Episode

Planet Money

NPR

Business, News & Politics

Chart Positions

Business 2
Top 200 21

The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.

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#421: The Birth Of The Dollar Bill

December 7th, 2012

Episode 539 of 910 episodes

Before the Civil War, there were 8,000 different kinds of money in the United States.Banks printed their own paper money. And, unlike today, a $1 bill wasn't always worth $1. Sometimes people took the bills at face value. Sometimes they accepted them at a discount (a $1 bill might only be worth 90 cents, say.) Sometimes people rejected certain bills altogether.On today's show, we figure out how this world worked. And explain how the Civil War — and the Union's need for money — changed everything.

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