legendary Coins and Currency
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Legendary FirstsLegendary BeautiesUnexpected LegendsGolden LegendsLegends of the Human Spirit
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Some money becomes legendary because it<br />symbolizes human struggle and triumph.
Molly Pitcher, whose husband died in the American Revolution, takes his place in battle. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.
Molly Pitcher, whose husband died in the American Revolution, takes his place in battle. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

EMBLEMS OF IDENTITY


Money speaks to more than buying and selling.  It also proclaims a community’s unique identity.  In a crisis, people will do almost anything to keep their money in circulation, because it symbolizes their common life and purpose. Thus legends are made.

United States, $30, 1776

KEEP HOPE ALIVE


During the American Revolution, people sewed and pinned tattered bills together even as the money became almost worthless. In the Civil War, Southerners succeeded in holding their notes, if not their nation, together with odd bits of paper and glue.  In the Great Depression, the collapse of the national monetary system forced creation of unorthodox, local systems, featuring everything from adhesive stamps to clamshells.
Legends of the Human Spirit The following objects are in this section.
United States, 2 Dollars, 1776Connecticut, 2 Shillings 6 Pence, 1776Confederacy, 1 Dollar, 1862
United States, 30 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1862Norfolk, Nebraska, 1 Dollar, 1933
Virginia, 15 Dollars, 1776Confederacy, 5 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 1 Dollar, 1933
Maryland, 1 2/3 Dollars, 1775Confederacy, 10 Dollars, 1863Pismo Beach, California, 50 Cents, 1933
 
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Learning Resources Flash Exhibition
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