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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 13, March 29, 2009, Article 19

BANK OF ENGLAND EXHIBIT: THE TENNER

The Bank of England Museum was one of my favorite haunts in London. Admission is free, and if you ever get a change to visit, the museum is a must-see. This article from The telegraph review a new exhibit on the ten pound note. -Editor
ten-pound-note Deep in an underground vault bleached by fluorescent light, he pushed the forged bank note towards me. It was a handsome production, dated 1936, a big white tenner, promising to pay the bearer. This was part of 134 million counterfeited by the Germans, some of which came into circulation in Britain. Today we call it quantitative easing. Then, it was economic warfare.

That was why the white 10 note, 8in by 5in, was taken out of circulation in 1943. It had first been issued 250 years ago, in 1759, and it looked much the same all that time. The thinking, explains John Keyworth, Curator of the Bank of England Museum, the man locked in the vault with me, had been that a simple design was a defence against counterfeiters, whose mistakes would be more easily spotted.

To celebrate the tenner's anniversary, a display has been added to the Bank of England Museum. The 15 note is there, too, which sounds as funny now as a 2 coin used to. If you like money this is a good place to visit. If you like history it's even better.

No note was immune from imitation. What one engraver could make, another could copy. In 1855, the year the Daily Telegraph was founded, Victorian technology found the weapon of the stereotype every bank note could now be printed identically, without the variations of the engraving process. The forger's task was more hopeless.

To read the complete article, see: 'The Tenner' at the Bank of England Museum, review (www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/5054384/The-Tenner
-at-the-Bank-of-England-Museum-review.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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