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· SVALBARD(Spitsbergen) Paper Money,
Arctic Coal Co., 1911 Issues


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Usa President William Howard Taft

USA President:
William H. Taft
J.M. Longyear

Co-Founder ACC:
J. M.
Fredrick Ayers

Co-Founder ACC:

SVALBARD, Arctic Coal Company, Island Creek Stores Co. ND(1911) Issues Coupon Booklet

Kingdom of Norway

Printer: Allison Coupon Company, Indianapolis, IA, USA

1911 Island Creek Stores Chits

NP.IC22 10 Dollars Front Cover
NP.IC! 1 Centsx5
NP.IC2 2 Centsx5
NP.IC3 5 Centsx5
NP.IC4 10 Centsx5
NP.IC5 25 Centsx5
NP.IC6 50 Centsx5
NP.IC22 Record Page
NP.IC22 10 Dollars Back Cover


Arctic Coal Company - John Munro Longyear, an American, visited SCLICK TO ENLARGE Svalbard John Longyearpitsbergen as a tourist with his family in the summer of 1901. He observed coal exploration in Bellsund and spent some time ashore in Adventfjord where he saw outcrops of coal. His interest piqued, he made a second trip and obtained coal samples that proved to be of high quality. Longyear and an associate, Frederick Ayer of Boston, purchased the tracts from Trondhjem-Spitsbergen Kulkompagni on January 1, 1905 for 50,000 Kroner in fully paid shares and 10,000 Kroner cash. Development started in 1905 and the first company building was constructed in 1906 by Wm. D. Munroe, who found and acquired additional promising tracts at Sassenfjord and Kapp Boheman.

Arctic Coal Company was incorporated in Boston on February 6, 1906. The following areas were claimed by the company.

Tract 1: Advent Bay tract - area from Colesbukta (bukta = bay) to Adventfjord. Mine No.1 was opened in the winter of 1906/07 in this tract in Longyeardal (dal = valley).

Tract 2:
Green-Harbour tract - area from Grønfjord to Colesbukta

Tract 3: Sassen Bay tract - area from De Geerdal to Sassendal

Tract 4: Cape Boheman tract - area on Bohemanneset

Serious construction began in the summer of 1906, sailing June 4th with supplies and 50 workers from Trondhjem. July 6, 1907 the first load of coal went over the new docks, becoming the terminus of an aerial ropeway, stock pile and loading plant. By 1911 there were about 10 buildings at Longyearbyen. On October 1, 1911 the last boat left Adventfjord, leaving a winter force of  90 plus a foreman. Up to 300 people lived in Longyearbyen during the activities of the Arctic Coal Co., mostly Norwegians.

About 1960 a booklet of coupons from 1911 was found during a clean-up in the basement of the former Arctic Coal Co. office building. These scrip, #7489F, are labeled Island Creek Stores Company and are believed to have been used at their supply storeThe Arctic Coal Co. proved commercial coal production on Svalbard was feasible and profitable. However, the lack of sovereignty created problems of claim jumping and land disputes. For example, on RusanovoddeCLICK TO ENLARGE Arctic Coal Co 1912n (odden = point), Coles Bay Point, in 1913 they found a new Russian building of heavy plank, Russian flag on pole, two men planning to stay the winter and 300 ft. from the house an Arctic Coal Co. claim post, put there in 1905, broken and burned. Also, a number of individuals and companies were contesting their claims on the east shore of Grønfjord. In addition, trappers and prospectors would become caught by ice on Svalbard, experience an accident or run out of supplies, then sought shelter, help and supplies from the company. These became a constant problem and burden to the company because they were seldom repaid and were unable to obtain legal settlements. In addition, world tensions were leading to war and there were uncertainties in the economy. Because of these factors Ayer & Longyear decided to sell their Spitsbergen business.


Coal Map

The company shut down in the autumn of 1915. During the American period 160,000 metric tons of coal were produced and shipped to Norway. The Russian-Siberian Company was very interested in purchasing the Arctic Coal Company along with other Russian, German, Norwegian, and Swedish companies. F. Hiorth, C. Anker, and others were encouraging Norwegian interests to purchase the American company. It resulted in the government sending Adolf Hoel and Svalheim, geologists and mining experts to Isfjord to investigate. Their favorable report of September 1915 led to the Norwegian government exerting pressure on the Central Bank, whose president, Kjelland-Torkildsen, signed an offer in March of 1916 that resulted in the purchase of the Arctic Coal Company.

The coupons shown here are the first of two types known with the first being from the 1911 period. The 1911 booklet shown above is the only example know to have survived of this issue. The booklet is organized as follows:


1 Missing page
(receipt for book?)
2 50¢ x 5 = 250¢
3 25¢ x 5 = 125¢
4 25¢ x 5 = 125¢
5 25¢ x 5 = 125¢
6 25¢ x 5 = 125¢
7 10¢ x 5 = 50¢
8 10¢ x 5 = 50¢
9 5¢ x 5 = 25¢
10 5¢ x 5 = 25¢
11 5¢ x 5 = 25¢
12 5¢ x 5 = 25¢
13 2¢ x 5 = 10¢
14 2¢ x 5 = 10¢
15 2¢ x 5 = 10¢
16 1¢ x 5 =
17 1¢ x 5 =
18 1¢ x 5 =
19 1¢ x 5 =
20 Accounting sheet
21 Accounting sheet

The second type of booklet is listed on Page IC7

*NP catalog numbers are from an excellent catalog Norseke Pengesedler which covers these issues along with all Norway banknotes from 1695-2005 as well as Bjørnøya (Bear Island) notes: Norwegian Banknotes with Svalbard [Spitzbergen] and Bear Island by Sæthre & Eldorsen 2005

Readers who can provide an additional information on these issues are encouraged to write us.

We gratefully acknowledge the late numismatist Walt Jellum who provided banknote images, photos  and background information for this section.