Mission: Honoring Their Sacrifices... Through Education
Many explanations have surfaced
over the last decade as to why
and how the short snorter
tradition began but nothing
definitive has been published on
the Internet.
Lowell L. Getz published a good
"snorter" article in 2001 on the
website of the 91st Bomb Group.

The Short Snorter Project
will illuminate the short snorter
and those associated with the
tradition and provide a means to
educate the general public about
these artifacts brought home by
brave men and women from afar!

The Short Snorter Project
will act as a virtual museum
where digital images of short
snorters will be archived for the
public to see. Short snorters can
be submitted either electronically
or by mail for posting to this web
site. All notes will be returned!

The Short Snorter Project
is not determined to acquire the
actual notes. Any donations of
short snorters will be gladly
accepted and used for exhibits
and displays to educate others
about these artifacts, but it is
preferred that short snorters
remain with family members!

The Short Snorter Project
is dedicated to the brave men
and women who fought for our
freedom. Many of those young
folks did not live to tell their own
story. Those that survived are
encouraged to tell their families
and friends their stories, and to
share the names on their short
snorters, so that future
generations will understand the
meaning of sacrifice and the

"Greater love has no one
than this, that he lay down
his life for his friends."
"Every short snorter has a story to
tell. They are portable memorials to
the men and women who died for
freedom and to the thousands who
persevered to share the tale."
- Michael E. Marotta
"Short Snorters: Keeping the Memories
Alive" by Micheal E. Marotta
Reprinted courtesy of
The NUMISMATIST, official publication
of the American Numismatic Association
(Special thanks to Editor Barbara Gregory)
Click here to download a
Short Snorter 'WANTED' Poster
which can be used to
educate others about the
historical value of these
treasured artifacts from
what has been called
"The Greatest Generation."

Linda Williford contacted me
Sept. 17, 2007, regarding the
Harry Hopkins short snorter.
"I can identify one of the unknown
signatures on the Harry Hopkins
short snorter.  
D. Ray Comish was
my father
, he was a Flight Engineer
for Pan American Airlines and was
part of the crew that flew Roosevelt
and his entourage to Casablanca
aboard the Dixie Clipper."

Gary Schulze, owner of the Harry
Hopkins short snorter, was
immediately notified. Gary wrote,
"This is absolutely amazing. It
shows the value and popularity
of your website. This is one name
I never would have been able to
identify without your help.
Thanks again."

The really good news is that Linda
sent in scans of her father's short
snorters and other documentation...
Thomas Hughes from Keller, Texas, wrote in March 13, 2008, with the following...
              I checked out your site after reading about it in the Banknote Reporter article
              written by Kerry Rodgers.  The Harry Hopkins short-snorter reminded me of
              something I had read recently so I checked it out. Capt. Harry Butcher,
              Eisenhower’s Navel aide wrote a book in 1946 about his experiences, it was
              titled My Three Years with Eisenhower.  This book was more or less a diary.  
              On page 31 he refers to this short-snorter.  In the entry for July 25, 1942 he
“Lunched in Harry’s suite,(Claridge Hotel) other guests being Mrs.
              Randolph Churchill, Miss Kathleen Harriman, her father Minister Harriman,
              and Ike, who had came in from Marshall ’s suite for a quick lunch. (Said
              earlier he and Steve Early were present, this is the luncheon guest list.)  
              Found Kathleen had forgotten her short-snorter bill, so she was penalized
              five shillings for each short-snorter present.  We discovered Harry hadn’t
              been made a short-snorter, and he joined with pleasure and cash.  He was
              happy to be going home, as his wedding with Louise Macy is set for the 30th
              at the White House.  The Prime Minister and the Harrimans sent lovely silver
              gifts to be carried home.  Other short-snorters made and hooked were Tony
              Biddle, William Bullitt and Lew Douglas.”   
    The parentheses are mine; the rest is verbatim from the book.  He goes on to
              say Hopkins talked with Roosevelt by phone.
              "Hopkins had received numerous callers throughout the afternoon and finally
              at 6:00PM he poked his head out of a bedroom and said “OK boys, we’re going
 I hope you or Mr. Schulze get a chance to read Captain Butchers book.  It was
              quite a coincidence that I had re-read the book just a couple of weeks before
Banknote Reporter article came out.  I probably wouldn’t have remembered
               the story if I had to rely on my memory from the first read 20 years ago, when
              I acquired the book."

