A banking panic in 1907 that caused widespread runs on banks to redeem currency into hard assets brought federal attention to a growing problem in the United States. They realized that not having a centralized banking system helped to make recession worse and prolong its effect, so an act was passed creating a central banking system called the Federal Reserve System in December of 1913.

The largest change this created in the currency of the United States was the addition of Federal Reserve Notes and United States banknotes to the circulating currency of the nation. These notes are all centrally produced at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and are issued to the individual Federal Reserve branch banks in one of twelve different districts around the country. From there, the notes are distributed to the individual financial institutions where they are circulated into the hands of the public.

The first Federal Reserve Notes issued were in 1914 when large size notes representing denominations from 5 dollars through 100 dollars were produced. The second issue was in 1918 when large denomination notes from 500 through 10,000 dollar denominations were printed. Like with other notes of the time, the Federal Reserve Note was printed in the smaller (current) size beginning with the series of 1928 when all denominations were printed except the $1 note, all of which at the time were silver certificates. The $1 denomination would be added in 1963 with the discontinuation of the blue seal silver certificates. Early Federal Reserve Notes can be difficult to locate and are quite valuable in higher grade. This could be your chance to get one now before the supply of these historic, fragile, and beautiful pieces of history vanish for good!