Moments in Time: Currency in America
Some say it’s all about the Benjamins, but paper currency in the Americas actually began some sixteen years before the publisher, revolutionary and discoverer of lightning was born. That’s not to say that Benjamin Franklin didn’t have an early role in paper currency. He began printing counterfeit colonial notes on his very own press in 1739. Of course, the founding fathers raised the stakes in 1775 with the issuance of its first independent American debt note. Unfortunately, the value of that paper fell fast… birthing the phrase “not worth a Continental.”
Franklin himself never got to see the first successful American paper currency. That occurred seventy years after his death on March 10, 1862. Since then, it has indeed been all about the Benjamins.