Slideshow July/August 2009

Currency Exchange

Michael Bierut analyzes the world’s best and worst banknote designs

United States / 1 Dollar, 1862

Paper money came to America during the early 1860s, when Congress authorized the U.S. Treasury to issue bank notes to help finance the Civil War. Until then, hundreds of different kinds of currency were created by private banks. The first U.S. dollar bill was an exuberant affair, designed to resemble a formal certificate.

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