Thursday, March 1, 2012

What The Original $1 Bill Looked Like

In 1862 Salmon Portland Chase, who served as Secretary of the Treasury in President Lincoln's cabinet from 1861 to 1864, designed the original US $1 bill. So who do you think he put on that bill? Himself, of course. Chase wanted to be President, and he figured that having his face on popular currency would be killer buzz-marketing - obviously, that didn't pan out.

Chase’s visage also graces the obverse of the 1929 $10,000 bill, as a kind of consolation prize for his demotion from $1 fame. Other relevant fun facts: the “P” in Salmon P. Chase stands for “Portland”; Chase National Bank was named after him (though he wasn’t actually involved in its operation); and in 1869 George Washington replaced Chase on our $1 notes — by that time, Chase was a member of the Supreme Court, busily declaring his own creation of the greenback to be unconstitutional


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