I relayed this information to Gary Schulze, owner of the Harry Hopkins short snorter, who
              "Thanks so much, Tom. This explains how it started for Hopkins. By the way,
               Harry Butcher's signature is on Harry Hopkins "short snorter" as well."

          Another Visitor Shares Some Important Origin Information

Paul R. Rowe sent me an email on November 13, 2008,  which reads...
              "Not sure if this is info you already have or not.  I didn't dig too deeply into
              your website but there was mention that not a lot is known how the practice
              started. Anyway, I'm currently reading a book from WWII that has an essay
              about the practice and its beginning.  The book is the reason I Googled the
              term.  I never heard of it before. The book is
Once There Was a War.  It
              is a collection of dispatches by John Steinbeck when he was reporting on
              the war. I have a paperback published by Bantam Books.  The dispatches
              were originally serialized in the NY Herald Tribune in 1943.  They were first
              collected and published by Viking in 1958. In the Bantam 50 edition I have,
              the short snorter essay appears on page 98 and is a dispatch dated
              September 2, 1943, somewhere in Africa.  He says it started with trans-
              Atlantic air travel as a joke.  The new crosser of the Atlantic (the passenger)
              would have a bill signed by the crew.  They would be expected to carry it
              with them and produce it on demand.  If they failed they owed a dollar to
              each person present.  I assume they only owed the short snorters present
              a dollar each (just like the current practice with challenge coins requires
              the person who fails to produce one to buy each other person that produces
              a challenge coin a drink). He says that as the war brought more and more
              people across the ocean the practice expanded and diluted to include almost
              everyone that crossed the ocean (not just those that flew) and became a
              version of an autograph book.  A single bill was added to with other dollars
              and sometimes foreign currency.  He also says that $20s and sometimes
              $100 bills were used.  He also says there were places of honor (under
              Morgantheau's signature) and other blank spaces for important signatures.
              Sorry if you've heard all this before but it wasn't clear on your website.  The
              essay is pretty obscure.  3 pages in a 200 page book possibly last published
              during the 60s. Anyway I hope this helps."

       Have We Found the Definitive Beginnings of the Short Snorter?

Bill O. Bailey sent in his dad's short snorter on November 1, 2008, and a news article from
around 1941 on how the Short Snorters came to be.

              "This is all I have left from my dads. There were two more bills that are long
              gone now. Also a news article from around 1941 on how the Short Snorters
              came to be (or one version of the tale). My dad, J.L. Bailey, was a pilot for Pan
              American Airways from 1941 to 1948 and flew out of Miami to points South.
              He wasn't a line Captain, but a Check Pilot for the Caribbean and So. American
              Divisions.I only know a few names on these - his, Ed Wynn - his room mate
              and aerobatic pilot and Helen Mack- a Miss America contestant from Boston-
              his girl friend at the time. (Not my Mom, they didn't meet until later)The article
              has no date but the reverse side has another piece on the appointment of Joe
              Eastman as Wartime Travel Czar and is dated on May 30th. A little cross
              checking gave me the rough 1941 date."

Check out the J. L. Bailey's snorters and the newspaper clipping... with cartoons!
The Short Snorter Project
A 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. Contributions are tax deductible! Click here for more information.
The PBS History Detectives have a nice write up about another version of the origins of
short snorters.
Click this link or the above logo to go to their web page...
British Royal Air Force pilots examine a nice example of a long short snorter.