Financial History Issue 116 (Winter 2016) - Page 25

Cultural Heritage Many nations use money to reflect and define their cultural heritage. Notes from Egypt, for example, feature the pyramids, hieroglyphics and ancient sculpture. Similarly, Chinese notes depict the Great Wall of China, and colonial notes for the British Mandate for Palestine are decorated with monuments of the Old City of Jerusalem 10  . MESSAGES OF CIRCUMSTANCE Currency Shortages During the 1830s and the early 1840s, the United States faced economic decline and a shortage of coins. Copper tokens, called hard-times tokens, were issued privately and used as money. Some contain satirical images, such as a tortoise carrying a safe with the word “Treasury” on it 11  . 10 500 mil note, British Mandate for Palestine, 1927. Donated by Catherine Bullowa. Hardship and Hunger Food stamps are issued by the US government to low-income families and individuals and are accepted by most grocery stores as money for food purchases. The United States first began issuing food stamps in 1939 to help struggling families during the Great Depression. Since then, the government has also developed special programs for mothers and babies in need 12  . 11 Hard-times token, United States, 1837. Donated by Mendel L. Peterson. 12 Food certificate, United States, circa 1970. Donated by US Department of Agriculture.  |  Winter 2016  |  FINANCIAL HISTORY  23