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Buster Keaton Finds A Silver Certificate in Sherlock Jr.

Buster Keaton Finds A Silver Certificate in Sherlock Jr.

“The best way of successfully acting a part is to be it”

– The Adventure of the Dying Detective (DYIN)

Series 1899 $1 Silver Certificate (Freidberg #226) – Wikipedia

In the opening minutes of the film Sherlock, Jr., the actor Buster Keaton is sweeping trash in a movie theater. At approximately the 4:00 minute mark, a gentleman walks out and is counting money in his wallet.

Keaton resumes sweeping and finds a banknote. He will place it in his pocket, along with two others he already has.

Keaton is about to leave, when a young lady appears and starts sorting through the trash. She claims to have lost a dollar.

Buster reaches into his pocket and pulls out a dollar bill. He asks the young lady to identify the bill, which she does by looking over his shoulder. Keaton gives the bill to the woman.

The above screen capture shows the bill fairly clearly and we are able to identify it a Series 1899 $1 Silver Certificate due to the vignette of the black eagle on the front of the bill. There are 11 different signature combinations on this note for the Register of the Treasury and the Treasurer. This note was continually printed from 1899 until 1923, when the vignette of George Washington replaced the eagle design.  Also keep in mind that prior to 1929, U.S. currency was much larger than the bills we have in our wallets and pockets today.

Going back to the movie, we now have an older woman rooting through the trash looking for a dollar.

Keaton hands over one of the dollars that was originally in his pocket.

 Keaton is now down to having only $1 remaining, after having started with two before he found the bill.

A large man starts rummaging through the trash. Keaton attempts to give his last dollar to this man.

The man returns the dollar to Keaton and resumes going through the trash, finding his wallet. As he walks away, he is counting the bills.

Other than the movie’s title, and Keaton’s use of a magnifying glass in some scenes, this film is not that Sherlockian. However, make up your own mind as you watch the full movie below!

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