[http://www.duke.edu/~egw4/]

Historical Currency Collection

Save recent redesigns and varying levels of fiat and sectarianism (see below), US currency has looked about the same since 1935. Elsewhere, revolutionaries, occupiers, political symbols, and a great many zeroes have come and gone from currency. Also known as "The Wall of Shit," my collection consists largely of worthless (in an exchange-rate sense) banknotes illustrating war, strife, revolution, hyperinflation, and other nastiness.

The gigapan spreads are composites of scans of the currency, but are in roughly the same arrangement as they hang on a wall in my apartment.

Enjoy!

Full Spread (340dpi)   [Full Gigapan]



US Currency (600dpi)   [Full Gigapan]

(Clockwise)

  • Evangelicals became a viable voting block (at least as far as the US Treasury was concerned) in 1956.
  • Once upon a time, there was specie convertibility
  • Varying stages of fiat:
    • National Bank note, issued by a national bank against US treasury bonds it had purchased in gold
    • a United States Note, the first completely fiat currency issued to fund the Civil War
    • Federal Reserve Note

Fun in Africa (600dpi)   [Full Gigapan]

(From Left)

  • Northeast Africa
    • Somalia
    • Eritrea
  • Zimbabwe pre-land reform
  • Zimbabwe post-land reform
  • Uganda; yes, Idi Amin put his face on the currency

Central European Strife (600dpi)   [Full Gigapan]

(From Left)

  • Hyperinflation in Germany, post-WWI
  • WWII Wermacht-issue Reichsmark
  • East and West German marks
  • Austro-Hungarian Koruna
  • Hungarian Pengo (interwar)
  • Hungarian Pengo (post-WWII); 1 milliard = 1 billion

US Adventures in Foreign Policy (600dpi)   [Full Gigapan]

(From left)

  • Burmese Rupees, Japanese Government-Issue (WWII)
  • Vietnam; Ho Chi Minh
  • North Korea; Great Leader Kim Il Sung
  • Iran; Shah Pahlavi
  • Iran; Khomeini
  • Da Afghanistan Bank
  • Saddam

The Breakup of the Soviet Union (600dpi)

  • (UL) Czechoslovakia; the Czech Republic; and Slovakia
  • (UR) Communist Rubles; capitalist Rubles
  • (CR) Turkmenistan; Saparmurat Niyazov, the President-for-life, until he died
  • (LC) Belarus
  • (LL) Yugoslavia’s shameless addition of 10 zeroes to their dinar
  • (LR) Things got so bad in the Balkans that they had to overprint zeroes