Those were the days, my friend

Reviewing a bankruptcy of a Birmingham umbrella manufacturer in 1862 (as you do), I came across this eye-watering indicator of the relative economic strengths of John Bull and Uncle Sam back then .

dollar

Hand over $17,300 and they gave you £1,862. Oh yes and a shiny silver half crown, as 2s 6d (or two shillings and six pence) was known.

Now that’s an exchange rate…

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