The Museum of American Financial History is the only independent public museum in the United States dedicated to celebrating significant events in American events from a financial perspective. It was founded in 1988 and chartered as an educational institution. The museum offers education classes for groups up to 30 people. Each class lasts about 45 minutes and is ideal for elementary students and adults. The Museum of American Financial History is home to many permanent and traveling exhibits. Traveling exhibits are borrowed from other universities for up to nine months.
The museum is best known for “The Collection.” The collection is a series of financial documents that include stocks, bonds, photographs, corporate archival documents, prospectuses, annual reports, banknotes, checks, and engravings. The Collection included the largest collection of 18th century financial documents and documents from the Gilded Age. Highlights from The Collection include: the oldest known photograph of Wall Street a U.S. Treasury Bond, with the first known use of the dollar sign, issued to George Washington a 1791 letter from Alexander Hamilton -- lawyer, politician, and principal author of the Federalist Papers -- to the Bank of New York encouraging the bank to continue buying Treasury Bonds from the first bond issue a stock ticker from 1867 a ticker tape from the morning of October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday, the worst day in the U.S. stock market) Items from The Collection have appeared in television documentaries, books, and newspapers.