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"A dramatization which explains the essential purposes of money as a medium of exchange, analyzes factors which affect the value of the dollar, and shows the effects of rising prices on people with various types of income."
Reupload of a previously uploaded film with improved video & sound.
Public domain film from the Library of Congress Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
On the 15th of January, 1520, the Bohemian Count Hieronymus Schlick (Czech: Jeroným Šlik z Passounu) began minting coins known as Joachimsthaler, named for Joachimsthal (modern Jáchymov in the Czech Republic), where the silver was mined. (In German, thal or tal refers to a valley or dale.) "Joachimsthaler" was later shortened in common usage to taler or thaler (same pronunciation) and this shortened word eventually found its way into other languages: Czech tolar, Danish and Norwegian (rigs)daler, Swedish (riks)daler, Dutch (rijks)daalder, Ethiopian ታላሪ ("talari"), Italian tallero, Flemish daelder, Persian Dare, as well as into English as dollar.
Development of use
The coins minted at Joachimsthal soon lent their name to other coins of similar size and weight from other places. One such example, the Dutch lion dollar, circulated throughout the Middle East and was imitated in several German and Italian cities. Carried by Dutch traders, this coin was also popular in the Dutch East Indies as well as in the Dutch New Netherland Colony (New York), and circulated throughout the Thirteen Colonies during the 17th and early 18th centuries... By the mid-18th century, the lion dollar had been replaced by Spanish dollar, the famous "piece of eight," which were distributed widely in the Spanish colonies in the New World and in the Philippines. Pieces of eight (so-called because they were worth eight "reals") became known as "Spanish dollars" in the English-speaking world because of their similarity in size, weight and composition to the earlier thaler coins.
Origins of the dollar sign
The sign is first attested in business correspondence in the 1770s as a scribal abbreviation "ps", referring to the Spanish American peso, that is, the "Spanish dollar" as it was known in British North America. These late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century manuscripts show that the s gradually came to be written over the p developing a close equivalent to the "$" mark," and this new symbol was retained to refer to the American dollar as well, once this currency was adopted in 1785 by the United States.
Adoption by the United States
By the American Revolution, Spanish dollars gained significance because they backed paper money authorized by the individual colonies and the Continental Congress. Common in the Thirteen Colonies, Spanish dollars were even legal tender in one colony, Virginia.
On April 2, 1792, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton reported to Congress the precise amount of silver found in Spanish milled dollar coins in common use in the States. As a result, the United States Dollar was defined as a unit of weight equaling 371 4/16th grains (24.057 grams) of pure silver, or 416 grains of standard silver (standard silver being defined as 1,485 parts fine silver to 179 parts alloy). It was specified that the "money of account" of the United States should be expressed in those same "dollars" or parts thereof. Additionally, all lesser-denomination coins were defined as percentages of the dollar coin, such that a half-dollar was to contain half as much silver as a dollar, quarter-dollars would contain one-fourth as much, and so on.
In an act passed in January 1837, the dollar's alloy (amount of non-silver metal present) was set at 15%. Subsequent coins would contain the same amount of pure silver as previously, but were reduced in overall weight (to 412.25 grains). On February 21, 1853, the quantity of silver in the lesser coins was reduced, with the effect that their denominations no longer represented their silver content relative to dollar coins.
Various acts have subsequently been passed affecting the amount and type of metal in U. S. coins, so that today there is no legal definition of the term "dollar" to be found in U. S. statute...
Silver was mostly removed from U. S. coinage by 1965 and the dollar became a free-floating fiat currency without a commodity backing defined in terms of real gold or silver...