1- Nearly every day, you and I handle small coins and bank-notes. We need them for foot and clothing. When we want to buy something we always have to pay it with money. But what would we have done when there were no metal coins and paper notes?
2- Many thousands of years ago, men did not have any money. The first men lived in caves. They are roots and berries. Sometimes they caught small animals. Often they were hungry and cold.
3- Time moved on and men learned to make tools out of stone. New they were able to catch larger animals. They started to use animal skins to keep warm. They also learned to grow plants. For their way of life they didn’t need any money.
4- But soon men found that they liked one kind of wanted to hunt. Others had more fun growing things. Many liked to cut weapons out of stone, but all of them had to eat and wear clothes. And everyone needed tools and weapons. So they started to trade with each other. For money, they used the skins of animals and the weapons they made of stone.
5- More people began raising cattle and farming. Men began using cattle as goods with which to trade. But they soon found that this way of trading was not good. If a farmer wanted to get a few tools he had to pay for them with a calf. Since the calf was worth more than the tools, the farmer might have to buy things he didn’t need. There was no way to give change back. Then the farmer was not happy.
6- It was not long before people began to use all kinds of “money” they traded with salt, shells, animal’s tails, and teeth, and tobacco. On one island they cut large round stones made holes in the middle. Tow strong men had to carry these stones on a pole.
7- Then, almost seven thousand years ago, men found a metal. It was copper. From this they made pots and bowls. Now these were used for trading. But even so, many pots were still too heavy to carry about.
8- Men kept thinking of even better ways to make “Money” First they cut the copper into strips. Then they made it into coins something like our copper pennies today. These were worth as much as they weighed. Soon other metals were found. Some of them were worth a lot less. Not all people knew the worth of these new metals. So men had to think of something else. They had to be sure that no one could be dishonest in his trading. So they marked the coin just how much it was worth.
9- But there was still one thing wrong. If men wanted to buy something big, they had to take bags and bags filled with coins. And they were so heavy! So what did they do? They made money lighter. They made it out of paper.
10- We still use small coins and paper notes today. Could there be an even easier way to
Carry money? If so, men will surely find it.