Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Radio programme about ITHACA COMMUNITY MONEY

A history of the ITHACA HOURS community currency
During the Great Depression when banks were closed so they could be audited - over 400 currencies called SCRIPT were used in the US to buy food and services. When the banks reopened, sometimes several months later, SCRIPT was replaced with the federal currency.

Since the beginning of the financial crisis a resurgence of interest in alternative money systems has led to many new initiatives. A new website in the US called is giving an overview over a huge number of community currencies and computer based trading systems with space for comment and discussion.

Featured on that web site are the Ithaca Hours, the oldest printed paper currency in the US. Founded in 1991 by Paul Glover it has been in continuous use, it's popularity rising and diminishing with fluctuations in the overall economy.

Each paper bill is a small piece of art and a commentary on the federal currency. At the top it says: IN ITHACA WE TRUST. - rather than In God We Trust. The currency is issued for the town of Ithaca and the surrounding farms - which means that the money will benefit local exchanges and local jobs and can never go away as it does when we take dollars to WalMart.

I'm inviting you to re-visit with me one of the most important journeys I have taken as radio reporter, my 1995 visit to Ithaca. Paul Glover, who founded Ithaca Hours in 1991 is still doing community currency work. I spoke to him in March of 2009 to update the information in this program. His web site is
For a broadcast quality mp3 version of Part ONE click HERE
For a
broadcast quality mp3 version of Part TWO click HERE

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Blogger Mark Herpel said...

That is a great interview and amazing that it was 13 years ago.


May 1, 2009 at 1:06 AM  

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