(KTVI)- To see what St. Louis looked like when it was founded 250 years ago, you have to head to a Washington University basement and look for a ten dollar bill.
Tom Serfass/Curator Newman Money Museum: “It would have been what you would have seen from the river. A very small town. Indeed.”
And its Tom Serfass’s job to make sure the story of this river town and the ten dollar bill it’s on are passed along to the public.
Mr. Newman just turned 103 and his lifelong passion has been collecting coins.
St. Louis’ Eric P. Newman has been a numismatic his whole life and donated a portion of his currency collection to Washington University, where he got his law degree in 1935.
The valuation is not nearly as important as the history it represents and the stories it can tell.
This collection in the basement of the Kemper Art Museum has a potpourri of pocket change through the ages.
So this is the continental currency dollar of 1776 and it’s the first great expression of we are our own country.
On the front is Benjamin Franklin`s motto time fly, so mind your business, and the back carries the colonies message that we are one.
But every dollar has a doozie of a story in this museum.
Benjamin Franklin was a big fan of putting sayings on coinages to improve the morals of the people. So this would be a reminding to not laze around and waste your time.
There`s currency from our neighbors to the north and even some Missouri money to tell this region’s history.
So even if you travel from say Pennsylvania to Missouri you would change your money much as you used to do in Europe.
Who knew that a basement could hold so much national and local history that counts?