Small-size national bank notes were issued in reduced size characteristic of other types of United States currency beginning in the late 1920s. Small national bank notes differ significantly from their predecessors not just in physical size but also in design. Whereas the earlier, large national bank notes carry ornate designs and are prominently emblazoned with an engraved printing of the name of the issuing bank, the small national bank notes show portraits more akin to the more modern notes of the mid 20th century and later, with the bank name over-printed on the note.
Small national bank notes were retired in the 1930s as the Federal Reserve notes, United States notes, and silver certificates became the principal forms of paper currency. Today, small national bank notes are widely collected, and many are readily available thanks to large quantities of several varieties having been printed and saved. Many are collected by the issuing city of the bank.