Last updated on April 16th, 2020 at 06:55 am
Last Updated on April 16, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
Canadian paper money has a long, rich and varied history. A particularly interesting example from that history involves 17th century New France colonists having to use playing cards to supplement Spanish and French coins, the supply of which was lessening at the time. A local governor even had to sign the specially cut playing cards, which gave them monetary properties. Now, fast forward to the early 20th century and Canadian currency has truly come a long way. Read on to learn more about famous Canadians who were the first to be featured on our banknotes.
Various Iterations Of The $10 Bill Before Canadians Were Put On It
The Bank of Canada picked the $10 bill to host a commemorative anniversary series in order to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. When one goes back through the ages, however, it becomes clear that featuring famous Canadians on Canadian notes was not always present. Here’s a brief history of the note during that time:
- In the 1920s, for example, $10 bills were issued by many Canadian banks
- After being established in 1935, the Bank of Canada’s first issued currency featured a portrait of Princess Mary rather than that of a Canadian leader
- In 1937, the second series of Canadian currency continued to only feature members of the Royal Family, this time King George V
- In 1954, the back of the $10 note featured a picture of Mount Burgess and Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia; while the front featured the Queen
The Beginning Of Canadian People On Canadian Bills
Edgar Benson, the finance minister of Canada in the late 1960s, decided that Canadian prime ministers should be featured on the next series of Canadian money. That standard continues even today, while the back of the banknotes also continued to feature Canadian landscapes. The choice for the $10 bill fell on Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, while the back featured the Polymer Corporation based in Sarnia, Ontario.
Canada printed a new currency series in the late 1980s that had internal identification features. This was to allow the visually impaired to recognize it with the aid of an electronic banknote reader. A simple design featuring birds was used for the back of the bills, which BoC official believed would help with detecting imperfections on counterfeit notes.
The first currency in Canada to feature Canadians on both sides was issued in 2001. On the back of the $10 note is the image of a female Air Force officer, with a quote from Lieutenant-Colonel John McRae’s poem In Flanders Fields in the lower left corner.
The first polymer $10 note came into circulation in 2013 and features the VIA Rail passenger train that links Toronto to Vancouver on the back. Lastly, the 2017 Canada 150 Commemorative $10 note depicts four Canadian leaders on the front: James Gladstone, Agnes Macphail, George-Etienne Cartier and Macdonald.
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