From the web site (quoting Henry Melville in his History of Van Diemen's Land, 1835):
The occasional scarcity of circulating medium, for the Commissariat did not bring into the colony British Coin, induced many individuals of known capital to issue promissory notes; this system spread like a contagious fever and before long men, almost strangers in the colony, followed the example. At first the notes were of four dollars (about a pound); some persons then reduced them to three - these sums were divided by others, and ultimately three penny and three half-penny notes became commonly current. The effect of all this was that improvements of all kinds were carried on with vigour, and high wages were given to workmen, for the masters paid them on the Saturday nights with coin of their own manufacture - it was one universal system of credit.
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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