Throughout its history the United States Currency has been changed many times. Here is the list of milestones that it went through:

U.S. Currency Milestones

1690 -- Massachusetts Bay Colony issued bills of credit to finance military expedition to Canada.

1775 -- Continental Congress issued currency during the American Revolution to cover government and military expenditures.

1780 -- Continental Congress stopped printing Continental Currency when it fell to one-fortieth of original face value.

1812 -- Treasury Notes issued by Congress to cover short-term loans during War of 1812.

1800-1865 -- Banks and companies print paper currency. Bills issued by failed banks were called "broken-bank notes".

1861 -- First legal tender paper money authorized by Congress as demand notes or "greenbacks".

1914 -- Federal Reserve Notes issued under Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

1929 -- First small-sized currency issued.

1946 -- Last printing of denominations larger than $100.

1955 -- IN GOD WE TRUST mandated on all coins and paper bills.

1991 -- Security thread added to $100 notes.

Interestingly, the last time a major design change was introduced was in 1929. For almost seventy years the US banknots were virtually unchanged, except for minor adjustments.

Another intersting point is the fact that not a single one of these changes was meant to take into account human factors such as recognizability.

See Also:

Last modified: Sun Dec 8 12:17:43 EST 1996