duty to play the lottery. Recessions, scandals, and corruption had almost eliminated the lottery in the United States by 1868.”
How these lotteries worked was much the same way as today. Tickets were sold with official stamps and endorsements and the proceeds would go to a certain charity, or group that needed funding. These tickets could be very lucrative, as the prizes, when adjusted for inflation, were quite good. A perfect example are these three lottery tickets from the Maryland Consolidated Lotteries for the benefit of the Patapsco Female Institute which was in Ellicott City, Howard County, Maryland. All three tickets are from December 6, 1858.
One ticket is for one quarter, another for one half and the third for a full ticket. If one of these tickets was a winner and the winning amount was $10,000($269,586.38), the full ticket would bring the whole amount. For the half ticket, the winner would get $5,000($134,793.19). The quarter ticket would bring $2,500($67396.60). Each ticket has a Maryland State revenue stamp on it (not an actual paper stamp, but ink stamped). The half ticket has a little dent on the right. All three are in excellent condition. Real treasures of Maryland history. Like most of the early lottery tickets from Maryland, they shows Baltimore on them.
Looking at the designs, you can’t help but be impressed with the design. These are from 1858, the designs look impressive, and are even more impressive considering how much work had to go into something that seems so mundane. Even the rubber stamp designs look good, considering the era. I can’t help but be awed by the amount of work that went into them.
I love vintage design, not just in race cars, but in a lot of things. Money, baseball cards, sports tickets, book and magazine covers, and sports programs just don’t look as good as they did back in the day. That’s why I love good throwback scheme.