Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7

13 Things about Money, Honey


It's been foremost on my mind lately as my son is one year away from college. So here is some historical information about that which is "the root of all evil":

1. Animals were the first forms of "money", then followed by the use of grain, vegetables or other plant products. About 9,000 - 6,000 BC.

2. 1,200 BC: Cowrie shells were first used as money in China. It is the most widely and longest used currency in history, still being used as recently as the middle of the 1900's in some parts of Africa.

3. The Chinese get sick and tired of fishing shells out of the shallow waters and they begin to manufacture bronze and copper cowrie imitations by the end of the Stone Age, around 1,000 BC.

4. Outside of China, the first coins were developed out of lumps of silver, eventually taking their round, flat shape. They first appeared in what is now known as Turkey, and the process was refined throughout the Greek, Persian, Macedonian and Roman empires.

5. 118 BC: Leather money was used in China. Historians consider this use of deerskin the first documented type of banknote. Deer begin to figure out how to hide their hides more efficiently.

6. The exodus of the Danish people in 800-900 AD to Ireland gave birth to the saying "to pay through the nose". Seems these Danes felt since they were living in Ireland, they didn't have to pay the Dane poll tax. However, the mucky-mucks had other ideas and chased them the hell down. Once cornered in the pub, if they refused to pay, their noses were split in two with a knife. And I doubt the Danes took time to make sure their knives were nice and sharp.

7. Progress, as it is wont to do, begins and stuff like Potlach and Wampum (which is actually a "money belt") begin to be used, along with coins, shells, paper money, etc. Columbus parks his boats on the East Coast, and the Indian people soon being to understand the phrase: Manifest Destiny. However in a stroke of luck, the Massachusetts Bay Colony declare wampum as legal tender in 1637, years after John Bridges stated in 1587: "A fool and his money are soon parted" (In Defense of Government).

8. Here in the ol' states, in order to finance that little headache called the American Revolution, Congress gives the thumbs up to the first printing of currency. However, not thinking the process through by having the financial backing of gold or silver, these "Continentals" quickly devalue and become useless.


9. There is a money free-for-all -- every state, every bank, everyone with a pot of ink and a pen start making their own money. This was called the Free Banking Era. What they didn't know then, which we all know now is that banking ain't free, so that went bust -- just as soon as we needed to fund that other headache. The Civil War.

10. It occurs to some that the financing of wars is the impetus for restructuring the monetary system. In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville stated in 1835 "I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken a strong hold on the affections of men..." and women. True then and true now.

11. As are these notables: From the NY Times, May 31, 1864: "There are some things that money can't buy." From the Saturday Evening Post, June 18, 1870: "Money isn't everything." From the Washington Post, July 17, 1906: "Money doesn't grow on trees."


12. The largest bill ever circulated was the $10,000 bill, which features the face of Salmon P. Chase, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury. Never touched it, never will. Currently, the $100 bill is the largest in circulation. Never touched it, never will.

13. And finally, those words of wisdom from the lads: "I don't care too much for money; Money can't buy me love."

44 comments:

Suprina said...

What a great list. A lot of stuff that I didn't know about money!

Nicole said...

That's a neat list. You always have TTs that have been so obviously thought out... they're fun to read!

(My TT will be up in another few hours, as it's still Wednesday for me. But happy TT anyway!)

mama kelly said...

A facinating list of facts!! I loved learning stuff I didn't know about the history of currency.

Happy Th13

Mama Kelly

Anonymous said...

I love it that Salmon P. Chase is now a part of your life!

Anne

PS You do realize, of course, that the Lad who wrote "Money can't buy me love" will soon be shelling out tens of millions of dollars to rid himself of a one-legged Dancing with the Stars contestant ...

WhatWorksForMom said...

Wow. Very thorough list! And your cats are pretty cute too. :)

Lori said...

Great info!! Thanks for sharing:)

damozel said...

This was absolutely fascinating. Oddly enough, a friend and I were wondering just the other day how monetary systems evolved. You wonder why people wanted the cowrie shells so much that they were willing to give people grain etc for them....

I didn't know the origins of the phrase "to pay through the nose." Actually, I'm kind of sorry I do now...eeeew. and OUCH

colleen said...

