George Washington on Coins and Currency
George Washington is the most popular subject on coins, medals, tokens, paper money and postage stamps in America. Attempts to eliminate one-dollar bills from circulation, replacing them with coins, have been unsuccessful. Americans’ reluctance to part with their “Georges” are beyond rational considerations but tap into deep-felt emotions. To discard one-dollar bills means discarding the metaphorical Father of His Country.
Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, said that monetary tokens were “vehicles of useful impressions.” This numismatic history of George Washington traces the persistence of his image on American currency. These images are mostly from the late 18th-century. This book also offers a close look at the pictorial tradition in which these images are rooted.