America's currency hasn't always been today's reliable,
if somewhat boring, greenback. Here are some little-known dollar
$ Paul Revere
made the first plates for "Continental Currency" in
1775. The notes were redeemable in Spanish-milled dollars.
$ The U.S. government
did not issue paper money per se until 1861. Instead, it chartered
1,600 private banks to print and circulate their own bills. There
were eventually 7,000 varieties of "state bank notes"
in circulation, each with a different design.
$ When Americans
began hoarding coins for their intrinsic value during the Civil
War, the U.S. Treasury printed 3-, 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-cent notes.
$ In 1929, U.S.
currency was reduced to two-thirds of its former size to accommodate
12-up printing processes.
$ It takes approximately
4,000 double-folds to tear a U.S. bill.