American Currency Part 1: A Brief History of Money

As credit and debit cards gradually take over the sphere of purchasing, money becomes less and less a physical thing. Whereas a decade ago satirists were drawing images of moguls swimming in a sea of bills, this satire is shifting to illustrate these same moguls now depositing checks with too many zeroes into overseas bank accounts. Even in our personal lives, carrying cash rarely has many applications—cards are accepted everywhere, and even when they aren’t there’s almost always an ATM within reach.

But as we become more disconnected from our understanding of what is actually signified by our bank balance, by our available funds, it becomes important to reminisce on what the dollar physically is.

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