U.S. History


A History of United States Paper Money


Types of U.S. Notes
Descriptions of Various Types of United States Paper Currency

There have been many different types of currency recognized by the United States (or parts within) since its inception. Some discontinued forms include Fractional Currency, Confederate Currency, and Military Payment Certificates. U.S. currency is often referred to as either Large or Small Sized Currency.

Large Sized Currency

More than a dozen different types of Large Sized Currency (7 3/8 " by 3 1/4") have circulated in the United States since the beginning of the 19th Century. Some of these include War of 1812 Treasury Notes, Compound Interest Treasury Notes, and Refunding Certificates. A brief description of two important types of Large Sized notes follows.

Demand Notes (1861)

Coming in $5, $10, and $20 denominations, Demand Notes were one of the earliest forms of currency issued by the United States government. These notes were unique at the time in that they had printing on their back - in green ink. Hence, they earned the nickname "Greenbacks".

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