Didn't John Lennon say "money can't buy me love?"

We once had something called Floydian Script here in Floyd that you could barter with. See here http://smartcommunities.typepad.com/suzanne/2005/07/barter_system_m.html

If shells were money now, I'd be rich. I collect them. Gotta work on getting my 13 ready and up.

pussreboots said...

Fascinating and educational. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nope, money can't buy love. It also can't buy some college tuitions these days. Holy smoke, what some of those schools charge!!!! Mind-boggling. Wrong.

As I'm sure you are discovering. Keep on saving, babe. You'll make it.

'B' said...

A great (obscure) list you have here... Thanks for visiting and commenting (twice, second by accident perhaps??)

http://burntofferings.blogspot.com/

Happy TT!

Emmyrose said...

Great list :)

Mom not Mum said...

Great list. I love lists like this!

Harlekwin said...

A great list of common 'cents'! You knew someone had to. I really enjoyed reading this. Cowrie shells, go figure.

Happy TT!

L^2 said...

What an interesting list of stuff I didn't know about! :-)

Nicholas said...

That's a fascinating list. I wonder what Salmon P. Chase's parents were thinking of when they named him.

cowboytf said...

Super interesting list ya have there! I'm new so I thought I'd stop by and say hey..so hey;)

Nicole Austin said...

This is a great list! The 10,000 bill is crazy.

Happy TT!

Marina said...

Nice history lesson!

Have a great Thursday!

Carolan Ivey said...

I've got one in college and another one not far behind her... got any spare wampum belts lyin' around? ;)

Malcolm: said...

Thanks for the informative TT. The evolution of money is very interesting.

kat said...

Great T13 post :) Happy TT!

WendyWings said...

Now I have the Beatles song running through my head lol.

Happy TT day to you, wish I had MORE money ;)

samulli said...

Money is definitely the root of all evil in my life. Or the constant lack of it, more like.
That is a very interesting list you made there. I didn't know most of that stuff. I'd like to use shells as money again, though. At least they are nicer to look at than the boring bills with dead people on them...

Tink said...

Interesting list! My sister works at our National Bank in Amsterdam. I didn't know the US facts though!
Thanks for visiting my Maia pictures TT.

Robin said...

Love love love the line about the deer protecting their hides!

busy91 said...

Too cool, Thanks for the money history lesson. Most of that stuff I didn't know. Happy TT

Shelby said...

aw yes - money...

Elle Fredrix said...

Wow. thanks for sharing some really interesting facts.

Jill said...

Money!! Did you talk about money???
interesting facts!!
But sad fact, just that there never seems to be enough!!

Ann Aguirre said...

On the isle of Yap, they still have stone money that they use for largely ceremonial purposes. It's an interesting history.

Sparky Duck said...

Thanks for the history lesson! Its always good to remember how we were able to hoodwink the native americans and then how we tried to hoodwink each other with the free banking disaster

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Can't buy me love! Amen! Happy TT.

Couch Potato said...

Love the money history...

Thanks for visiting me.

Comedy + said...

Very well done. I didn't know most of this. What a great history lesson on that which we worship so much. Well, not everybody, but lots of folks. Have a great TT. :)

May said...

Since I'm a budding economist, money interests me. Fascinating TT!

Gabriella Hewitt said...

The pay through the nose comment is scary. Ouch!

Kewl facts on money.

Thanking my fellow TTer's this week. Come get thanked!

Holly said...

What a great list. I didn't know half that stuff.

MamaLee said...

Learn something new every day!

Happy TT!

Tempest Knight said...

Very interesting! Happy T13!

Donica Covey said...

Very cool!

Donica

cajunvegan said...

I love the "never touched it, never will" reference to the bills. Thanks for stopping by my "simple truths" list.

grace_of_angels88 said...

Hi. Thank you for the comments. But I really don't understand why most of the comments I wrote an excellent to-do-list. Btaw, I don't know what special with my thursday thirteen to-do-list. lol but im flattered of the comments. lol

Laura said...

Hello...can you explain how Thursday 13 works? I really enjoyed your list -- very cool!
Thanks in advance!