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Pictures From A Distant Country
Images on 19th Century U.S. Currency
by Richard G. Doty, Ph.D., Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 978-1-932482-15-7
Everyone knows that there is only one form of American currency, the product of a single issuer. The currency is the Greenback, and the issuer is the federal government. But this arrangement has not always been the rule: for much of the nation's history (including what many would see as its most dynamic period of growth) there was no federal currency in circulation. Instead, there were the products of private banks and other businesses, which had or took upon themselves the right and responsibility to issue currency. We call this private money obsolete bank notes, and they form the basis of this book. Over 350 detailed images of these private notes are included as illustrations.

About the Author

Richard G. Doty received his doctorate in Latin American Studies in 1968. He taught at several universities, then came to work at the American Numismatic Society, and later at the Smithsonian Institution. He is the author of eight books and two hundred articles, nearly all of them on numismatics. He also serves as President of the International Committee of Money and Banking Museums. He lives in Washington.