Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Community currency--Iowa--Mason City--History--20th century; Depressions--1929--Iowa--Mason City--History;


In 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression, the Mason City Chamber of Commerce authorized the issuance of 10,000 yellow certificates with a face value of $1.00. This local effort to fight the economic disaster was represented in the unique certificates known as stamp scrip money. The overall goals of the program was to offer the unemployed work relief, build a road to further connect the city, experiment in the road building process using concrete macadam, and to stimulate local business all through the issuance of the 10,000 certificates. The idea of the project was introduced in early 1933, official road construction began in May, the road building process was finished in July, and the entire project ended in August of 1934. This paper will add to scrip money history by exploring the success and failures, influential citizens and local leadership, implementation of the road building project, and examine the details of the defined goals of the Mason City scrip project. As a whole, the scrip road project in Mason City, Iowa, provides a viewpoint of a local community working together to combat the Great Depression.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of History

First Advisor

Robert Martin, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 116 pages)



File Format