Friday, July 22, 2016

Emergency Money - B 1914 - 1920 - 01 Belgium - Introduction 1

When talking about 'Notgeld' or 'Emergency Money', you might think that this is a typical phenomenon for Germany. When googling "Notgeld", you will encounter the fancy German notes first.
It wouldn't be me, if I wouldn't start with another country of course.
Belgian Notgeld Catalogue (cover)
During the first World War, Belgian lacked coins for daily use. The war industry needed metals in all kind of ways. Around 600 cities and city boards, as well as hundreds of welfare organisations, agreed on producing 'emergency currency'. Paper or cardboard was used, and in some cases also (cheap) metals.
In the beginning this 'money' was ment to pay out soldiers, to pay loans of city workers, suppliers of the city... But later on, it was accepted to cope with the lack of coins for daily use. Often, those coins or paper coins/tokens, were restricted in use. One could buy clothes, or coal, but not food... or the other way around.
Along with city boards, a lot of social organisations, like the "national committee for aid and nutrition", issued similar coupons.
Even some factories issued coupons to pay out their employees. Many of those coupons were to be exchanged in stores owned by the same factory...

In much cases, the coupons or emergency currency was only valid within the city that issued the notes. Often there was a date printed on the notes, which told the owner on what day the note could be exchanged for "real" money again, or in some cases, to be exchanged for another coupon.

As a guideline to the Belgian 'emergency issues', a highly recommended catalogue is available.
Prices varie between € 40 and € 90.

Belgian Notgeld catalogue - details 1

Belgian Notgeld catalogue - details 2
A - basic - online catalogue (without prices) can be found on : (french version) (dutch version)

to be continued ...

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