The Short Snorter

This artefact is the Short Snorter of Lieutenant R.H. Stevenson (Accession # 27.09.1942).

Collecting signatures on a ‘short snorter’ note was a popular preoccupation during World War II. These notes became a record of members’ travels and associations overseas and a social status symbol, boasting the quantity and quality of signatures collected and thus, acquaintances made.

A ‘short snorter’ is a note of currency that has been signed by numerous short snorter club members. Originally, it was understood that a person was only eligible for membership to the ‘club’ if he had flown across the Atlantic Ocean. These requirements later adapted to include those whom had flown 1000 miles over water by day. Many ‘short snorters’ hold an impressive narrative of names including former presidents, politicans and war hereos. Winston Churchill himself was said to be a member. The note belonging to Stevenson is an Australian shilling note packed with upwards of 52 names including, NZEF and United States personnel; we are in the process of deciphering individuals from their scrawled markings. Can you read any?

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