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George Anthony Selgin,"Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775-1821"
University of Michigan Press | July 14, 2008 | ISBN: 0472116312 | PDF | 390 pages | 8mb
Good Money tells the fascinating story of British manufacturers' challenge to the Crown's monopoly on coinage. In the 1780s, when the Industrial Revolution was gathering momentum, the Royal Mint failed to produce enough small-denomination coinage for factory owners to pay their workers. As the currency shortage threatened to derail industrial progress, manufacturers began to mint custom-made coins, called "tradesman's tokens." Rapidly gaining wide acceptance, these tokens served as the nation's most popular currency for wages and retail sales until 1821, when the Crown outlawed all moneys except its own.Economist George Selgin presents a lively tale of enterprising manufacturers, technological innovations, alternative currencies, and struggles over the right to coin legal money.