The History of Money

  • Continental Currency

    Continental Currency
    The American colonists issued paper money for the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War. The notes were backed by the “anticipation” of tax revenues. Without solid backing and because they were easily counterfeited, the notes quickly lost value.
  • Our Nations First Bank

    Our Nations First Bank
    The Continental Congress chartered the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the nation's first “real” bank to give further financial support to the Revolutionary War.
  • The Dollar

    The Dollar
    The Continetal Congress adopted the dollar.
  • The United States Mint

    The United States Mint
    The Federal Monetary System was established along with the creation of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.
  • Greenbacks

    Demand Notes were replaced by United States Notes. Commonly called “greenbacks” because of the green tint introduced to discourage photographic counterfeiting, they were last issued in 1971.
  • The Design of the Dollar

    The Design of the Dollar
    The design of U.S. currency incorporated a Treasury seal, intricate geometric lathe work patterns, and distinctive cotton and linen paper with embedded red and blue fibers.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of Engraving and Printing started printing all U.S. currency.
  • Federal Reserve Act

    Federal Reserve Act
    After the 1893 and 1907 financial panics, the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed. It created the Federal Reserve System as the nation's central bank to regulate the flow of money and credit for economic stability and growth.
  • Standard Design

    Standard Design
    Currency was reduced in size by 25 percent, and a consistent design was introduced with uniform portraits on the front and emblems and monuments on the back.
  • In God We Trust

    In God We Trust
    Paper currency was first issued with the inscription “In God We Trust” in 1957. The inscription appears on all currency Series 1963 and later.