American History As Seen Through Currency

Title: American History As Seen Through Currency
Author(s): Dr. Edward Dauer, Joanne Dauer
Price: $79.95
Published: 2003

In their informative book American History As Seen Through Currency, Dr. Edward Dauer and Joanne Dauer take a novel approach in exploring both the historical context of circulating U.S. currency and the history depicted in its designs. Profusely illustrated, this tome combines masterful photography and interesting historical insights into the wide array of U.S. Federal currency issued from the Civil War era until the Great Depression. Using many notes from their own reference collection, the Dauers explore the historical relationships between the currency designs and the actual circulating period. Interesting historical sidebars, combined with a unique flair for personal insight, come together to make this book a surprisingly refreshing look at both American history and collectible U.S. currency.

Crisp, full-color illustrations of many rare notes from the Dauer collection will be immensely interesting to the many collectors of U.S. currency, as several are unique outside of government or museum hands. Such notes include the 1869 $500 and $1,000 Legal Tender “Rainbow” notes, the 1891 $1,000 Silver Certificate, the 1891 $1,000 Treasury “Grand Watermelon” note, the 1863 $100 Gold Certificate, and the $500 National Bank Note. Insights into the design depictions include brief biographies of the many luminaries so featured on U.S. currency, descriptions of many of the allegorical designs, and explanations of the historical artwork included on many notes of this time period.

Interesting sidebars appear frequently as well, including many illustrations of rare historical artifacts, also from the Dauers' personal collections, that are connected in some way to the circulating currency pictured or are contemporary in nature to the time period. Numerous signed documents, historical photographs, and interesting commentary touch on such subjects as the R.M.S. Titanic, Thomas Edison, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Lindbergh and his trans-continental plane The Spirit of St. Louis, and Annie Oakley, the Dauers cleverly tying each subject to the historical context of various currency issues. A personal touch is felt throughout, with features of numerous family photographs, photographs of celebrities, and various other charming asides.

While free of the typical dull, catalog type text that characterizes most current references, American History As Seen Through Currency is not at all lacking in serious scholarship and research. The Dauers have created a masterpiece with their novel approach to tying cultural and historical events that are directly or tangentially relevant to the varied issues of U.S. currency. The photography, magnificent in every respect, gives this work immediate importance to all collectors, and the interesting historical snippets should provide many hours of fascinating reading for almost any collector. Deserving of a place on the shelf of any collector's library, this work will likely take its place as first and foremost in its field with this unique blend of historical insight and collecting interest.

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