A free ‘missing’ chapter from a new book by historian and economist George A. Selgin, Good Money: Birmingham Button Makers, the Royal Mint, and the Beginnings of Modern Coinage, 1775—1821 (2008). His free chapter takes us on a fascinating…

“tour of Birmingham’s toy-making district as it was on a mid-October Friday in 1829”.

The book itself excavates the story of how Birmingham’s system of private coinage emerged and flourished…

“The industry developed to the point at which 20 independent mints were involved in making coins. The private coins served the merchants and the workers, while the government’s currency served the landed rich.”