What The $10 Bill Looked Like In 1861 & The Years After Will Get You Amped For The New One
In five short years, the $10 bill will showcase a woman's face instead of Alexander Hamilton's. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced that a redesigned bill will come out in 2020. The design of the $10 bill has changed a lot since the first one was issued in 1861, but this is probably the most historic redesign it's ever received. In 2013, the $10 bill was chosen for a facelift as the first of the "next generation of currency" that will revolve around democracy. No one knows which influential woman will be chosen yet, and the Treasury Department is asking for ideas using the hashtag #TheNew10, though Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will have the final say.
A new face on the $10 bill isn't the only thing that will be different in 2020. The updated bills will have new anti-counterfeit measures, as well as features for the blind. According to the Treasury Department's "The New 10" website, security measures were the main reason the $10 was chosen for redesign over the others, and Hamilton will remain on the bill in some capacity. "There are many options for continuing to honor Hamilton," the website says. "While one option is producing two bills, we are exploring a variety of possibilities."
Here's what the $10 bill has looked like over the years.
The very first $10 demand note came out in 1861 featuring Abraham Lincoln on the left and a bald eagle in the center.
The 1901 version of the note showcases a bison in the center, with Meriwether Lewis on the left and William Clark on the right.
When the Federal Reserve issued its first $10 bill, it was a little larger than today's bills. In the center was a picture of Andrew Jackson, not Hamilton, and the back featured a farming scene to represent the country's growth.
The next iteration of the $10 bill shrunk to the size we're now familiar with, and Hamilton's portrait overtook the photo of Jackson. A depiction of the United States Treasury Department replaced the farming scene on the back of the bill in an attempt to restore faith in the American economy.
It was really only upgraded in 1990 to prevent it from being easily reproduced on normal copier machines. Security features like microprinting and a thread that turns orange under ultraviolet light were added.
The 1990 debut of a new $10 didn't last very long. In 2010, the bill became even fancier, with a watermark over the portrait of Hamilton, a color-shifting number 10, and a slightly different drawing of the Treasury Building on the reverse side.
The current $10 bill got new colors — orange, red, and yellow — so it's not completely green and boring. New images of the Statue of Liberty's torch and "We The People" from the Constitution were also added to the front.