A Fun 150 Year Trip Back In Time

Factoid: H. G. Wells, English writer, was born in 1866.

Let’s take a time machine trip back in time to 1866. The bloody Civil War had just concluded, and money was in short supply.

A five-cent purchase in 1866 was like a $20 purchase now. Here’s a fun exercise for you when you have a little time.

In 1866 there were many different denominations still in circulation in this country. How many different ways could you make a five-cent purchase using the coins found in circulation and receive no change? I’ll give you a hint… there are eight different coins you could use. I’ll even start you off with a couple:

  1. A Large Cent. A Small Cent. A Two Cent. Two Half Cents.
  2. A Silver Three Cent. A Large Cent. Two Half Cents.

How many different combinations can you come up with? Remember, no change can be involved, and the Flying Eagle and Indian Cents are considered “Small Cents.” (No electronic devices may be used in arriving at your answer.)  Answers will be given next month.

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