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5 Piastres 1940, Egypt

in Krause book Number: 163a
Years of issue: 25.05.1941
Edition: 6 Prefixes, 999000 each
Signatures: Minister of Finance: Abdel Hamid Suliman Pasha (in office 21.09.1940 - 14.11.1940)
Serie: Egyptian Government
Specimen of: 1940
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 96 x 57
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited Engravers, London

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5 Piastres 1940




5 Piastres 1940

Patterned rosette, in the form of a cobweb.


5 Piastres 1940

Aswan Dam Aswan Dam

The Aswan Low Dam or Old Aswan Dam is a gravity masonry buttress dam on the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. The dam was built at the former first cataract of the Nile, and is located about 1000 km. up-river and 690 km. (direct distance) south-southeast of Cairo. When initially constructed between 1899 and 1902, nothing of its scale had ever been attempted; on completion, it was the largest masonry dam in the world. The dam was designed to provide storage of annual floodwater and augment dry season flows to support greater irrigation development and population growth in the lower Nile. The dam, originally limited in height by conservation concerns, worked as designed, but provided inadequate storage capacity for planned development and was raised twice, between 1907 and 1912 and again in 1929-1933. These heightenings still did not meet irrigation demands and in 1946 it was nearly over-topped in an effort to maximize pool elevation. This led to the investigation and construction of the Aswan High Dam 6 kilometers (3.7 mi.) upstream.

The earliest recorded attempt to build a dam near Aswan was in the 11th century, when the Arab polymath and engineer Ibn al-Haytham (known as Alhazen in the West) was summoned to Egypt by the Fatimid Caliph, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, to regulate the flooding of the Nile. After his field work convinced him of the impracticality of this scheme, and fearing the Caliph's anger, he feigned madness. He was kept under house arrest from 1011 until al-Hakim's death in 1021, during which time he wrote his influential Book of Optics.

Following their 1882 victory of the Anglo-Egyptian War leading to the occupation of Egypt, the British began construction of the first dam across the Nile in 1898. Construction lasted until 1902, and it was opened on 10 December 1902, by the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. The project was designed by Sir William Willcocks and involved several eminent engineers of the time, including Sir Benjamin Baker and Sir John Aird, whose firm, John Aird & Co., was the main contractor. Capital and financing were furnished by Ernest Cassel.

The Old Aswan Dam was designed as a gravity-buttress dam; the buttress sections accommodate numerous gates, which were opened yearly to pass the flood and its nutrient-rich sediments, but without retaining any yearly storage. The dam was constructed of rubble masonry and faced with red ashlar granite. When constructed, the Old Aswan Dam was the largest masonry dam in the world. The design also included a navigation lock of similar construction on the western bank, which allowed shipping to pass upstream as far as the second cataract, whereas a portage overland was previously required. At the time of its construction, nothing of such scale had ever been attempted.

Initial limitations were imposed on the dam's height, due to concern for the Philae Temple. The initial construction was found to be inadequate for development needs, and the height of the dam was raised in two phases, 5 meters (16 ft.) between 1907–1912 and 9 meters (30 ft.) between 1929-1933. Generation of electricity was added. The first phase was supervised by Sir Benjamin Baker, but much of the detailed work was undertaken by Murdoch MacDonald.

With its final raising (designed and supervised by MacDonald's firm, Sir M MacDonald & Partners), the dam is 1,950 meters (6,400 ft.) in length, with a crest level 36 meters (118 ft.) above the original riverbed; the dam provides the main route for traffic between the city and the airport. With the construction of the High Dam upstream, the Old Dam's ability to pass the flood's sediments was lost, as was the serviceability provided by the locks. The previous Old Dam reservoir level was also lowered and now provides control of tailwater for the High Dam.

On right and left sides are stylized cypress branches.


The signature on banknote belongs to:

5 Piastres 1940

Abdel Hamid Soliman Pasha was appointed General Manager of Egyptian State Railways, Telegraph and Telephones. The appointment was made by Royal Decree. He was Minister of Public Works in the Yshia Pasha Imbrahim Cabinet April 25, 1924.